The fifth in a series of Washington Post editorials lauding the political reshuffling of income begins on the wrong foot. "The quest for ways to reduce inequality," the editors wrote, "begins with taxation. Unlike spending programs, redistribution through taxation is administratively simple."
But collecting taxes is not as easy as it sounds. And taxes don't redistribute income -- they just reduce income. Means-tested federal transfer payments account for little more than 10 percent of federal spending, and more taxes won't change that because the poor don't lobby or contribute to campaigns and rarely vote.