Books and Code · A Miscellany

George Soros May Face a Monster Tax Bill


It is hard not to feel a little bit gleeful when the tax hypocrisy of guys like Soros is exposed. Don’t get me wrong, I support tax avoidance that does not break the law. Criticizing the rich for legally avoiding taxes is the political left’s slut-shaming equivalent. That said, rich guys who shed crocodile tears over the supposed injustice of their low tax rates while simultaneously going out of their way to exploit it are assholes.

Giving away your fortune at the end of your life is not the same as having paid high taxes all your life. It is not atonement; it is self-refutation. If you believe in high taxes, then pay high taxes.

“But doing that only makes sense if all rich people do it,” says the apologist. Such apologists are usually not rich and not economically aware. These men know better. They know the opportunity cost of paying now exceeds the value of the goods & services the government would provide with their tax revenue. Otherwise, it would make sense for them to pay extra tax unilaterally and demonstrate it.

The implication then is that the value of the goods & services would be higher per dollar of tax with a greater total sum of tax revenue, but is this a reasonable assumption? No! More money doesn’t suddenly make the government more eager to be efficient. In fact, the law of marginal utility tells us that the value to the government of each additional tax dollar is necessarily less, not more. Is there some new service that can only be implemented with a minimum amount of tax that exceeds current revenue? Not likely, since the government has no qualms running a monstrous deficit already.

No, even now these guys believe that they can put their money to better use via private charity than through those services funded by taxes. And you know what? They are right! Their laments over lenient tax law only make sense if they also harbor the opinion that they are morally superior to others who they must believe manage their fortunes so poorly as to provide less value to society than infamously inefficient tax-funded goods and services do. Maybe they are also right in that regard. Or maybe they are being elitist pricks.