Bill GatesArthur Laffer

If voters in Washington state pass Initiative 1098 (creating a new income tax on high-income earners), it will go from being one of the fastest-growing in the country to one of the slowest-growing. Those who want to punish the rich for their success should bear in mind that states with the highest tax rates and those that have introduced state income taxes have seen standards of living substantially underperform compared to their no-tax counterparts. If Washington’s most famous billionaires are really worried about their state’s finances, they’d write personal checks to the government and leave everyone else alone.

Laffer is the chairman of Laffer Associates and co-author of “Return to Prosperity: How America Can Regain Its Economic Superpower Status” (Threshold, 2010).

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