Said a student of John Maynard Keynes,
"Would ideally fall
Between 'nothing at all'
And the rate at which Buffett complains."
Writing in the Wall Street Journal on the "Three Policies That Gave Us the [Steve] Jobs Economy," Amity Shlaes cites the slashing of the capital gains rate from a confiscatory 49% to 25% in 1978. Building on this evidence, she reaches the silly conclusion that "taxes on capital should always be lowered, and dramatically." One might just as easily conclude that, because a diet improved one's physique, that mealtime portions should always be dramatically lowered, too. But what is the correct capital gains rate? Undoubtedly, it lies between encouragement of wild speculation and discouragement of capital formation.