Incentives Matter: Bowling vs. Income Taxes
Under the rules of bowling, you get rewarded, not penalized, for success. If you get a spare, the scoring system rewards you by adding in the pins from the next ball into the current frame, and if you get a strike the scoring system rewards you by adding the pins from your next two balls into the current frame.
Under a progressive income tax system, you get penalized, not rewarded, for being successful, because the more income you earn, the higher the tax rate you pay, currently up to 35%, and it's been as high as 91% in the 1950s and 1960s, and 70% in the 1970s.
If we kept score in bowling the way we tax income, we would subtract points for a spare or strike.
If we taxed income the way we scored bowling, we would have a regressive tax system and would reduce the tax burden for the most successful workers, not increase it.