Spreading the Wealth

In the final Presidential debate last night, Joe the Plumber became a household name. As a small business person, Joe was recently told by Senator Obama that under an Obama administration he would have to “share his wealth” with others.

Senator McCain made it clear that he wouldn’t raise anyone’s taxes, and did not want to share Joe the Plumber’s wealth with others. What McCain failed to explain, however, is that “sharing the wealth” is usually a prescription for “reducing the wealth.”

McCain should have made it clear that taking more money from Joe the Plumber would reduce Joe’s incentive to create that wealth in the first place.

Steve Buckstein is founder and senior policy analyst at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market research center.