Elizabeth Warren's Viral Video

As you probably know, there's an awful lot of enthusiasm, pro and con, over a video snippet in which Elizabeth Warren explains why financially successful people pay taxes. What's so striking to me about the reaction is how disproportionate it seems to what Warren said, which seems like a rather straightforward and uncontroversial claim. It reminds me of an allegory that the late Senator Robert Byrd -- and probably many others -- used to tell, of a constituent coming to visit his office; the tale runs through all the government-supported things in the constituent's life, from his college education paid by the GI Bill through the Amtrak train that brought him to DC, all to get him to this moment where he can stand in front of his Senator and complain about paying too much taxes.

There's nothing contradictory here: pretty much everyone outside the very fringes of political discourse agrees that we use government to do things together as a society, and that we all benefit from some of these things. There is also widespread agreement on the basic principal of progressive taxation, in which

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