“FAIR SHARE!”, shouts the POTUS from the pulpit of politics. Standing behind a podium with a Presidential Seal that allows this mantra to spew forth, the POTUS fixes his glance…it is not about Class Warfare (as he stifles the ever present snicker), it is math. This from the lips of a man that cannot add numbers to reach two much less understand the concepts of math. It is clear that he took the same math class that Warren Buffet has taken. BUT, class warfare is a subject of another time. So, what is exactly “fair share”?
What is fair? How about D13’s definition……………..“free from favor toward either or any side.” I have always been taught that this is what fair is. When I looked up the definition in various dictionaries, I found that each dictionary had at least 11 different scenarios of the word fair ( ie. Fair winds, fair skies, a lady fair) but when it comes to taxes it seems the definition has taken on a metamorphosis and myriad of definitions. I think it means take from those that have and give to those that do not. It means redistribution. It means theft.
Now, for the sake of BF and others that view taxes as a form of theft, please take into consideration for the purposes of this article, that taxes are the reality of the times we are now facing. Like it or not, taxes are the cost of society. But what is, exactly, a fair share? I still like…….free from favor towards either or any side.
I can just see General Grant, while observing the battlefield at Gettysburg, saying to his CIC (commander in Chief)…” You know Abe….we outnumber the Confederates four to one and have four times the number of supplies and materials, would it not be fair for us to back off and give the confederates some of our men and materials so that the fight would be more equal?”
I can see the Boston Red Sox coach, lamenting the spiral dive at the end of his 2011 season, surmising…the Yankees have so many more wins, I think it is only right that they give their fair share of wins to make it a more equitable race to the pennant.
Outlandish examples to be sure but is it any more outlandish an example where taxes are concerned? I know that there are those that will say where taxes are concerned it is different. It is different in that the rules of fairness must be changed. It simply is not fair for someone to be able to have more than anyone else. So, D13 takes a look at fair share.
But first, I must state that before any of you come to me with this Warren Buffet statement, let us put it into context. His comment was so drastically flawed it was laughable. According to his own accountant, Mr. Buffet paid greater than ten times the amount of tax his secretary did. He paid a marginal tax rate of 35%. In addition, he paid a 15 % tax rate on investment income (capital gains). He was actually double taxed because he paid an extra 15% off money that he already paid 35% on. So, for the sake of argument, Mr Buffet is full of misdirected hot air…..or, as we call it in Texas, bull shit.
Now, on to the fair share of taxes. Do we define fair in the amount of dollars? Do we define fair in percentage taken? How do we define fair? Let’s take a look at the 2011 tax code. I see a progressive tax rate beginning at 10% rising to 35% based on income levels. First question that needs to be asked…is that even fair? Is this free from favor and imbalance? Why is it “fair” to have a higher tax rate than anyone else? It seems to me that fairness needs to be measured from favor and imbalance.
I hear much about the Bush tax cuts. So, consider this, from the US Department of Treasury. “Under the U.S. income tax system, most of the taxes collected are supposed to be paid by the people who make the most money. Thanks to President Bush’s tax cuts, that is exactly the way the system works, says the U.S. Treasury Department.” What? How can that be? The Liberal Left says it isn’t happening this way but their beloved government says otherwise.
US Treasury Department further advises, “the top 5 percent of taxpayers paid more than one-half (53.8 percent) of all individual income taxes, but reported roughly one-third (30.6 percent) of income.” This is fairness? How is it so? What happened to equal?
The US Treasury Dept. goes on to say, “The top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 33.7 percent of all individual income taxes. This group of taxpayers has paid more than 30 percent of individual income taxes since 1995. Moreover, since 1990 this group’s tax share has grown faster than their income share. Taxpayers who rank in the top 50 percent of taxpayers by income pay virtually all individual income taxes. In all years since 1990, taxpayers in this group have paid over 94 percent of all individual income taxes. Since 2000, 2001, and 2002, this group paid over 96 percent of the total.” Where is the fairness in this? What happened to equality? Where are the rest of the tax payers?
The US Treasury Dept. continues, “Treasury Department analysts credit President Bush’s tax cuts with shifting a larger share of the individual income taxes paid to higher income taxpayers. In 2005, says the Treasury, when most of the tax cut provisions are fully in effect (e.g., lower tax rates, the $1,000 child credit, marriage penalty relief), the projected tax share for lower-income taxpayers will fall, while the tax share for higher-income taxpayers will rise. The share of taxes paid by the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers will fall from 4.1 percent to 3.6 percent. The share of taxes paid by the top 1 percent of taxpayers will rise from 32.3 percent to 33.7 percent. The average tax rate for the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers falls by 27 percent as compared to a 13 percent decline for taxpayers in the top 1 percent.”
I have a question. Why doesn’t EVERYBODY share equal? After all, we all have the same government services available to us……or do we? ( Yet, another discussion ). Just because someone makes more, why is it they should shoulder more? I disagree with this BUT…..ok. Let us now go to the flat tax. No one YET has given me a reason why a flat tax would not be fair? It would sure simplify the tax code (probably put accountants and tax lawyers out of business). But simple math can answer this.
For ease of application, let us set the income tax code to a flat 10% of ordinary income.
Hmmmm…..Joe Tent Peg makes $25,000 per year, he pays $2,500 to the Uncle Sammy Boy. Colonel Piston Engine makes $250,000 per year, Uncle Sammie taps him for $25,000. Jimmy Jet Bomber does even better and makes a whopping $500,000 per year and pays his duty of $50,000 in taxes. Where is the fairness in taking 35% simply because Jimmy Jet Bomber is more fortunate? It is ridiculous.
Please save me the diatribe of impact on those earning less. That is coffee house bullshit. With a flat rate, when income goes up…taxes go up. When income goes down, taxes go down. If I can afford to eat steak, and someone else has to settle for hamburger…..what is wrong with this? So what if Jimmy Jet drives a brand new Mercedes and Joe Tent drives a Prius.
Joe Tent needs to make more money.
But let us delve even further into the redistribution or fair share crapola. Where is the fairness in reducing or eliminating the deductions for charitable contributions for the wealthy but not eliminating them for the less wealthy? You want to eliminate deductions? GREAT !!! I am all for it……but do it across the board….for everybody. That is fairness. But before you eliminate all the deductions for charitable contributions, you better, it does not take rocket science to determine who makes the most contributions.
What about the fairness in corporate taxes? Want to tax corporate income. Tax it. EQUAL. Do not want to allow deductions. Cool….NO ONE gets them. There are no special cases. This is fairness. Remember your little buddy Immelt? The man that you appointed as jobs czar? You know the one. The two faced lying son of a b**** that sent 40,000 jobs to China while trying to make a jobs plan here. Yes, him.
Why is it that there seems to be no consternation about GE’s sheltering of 3.4 BILLION dollars in off shore accounts? And why is it that he, Immelt, has invested 4 billion in China and then tears into American mom and pops and small corps for not doing more? FairShare? Better yet, where is the outrage, Mr. Fairness? Why have you sent federal agents into Gibson Guitar over some stupid imported wood, when your own administration has just given China our most secret avionics technology as a deal to let GE put their avionics division over there avoiding taxes and employment here in the US?
Before you start yelling fair share, maybe you need to look under your own bed, Mr. POTUS. You have more dust bunnies under there than Jimmy Carter has lies and that is saying a lot.
What is wrong with my definition of fairness? Free from FAVOR and imbalance.