Originally Posted by MiddleAgedAl
I can assure you that he does not enjoy more value from that bridge than I do, despite the fact that he paid more than me for the right to use it.
However, at some point he would probably come to the conclusion that the gap in cost to him, compared to the gap in benefit (which is nothing), is too much to grin and bear it, and would start to look for other opportunities elsewhere. The economy is global, just ask anyone whose job has moved overseas. Do you really want to give those in power another incentive to shift things even more? Do you really think the financial acumen of the 1%ers is such that their understanding of the laffer curve will be trumped by some idealistic desire to enforce some kind of social equality?
With all due respect to your wordy example, this is some major messed-up kind of logic.
No one pays for the "right" to use any of the services of their collective taxes. A simpler example can be made by your property tax, much of which pays for your local schools. Those who don't have kids in school often complain about having to pay the tax, but that's just how taxes work. Whether I live in a $100K house and send 6 kids to school, or a $2M house with no kids, my very large or very small property taxes go to the school. It's a collective, just like auto insurance, or health insurance. None of these have any necessary correlation between contribution and benefit.
This whole top tax rate discussion is bullshit. Not long ago, the top rate was 70%. There's no law that says that it must be 34% or less, they should be able to make it whatever the hell they need. A 5% increase in the marginal rate for incomes above $250K would have a negligible impact on taxpayers, but would substantially increase revenue. One would need to have an AGI well over $250K before the rate change would be noticeable, plus it would be an incentive for investment.
Just as a person with an income of $25K shouldn't pay a 30% tax rate, we need to get a higher rate from those with higher discretionary incomes. It's still just a percentage - if you make an extra dollar, you'll take home a substantial portion of that dollar. It's all very logical; we're not going to pay for our services on the backs of those making $18K, so we either stick with the graduated tax system, or scrap it entirely.