So I'm taking that Political Compass test, and there's one "question" that makes me angry, because it's a ridiculous oversimplification.
"The rich are too highly taxed."
If you have no idea what taxes look like for someone like Warren Buffett, you'd probably agree or disagree based on how you view redistribution of wealth or social welfare.
But the crazy part of our country's tax code is that capital gains are only taxed 15%. So if Warren Buffett makes $1B on capital gains, the government only sees $150M (which seems like a lot, but it's a drop in the bucket for the government). Take ten people like Warren Buffett and say they all make $1B this year in capital gains; that's $1.5B for the government.
And that's awesome. But what if that was part of their income tax (since it actually is a type of income)? Well, then it's taxed at 35%. So instead of $150M each, they owe $350M each. $1.5B from ten billionaires becomes $3.5B.
This is really all that's necessary to tax the wealthy more. They don't need higher income taxes; they'll just cut their salaries to $1 like Steve Jobs did, and take options in stock, which is taxed at an insanely lower rate than income.
So yes, I'm angry about the question. Continue on.
Edit: actually, taxes on capital gains are going up to 20% this year. So yippee, going in the right direction.
Edited, Jan 8th 2013 11:56pm by Theophany