This prospect, frequently repeated by conservatives, that raising taxes on the wealthy will decimate the economy and destroy job creation (and thus hurt the poor) is simply not supported by empirical evidence. As these three graphs show, the nation’s best GDP growth and job creation rate in the last 60 years actually occurred when the top marginal income tax rate was between 75 and 80 percent. The worst period for both measurements occurred when the top rate was 35 percent, as it stands today. In fact, job growth and gross domestic product has little, if any, correlation to the tax rate on wealthy Americans.
Of course, Lee’s compassion for the poor does not extend to the actual government services that provide a safety net for those less fortunate.