Negative VC Defense is Not Affirmative

A common VC refrain in the carried interest tax debate has been that very few VCs have actually seen carried interest in the past decade. I don’t exactly follow this line of argument (although I certainly don’t deny the premise).

Is it supposed to mean that a tax increase (or decrease) won’t have much tangible effect? If so, then the actual tax rate is irrelevant.

Is it supposed to mean that certain folks have remained VCs in order to someday taste the fabled carrot? If so, doesn’t it mean that these “job-creators” have proven themselves unable to make successful investments? And, as a follow-on, does this mean such investors/firm might be better served by becoming official nonprofits?

In short, from a PR perspective: You shouldn’t call yourself an economic engine while, at the same time, proclaiming that you get negative miles per gallon.