Tax Law Special Report: February 2013
Another Great Tax Idea – Don’t Save Too Much Money Or You’ll Have To Give Some Of It To The Government

Here’s a concept whose time I hope never comes: a “hoarder’s tax,” i.e. a tax imposed if a taxpayer has too much money in the bank.  A state legislator in Connecticut has actually proposed such a tax, according to a February 25, 2013, story in the Connecticut Mirror:

Rep. Betsy Ritter, a Waterford Democrat [has] proposed a hoarder’s tax. This would place a levy on liquid assets — companies with a lot of money in the bank — and dedicate the proceeds to job creation programs.

But why should it apply only to companies?  Why not individuals, too?  Shouldn’t everyone who has the means be required to contribute to job creation?

Are we really going to allow our lawmakers to create a legal presumption that having more than a certain amount (chosen, arbitrarily, by them) of savings in the bank is unacceptable, and that anyone who exceeds their (arbitrary) limit should be forced to give a portion of that money to the government, to be spent as our lawmakers see fit?  If a business or individual doesn’t think it is in their best interest to spend their money, then the government will spend it for them?

Spend it before the government takes it.  That’s where the “logic” of this kind of taxation would lead.  Saving is bad.  Spending is good.

I did a little looking and discovered that this idea was apparently hatched on a web site where on-line petition “signatures” are solicited.  The effort was apparently aimed at state legislators, and at least one took the bait.

I’m pleased to report that in ten months, the “Don’t Let Companies Hoard Their Cash” petition garnered fewer than 7,700 signatures, short of the stated goal of 10,000, before it expired on         January 5, 2013.

The “hoarder’s tax” is another great tax idea whose time hopefully will never come (although a certain Louisiana governor did propose a similar tax some 80 years ago).


              One of these days the people of Louisiana are going to get good government – and they aren’t going to like it.

∞  Huey Long (1893-1935), Louisiana Governor and U.S. Senator