A really interesting point made by James Taranto at the WSJ (it’s the second item down). Paul Krugman has shown some pleasure in the tax increases that came with the New Year fiscal cliff agreement since it has promoted, in Krugman’s view at least, equality of incomes. Of this, James notes that raising taxes does not affect your income, or at least not in the first instance, only how much you keep for yourself.
If you make $2 million and the government taxes it at 50%, your income is the same as if you make $2 million and the government taxes it at 40%. That is to say that higher tax rates do not directly affect income, they only redistribute it.
Some people argue, however, that higher marginal rates indirectly affect income–that the more of each additional dollar of income the government takes, the less incentive a taxpayer has to make the dollar in the first place. Higher marginal tax rates make workers less inclined to work and investors warier about taking risks. Thus if you raise marginal rates at the top, the wealthiest taxpayers will start earning less, reducing income inequality (but also economic growth and government revenue).
These people, they really don’t care that they harm economic prospects in general since it’s envy and personal greed that drive them.