David Leonhardt wants to hike taxes on the very highest earners:
Today’s tax code makes no distinction between income above $373,000 and income above, say, $5 million. Both are taxed at 35 percent.
That is a legacy of the tax changes of the early 1990s, when far less of the nation’s income went to millionaires. Today, you can make a good argument for a new, higher tax bracket on the very largest incomes. In the past, the economist Thomas Piketty says, higher marginal tax rates tended to hold down salaries and bonuses, because executives had less incentive to angle for multimillion-dollar pay.
Do these ideas stem in part from anger and bitterness? Of course they do. How can you not be a little angry and bitter about the role that huge, unjustified pay played in causing the worst recession in a generation?
In fact, that’s sort of the point. Given the damage that’s been caused by our decidedly unmeritocratic system of paying executives, the most irrational course of all would be the status quo.