Would you tax Big Papi off the Red Sox?

Would you tax Big Papi right off the Red Sox?

Quick Links: Ernst & Young report – taxing the rich will cost jobs

Those who support the onerous tax structure that has ruined our state’s economy have wheeled out a new poll that shows public support of increased taxes on the rich … out of fairness, of course. Our Center has already shown how this tax increase would cost even more jobs for RI and further hamper our already struggling economy.  So let’s try another angle …

Imagine the Red Sox as a last place team having already lost many of its superstars to free-agency. Now imagine that the Red Sox decide to levy a tax on its superstar players like David Ortiz (Big Papi). After all, it’s not fair that Ortiz should get all those at-bats where he can hit home runs, RBIs, and otherwise produce results for the team. No, instead, Big Papi should give 9.9% of his at-bats to players on the bench, who don’t get to play as much. That would only be fair, right?

But consider if it would help or hurt the Red Sox if one of their top producers didn’t get as many at-bats, and instead, those at-bats went to a lower producing teammate? How would Red Sox Nation feel about that?

Then imagine it’s the end of the year, and Ortiz is a free-agent. Is he more likely to re-sign with the Red Sox, who will tax his at-bats by almost 10%, or might he decide to sign with the Yankees who will not tax him at all? Would the Red Sox, with their “at-bats tax”, be able to attract other free-agents to replace him? Again, how would this help the Red Sox?

The same questions can be asked about our state’s “rich”: How is it good for Rhode Island if we limit the capacity of our top producers to invest in our economy? How is it good for us if we make it less attractive for our top businesses and individuals to remain in or move to our state?

Just like the Red Sox, Rhode Island should embrace and encourage our best performers, not give them reason to reduce productivity …  or even leave outright.

In sports, teams actually give bonuses to incentivize performance. In Rhode Island, those who defend the status quo want to to do the opposite. Imagine yourself as a “fan” of Rhode Island … how would you choose to treat our own Big Papis?

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