Support for ‘Tax on Someone Else’ Increases

The Republican party’s recent embrace of a Venezualan approach to political economy has posed a number of challenges. On the fiscal side, we’re faced with the complete collapse of government revenue because enormous tax breaks have been given to the firms of Republican donors. The recent corporate bailout has only served to exacerbate matters. Should Republicans remain true to the Venezualan model we would expect an endless cycle of money printing and inflation, an outcome most economists eschew. In a worse-case scenario the President’s daughter begins to style herself as Evita PerĂ³n.

Canadian economist Stephen Leacock suggests another way: the tax on someone else.

The idea of the tax on someone else was first mooted in Professor Leacock’s seminal work, “Sunshine Sketches”. It refers to a policy initiative of the government of French Prime Minister Aristide Briand, in his 14th and last government in 1929. [Note-Briand was a remarkable figure. Among his many accomplishments was his outlaw of war in 1928 (]

Starting this filing year select filers of US tax returns will be given the option of having ‘someone else’ pay their taxes.

“The idea for the tax stems from the insight that most people want government services but don’t want to pay for them.