The Rich Shouldn’t Be Different From You And Me

Conservatives are taking a novel approach in their attempts to justify why the mega-wealthy deserve mega-tax cuts: big tax cuts don’t really matter since rich people are going to cheat on their taxes anyway.

The uber-conservative Wall Street Journal opinion page trotted this excuse out this morning to rationalize its support for repealing the estate tax, writing, “what liberals call the aristocracy of wealth already exists, despite the current [death] tax, because super-rich families like the Hiltons have always found ways to avoid or mitigate it through offshore accounts, tax-sheltered foundations, and so on.”

(They seem to be taking a page from President Bush’s play book. Bush tried out this excuse last summer when he claimed rolling back tax cuts for those earning over $200,000 per year was unnecessary because “the really rich people figure out how to dodge taxes anyway.”)

Rather than shrugging their shoulders and saying “oh, well, what can you do,” conservatives would be better off suggesting ways to close tax loopholes and beef-up IRS enforcement rather than just accepting a world where tax cheats win.