Let’s suppose by some miracle he could pile enough taxes on the rich to achieve his desired revenue target. Middle-class taxes won’t rise, but middle- class incomes will surely fall. The high tax on capital gains and upper-class income will lead to reduced investments. Foreign capital can easily flow elsewhere, and high-income taxpayers will cut their tax-generating activities. States will suffer a revenue bite that will in turn lead them to raise their taxes, which won’t be enough to keep their levels of service constant. Worse still, even if taxes won’t rise, wages will fall, leaving less disposable income. No great achievement here. In the end, it is a replay of the minimum wage: the tax increases on the rich make the middle class unambiguously worse off.

The Obama starry-eyed health care plans will generate the same bad consequences. Obama can say that if you like your current employer health care plan, keep it. That startling claim falls flat on the face of its implicit ceteris paribus assumptions. Higher taxes will shut down some employers and induce other hard-pressed employers either to ditch or trim their current coverages.