It’s really politicians extracting value for themselves via access to public assets and controls and taxpayer funding. Not a capital gain at all – where one risks one’s own savings. This is not akin to a capital gains tax – which is wrong-headed in all instances. It is a tax on value extraction at the cost of a coerced public. Nonetheless, Bill Moyers:
Which is why Glenn Harlan Reynolds, law professor, libertarian and head honcho of the political blog Instapundit, may be on to something. In a column for USA Today last month, he suggested, “…Let’s involve the most effective behavior-control machinery in America: The Internal Revenue Code.”
“In short, I propose putting 50% surtax — or maybe it should be 75%, I’m open to discussion — on the post-government earnings of government officials. So if you work at a cabinet level job and make $196,700 a year, and you leave for a job that pays a million a year, you’ll pay 50% of the difference — just over $400,000 — to the Treasury right off the top. So as not to be greedy, we’ll limit it to your first five years of post-government earnings; after that, you’ll just pay whatever standard income tax applies.”
The conservative Boston Herald endorsed the idea, comparing an ex-legislator or official’s connections and knowledge to intangible capitol and Reynolds’ scheme to a capital gains tax.
Imagine — conservatives and libertarians making a favorable comparison to the capital gains tax! This and that Russian meteor may be signs of the apocalypse. Just gives you an idea of how deeply awful and anti-democratic the revolving door is, no matter which side you’re on. That’s why it has to be slowed down if not completely stopped — and why we’ll keep talking about it.