Of course, it’s galling when a chief executive fails and is still handsomely rewarded. But with the concept of “tax, not shame,” a shocking $20 million severance package would generate $10 million for the government. That’s a far better solution than what we have today, not least because it works with the market rather than against it.
Another advantage is that it would also cover the sometimes huge earnings of hedge fund managers, star athletes, stunning movie stars, venture capitalists and the chief executives of private companies. Surely there is no reason to focus only on executives at publicly traded companies.
(quoted from the linked op-ed piece)
Even Reagan had a top marginal rate of 50% until 1987 - on income levels much lower than $1 million ($88K in 1982 stepping up to $175K in 1987).