Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Rich Already Pay Their Fair Share

Seriously can we dispense with the whole "the rich need to pay their fair share" baloney?

It is undisputed that the top wage earners in this country pay an enormous percentage of income tax receipts. The top 10% of wage earners pay 70% of all income tax. Apparently that is not enough. Ask your average citizen who is eligible to vote if the rich should "pay their fair share" (the question presumes that whatever they are paying now is not "fair") and you will get overwhelming support, often even among Republican voters.

It is also undisputed that nearly 50% of adults in this country pay nothing or less in Federal income taxes. I am among that group thanks to the tax laws and my large family. I still get to drive on roads and bridges funded by the gubmint. I still enjoy the protection of the United States military. I buy meat stamped "USDA" from the store.  Non-taxpayers like me get all of the benefits with none of the costs. Yet many of us think the rich need to pay more because we want to benefit more from the system that we don't pay for. We have a RIGHT to benefits from the Federal government, paid for by someone else, because...well because we have been told we deserve it and have been given the means (i.e. voting) to confiscate the property of others to benefit ourselves.


The rich get one vote on the ballot just like the non-taxpaying citizens. Sure you can argue that they influence politicians with campaign donations but so do unions. So does the NRA. So does the AARP. So do tons of advocacy groups that claim the allegiance of all sorts of people. They don't get special lanes on the highway to drive upon. They get taxed heavily on their income. If they invest part of what is left over they get taxed on their gains. If they pass on their accumulated wealth that they earned and is left over after taxes, their heirs get taxed on that inheritance again. Meanwhile the same politicians speechifying about "fair share" have created a hopelessly complex tax system that allows the ultra-rich (i.e. donors to the Democrats) to hide and shelter their money.

Let me ask. What would be "their fair share"? If the top ten percent of wage earners paid 90% of all taxes and the other 90% of Americans chipped in the remaining 10%, would that be "fair"? Maybe if nobody paid any taxes but the top 10% of wage earners, would that be "fair"? Maybe we should just seize every nickle someone makes above and beyond the median income so that no one has more than anyone else. That would be "fair", right? Politicians like our President never name a number because that might get people thinking. The answer is always "more".

Or perhaps the problem is not that the Federal government is not taxing the "rich" enough but that it spends too much and does so inefficiently and in areas that have no basis in the Constitutional mandate of the Federal government. When an alcoholic refuses to leave the bar, you don't take away the drink from the guy sitting on the next bar stool and give it to them. You cut him off. It is high time we cut off our Federal overlords. Take away their checkbook and you take away their power and perhaps then we can see some real reform in this country.