Just ask Calvin Coolidge's Treasury Secretary, Andrew Mellon. When tax rates were hiked to "tax the rich," those prosperous few (about 200 before the tax hikes were enacted) suddenly shifted their income to tax-free investments. When the tax hikes were repealed in 1925, all of those millionaires suddenly had high income again.
It's as one would guess; people may become super-prosperous by either legitimate (Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie) or illegitimate (Capone, Obama, Conyers) means, but they don't get there by being stupid and ignoring the implications of tax law.
It also bespeaks the folly of punitive taxation on the highly productive; when the super-rich shift their assets into tax shelters, they are simultaneously shifting it away from their highly productive businesses. In doing so, the people hurt worst are those who could otherwise be employed in those highly productive businesses.
(end punitive taxation of the rich....do it for the poor and middle class!)
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