If poor people who don't pay income tax will never understand the misery endured by rich people who do, then it is not enough that "everybody should pay less in taxes," because lowering everybody's taxes would still leave taxpayers paying infinitely more in taxes than non-taxpayers. The only way to solve the mathematical puzzle is to either
1) lower the income-tax rate on everybody to zero and eliminate the federal government altogether;
2) disenfranchise poor people;
3) raise taxes on poor people.
Noah is showing a failure of imagination here. Another possibility would be to just eliminate the Federal Income Tax. It doesn't contribute that much to federal revenues these days. If we cut federal spending back to the 1990 level (just like Kyoto wants us to cut carbon fuel use back to that year) we could do without it. I could make the cuts myself with a few hours and a spreadsheet if our leadership lacks the courage. Easy.