Fairness and Taxing the Rich


Last week the Gallup organization’s Jeffrey Jones noted the “historically high gap” in the partisan job approval ratings three years running for Barack Obama.  Eighty percent of Democrats and 12 percent of Republicans currently approve of his performance in office.

That’s a whole lot of polarization for a man who campaigned on the promise he would be the “uniter” who heals the nation’s wounds.  But Barack Obama seems to enjoy class warfare, crying out for “fairness” — fanning the fires of envy and saying in his State of the Union Address that he intends to raise the income tax on the wealthy class – that Warren Buffet’s secretary pays a higher tax rate than the billionaire himself.

Curtis Dubay of the Heritage Foundation explains it this way: “The President says he’s ‘asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share,’ which by implication means that those Americans aren’t paying enough.”

As Senator Marco Rubio said in his answer to the president’s Address: “He tells Americans worried about their jobs, that the way to help them is to raise their bosses’ taxes.  He tells those who are hurting, that the only way they can be better off, is for others to be worse off.  He tells all of us that the only way for some of us to climb up the economic ladder is for others to be pulled down.  This divisive rhetoric, this effort to gain political support by convincing some that they will be better off if we punish others, this stuff has never worked anywhere it’s been tried.”

So much for uniting the country.

According to the IRS, the nation’s top 1 percent of income earners pay just under 40 percent of the federal income tax.  The top 10 percent pay 70 percent of our taxes.  The bottom 50 percent pay just over 2 percent.  And 47 percent of income earners pay no tax at all.  Some who pay no tax get money back from the government in earned income tax credit, child credit, and childcare credit.  Still the liberals cling to their “progressive” tax system and complain about fairness.

So, why isn’t everyone paying equally?  By locking in almost half the population who pay little or no taxes, the liberals hope to keep their stranglehold on power.  “A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul,” observed George Bernard Shaw.

Obama doesn’t seem to realize that there are no permanent classes in America.  During their lifetimes, many Americans move in and out and back again through the wealthy class, the middle class, and the lower income class.  Still, Obama hammers home his message of fairness.  It brings to mind what the political philosopher Edmund Burke once said: “Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing.”

So, let’s talk about fairness.  We won’t even get into the responsibility of Obama and the Democrats for running down our country — our $15 trillion national debt that’s almost 50 percent higher than when he first took office, and an unemployment rate that began its steady rise the day he won the election.  Let’s forget for a moment Obama’s disingenuousness when he fails to differentiate between income tax rates and capital gains tax rates.  Let’s just discuss the president’s audacious demagoguery as he presumes to lecture us about “fairness.”

By its very definition, the word fairness equally applies to all parties in an equation – to the defendant who asks for forgiveness as well as the plaintiff who asks for “justice” in full measure.  If it is fair to raise taxes on the wealthy, is it not equally fair to raise all taxes – more accurately, to impose taxes on the 47 percent of Americans who pay no taxes at all?

Unless the rich man has stolen the poor man’s money, he has not “wronged” the poor man.  Yet the liberals bemoan the free market forces that keep wealth in balance – that keep everything fair.

Money is fungible and when the rich spend it, the money is circulated to other industries and other workers.  That’s as it should be with everyone – including the poor — paying the same percentage of their fair share of the tax burden.

So, define fair.  If my neighbor has more money than I have, why is it fair for me to get my government to steal from him and give to me?  What’s up with that?



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