Review of

PragerU Video: The Progressive Income Tax: A Tale of Three Brothers

Our summary: A fictional story is told of three brothers with equal opportunity, and how the two lazier ones insist that the diligent one pay the lion’s share for a common resource. The story is an analogy for the absurdity and unfairness of the US government’s progressive taxation.

A few really pivotal factors left out

Gini Kowalski Tempe, AZ Published 19 Dec 2019

In this video we learn that, since every US citizen has the same opportunities, advantages, and talents, every citizen should pay the same tax rate.

Actually, though, in the real world, usually someone making $25,000 a year isn’t working fewer hours than a person making $150,000 a year. Rather, the second person is just paid more, perhaps because he/she got good grades in school, and went to a prestigious university, and climbed the ladder.

And all of the first person’s $25,000 is probably spent on the bare necessities of life. A large portion of the second person’s income goes to things that are more fun and interesting. There’s certainly no reason to sympathize with Lazy Entitled Tom in Mr. Hagopian’s carefully-contrived scenario. But in the real world, how sorry should we feel for the affluent?

Even if you are not a fan of progressive taxation, probably you can at least see the deception in this video.

It is hard to understand why anyone would be against higher marginal tax rates for high income. As the Bible verse goes, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.”

(Shamefully, most of the super-rich in fact pay lower marginal rates on their income. Money made from stocks or real estate investing is taxed at 15-20%, while the top marginal rate on “regular” income—for example, wages—is 37%.)

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