Kevin Drum read that, and turned it into an assignment:

Someone — a journalist or an academic, I’m not sure which — should consider this an assignment desk piece: Why are Americans so unsympathetic to higher taxes on zillionaires? Does it really have something to do with an unfounded optimism about themselves someday becoming rich? I’ve heard this explanation a thousand times, but there’s really never any evidence for it except for one thing: an old poll (which I can’t locate just at the moment) showing that 19% of Americans think that someday they’ll be millionaires. The problem is that (a) it’s just one poll and (b) it’s still only 19%. If that were really the reason Americans were opposed to taxing the rich, we’d still have about 80% of the country in favor.

It’s a good point, and one that should get an answer—or at least some examination—as the debate over taxes and spending heats up.

Holly Yeager is CJR's Peterson Fellow, covering fiscal and economic policy. She is based in Washington and reachable at holly.yeager@gmail.com.