The case of Teresa Heinz, the ketchup heiress married to Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate who wants to hike taxes on the “rich,” is actually a good argument for cutting taxes on the rich. Last year, Heinz had $5.1 million in income, and paid $587,000 in federal taxes, making her effective federal tax rate only 11.5%. Why did she pay so little tax? Rather than fully invest her fortune in productive private sector enterprises–thus creating private sector jobs and earning taxable profits–Heinz sheltered much of her money in tax-exempt government bonds, taking more than half her income from the government itself.
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