Higher taxes on the rich often reduce incentives. Reagan commented that at his maximum tax rate as an actor (90%), it didn’t make sense to make more than a certain number of movies per year. At a certain level, he was working to keep only 10% of his take. But if he doesn’t make more movies, his lifestyle doesn’t change but lots of other people don’t get paychecks as well (all those guys at the bottom of the credits).
Not impressed by Reagan? How about JFK:
true choice is not between tax reduction, on the one hand, and the
avoidance of large Federal deficits on the other. It is increasingly
clear that no matter what party is in power, so long as our national
security needs keep rising, an economy hampered by restrictive tax
rates will never produce enough revenues to balance our budget just as
it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits… In short, it is a
paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues
are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run
is to cut the rates now.