About a month before I wrote my commentary, my old friend Richard Rahn had, without my noticing, written on the same issue in a commentary article published in the Washington Times, but he had gone beyond the simple point I made. Rahn notes that besides suffering the loss of wealth occasioned by the negative real yield on such investments, the investor has to pay tax on the nominal yield—truly a case of the government’s adding insult to injury. He notes that given the currently prevailing rates of interest, rate of inflation, and tax rates, a small investor who earns a nominal yield of 1% and pays a 20% marginal tax rate, while the rate of inflation is 3.5 %, actually ends up paying a real tax rate of 370%. For example, an investor buys a $100,000 CD, earns $1,000 in annual interest, pays a tax of $200, and incurs a loss of $3,500 in purchasing power on the invested principal. Total (nominal) income is $1,000; total real tax (nominal tax plus inflation tax) is $3,700.
This expropriation of private wealth is not accidental.
It is the joint product of the Fed’s near-zero interest-rate policies, the Fed’s money supply increases that underlie the current rate of inflation, and the tax rates established by Congress and administered by the IRS, including the taxation of nominal interest earnings even when they amount to real losses of capital, rather than genuine earnings. The government clearly aims to expropriate private wealth on a massive scale. The only plausible alternative interpretation of these policies requires us to believe that the government officials who set these policies are complete idiots about basic economics.
"...complete idiots about basic economics..."
Yes. I do believe you've hit the nail on the head there.
Read the rest here