Lileks notes some people will never understand the ‘bigger pie’ argument

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio made sense when he argued that “We don’t need more taxes, we need more taxpayers.”

But as James Lileks writes in his latest National Review, it’s not clear that advocates of big government and confiscatory tax rates get the picture.

The “more taxpayers” part made instant, instinctive sense, but since Rubio’s a conservative, he must be up to something. You mean, like, give a million people a million dollars, and then tax them at a 90 percent rate? That’s pure profit! No, you take a smaller slice of a larger pie. But it’s still a smaller piece. I don’t understand. The pie is bigger, so you get more money. But the first lady is opposed to bigger pie. Bigger pie is leading to an epidemic of obesity. Kids are coming down with obesity left and right. If we eliminate the loopholes that allow Big Pie to fly around on corporate jets, we can fun programs on pastry awareness—

Add a couple of comments about ultra-right-wingers, extreme agendas, fair shares, Big Oil, and other nonsense, and you’ll get a sense of the comprehension level exhibited by many vocal participants in the public policy debate. Since Rubio’s comment resonates only with those who have an inkling about how the economy and taxation operate, his insight is lost on those who are limited to the “argument by adjective.”

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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