Wait, what? You mean higher taxes mean people have less money?

It's true that - up to that Laffer Curve point - higher taxes mean that the government has more money to spend on what it wishes. But equally obviously this also means that people themselves have less money to spend as they wish. A part of the ineluctable logic that all too few manage to grasp.

Fortunately The Guardian is here to inform us all:

The news that local authorities will now be able to raise council tax by up to 5.99% next year will be welcomed by many in local government – but risks pushing many people who find it hard to make ends meet further into debt.

Well, yes, that's the way it works. If we re-slice the pie so that the people with all the guns get a larger slice then those of us being taxed will have a smaller one. This should be obvious even if all too many don't grasp it.

But the problem is worse. For in our taxation of the richer among us we're pretty much at that Laffer Curve point. Sure, we can argue about whether the income tax take peaks at 40%, 43%, 47% and so on but all the experience (our own experience with the 50% rate, academic research by Diamond and Saez and so on) tells us that when we look at taxes upon income (so, adding NI and so on) then we are at least around about that peak.

Which means that if we're to increase the tax take as a percentage of the economy, the thing being demanded, then we're going to have to tax the poorer among us. The very people who don't have much to start with and who are really going to miss that marginal income.

This isn't the collective view here, not formally at least, but it does inform that general view. The very argument in favour of a smaller state is that, around and about where we are - even with a substantially smaller state than we already have - we have to tax the poor to pay for it all. Which isn't what we think we should be doing at all. 

We have a great deal of sympathy with the idea that the richer should be paying. But that does mean cutting the State to the size that can be paid for only by the rich.

Not, to repeat, a formal or official point, nor even a precise and exact one, but one underpinning a general view all the same.