Sic Semper Medius Consilium¹

Megan McArdle on individuals who claim to want the government to tax them more:

No, I simply cannot grant that people really believe that they pay too little in taxes. It seems more like they think the government has a better use for everyone else’s money, and should therefore take it. They believe this so strongly that if they have to pay some of their own money to rectify the situation, they will do so. In other words, they don’t so much want higher taxes on themselves, as to purchase the good “State coercion of other affluent people”. That is not the same moral intuition as “I have too much money, and the government should take it away”, however much nicer it would be if that were true.

That is correct. And it’s a given that said individuals always know better how that good should be used by government.

Ms. McArdle’s “tax me more” thread continues here and here.

¹ Even with four years of Latin in school, I’m sure I’ve messed up the translation. Aside from simple grammar, maybe cogito should replace consilium?