Pakman’s Paradox: Capitalist David Pakman vs. Comrade David Pakman

Anthony Galli
4 min readApr 8
Screenshots of David Pakman on PBD podcast

One of the first political questions I like to ask people is, “How much of your income should you have to pay in taxes?”

A common answer I get from those who’d even consider themselves “progressive” is about 30% and that’s exactly how David Pakman (1.7M YouTube subscribers) responded…

I don’t like that close to half of my income is going to taxes. I think it’s too high. I’d love to be in for 31% total.

First, consider that David Pakman is in the top 1% of earners so for the top 1% to go from paying about 50% in total taxes to 31% would be about a 35% tax cut.

To put that into perspective, progressives freaked out when Trump reduced the top marginal federal income tax rate from 39.6% to 37% even though it’s just one type of tax at one level of government that will expire in 2026.

And then when you consider that David Pakman supports an even more progressive income tax than our already arguably most progressive income tax in the world means he’d support at least a 35% tax cut for virtually everyone else too.

So in order to make his tax cut balance, David Pakman would have to cut total government spending by about 13% of GDP (35% cut x 37% GDP = 13%; FYI this is simply to balance his proposal and doesn’t address our existing deficit/debt)…

If Pakman was logically consistent then one would expect to find on his channel video after video of him suggesting programs to abolish and cut, but instead in video after video he advocates for adding and expanding programs.

For example, he wants to increase spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, housing assistance, infrastructure, climate change, paid family leave, etc.

The only program I’ve ever heard him say he wants to cut is defense, although he wants to increase Ukrainian aid so when push comes to shove I wonder how much he actually wants to cut, but let’s say for argument’s sake he’d cut defense by 50%. That’d still…