The Tax Left-Wing Professors Act

-By Warner Todd Huston

James Lileks of the Minneapolis Star Tribune recently had a brilliant idea. Let’s tax tenured professors at a higher rate than everyone else. And how could they complain? After all, these left-wing, communist sympathizers are always saying everyone should pay more taxes. How could they complain about being called to “pay their fair share”?

Lileks came up with this idea on a recent Ricohet podcast with Jonah Goldberg and Hollywooder Rob Long.

His brilliant proposal should be loved by everyone; both those that hate our anti-American professoriate, and those professors that hate America because Americans won’t pay enough taxes for social programs.

And here is that proposal:

Why not treat tenure as wealth, and tax it accordingly? Take a college professor. (Please.) Calculate how much they’ll make until retirement from their permanent job. Declare it wealth. Hoover up a chunk. Write in a provision that says they’ll get 47% of the amount paid (with no interest, over ten years) if they ever quit, with the remainder going to a fund to pay for college tuitions for the poor. Sit back; make popcorn; enjoy the reactions.

This isn’t too far out of the left-wing’s field of ideas, by the way. We have had leftists attempting to find pockets of wealth to steal for government use for a long, long time. Leftists have proposed taxing healthcare benefits as “income,” they have proposed taxing 401K funds as “wealth,” and this added to the perennial “millionaires taxes” that the left is always falling back on, all this adds to their constant refrain of looking for more things to tax. So why not see professor’s wealth as guaranteed by tenure as a large pot of money that should be excessively taxed to feed the left’s government spending machine?

Seems logical to me. Now let’s see the Marxists in our universities complain about this tax and keep their integrity?
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

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