Taxing Times

Back when the federal income tax became law in 1913, taxes didn’t hurt as much as they do today: the rates began at just 1 percent for folks making over $3,000 a year. But even then we had progressive rates that went as high as 7 percent for the richest of the rich.

Things have become a lot more progressive since then. But so far the idea of charging a greater percent based on income hasn't invaded other parts of our lives. That may change if we take cues from what's going on in Europe.

Finland recently began charging traffic fines according to one's income. The more you make, the more you pay. One millionaire caught speeding through downtown Helsinki was just given a ticket for $217,000. And two years ago, a vice president of Nokia's mobile phones unit was fined $148,000 for doing 46 in a 30 mile-per-hour zone.

So far, there's no sign of our politicians pushing the idea of progressive traffic fines. But it’s tax season. Anything could happen.

And that’s the Asman Observer.

David Asman joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in 1997 and currently serves as host of "Forbes on FOX," a weekend half-hour program that offers an informative look at the business week (Saturday from 11:00-11:30 AM/ET). Asman is also an anchor on FOX Business Network, where he co-hosts "After the Bell" (4-5 PM/ET) with anchor Melissa Francis.