In his State of the City Address, New York mayor Bill de Blasio laid out his governing philosophy succinctly:
Here’s the truth, brothers and sisters, there’s plenty of money in the world. Plenty of money in this city. It’s just in the wrong hands!
The money, of course, is in the hands of those who earned it. In de Blasio’s view, people who earn too much are “the wrong hands.”
In the speech itself and in an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union,” he elaborated: the wealthy have too much money because they aren’t taxed enough.
There are whole books on the correct theory of taxation. De Blasio, like many politicians, seems operate on the theory most clearly enunciated in 1990 by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D, Md.):
Let’s go and get it from those who’ve got it.
There are many theories of taxation, such as Haig‐Simons, the Tiebout model, and the Ramsay Principle. But I’d bet that the Mikulski Principle explains actual taxation best. And as “progressives” are feeling their oats, we can expect more politicians and pundits to be asking, “Who’s got the money? Let’s go get it.”