What does fair share mean?
The latest catch phrase that is getting misused and abused is “fair share.” Your friendly thesaurus lists the first definition of “fair” as: impartial and unprejudiced. Then it lists 47 synonyms, including aboveboard, equal, equitable, honest, impartial and unbiased.
If a citizen is gullible and listens to the reports of their local news sources from the president and leaders in Congress, then they are probably convinced that “fair share” only pertains to Americans who have a considerable degree of wealth. Somehow, the responsibility of an equitable portion of our federal tax burden does not apply to folks in the lower tax brackets. That doesn’t seem fair!
I am convinced that no citizen wants to pay taxes. I have a very liberal friend with a home-based business. He has told me that he feels that he should probably pay more in taxes. However, he takes every possible deduction his business and life-style will allow and he pays almost nothing to our federal coffers. Don’t misunderstand, I don’t begrudge him his deductions. He is doing nothing illegal, but he thinks that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet et. al. don’t pay enough in taxes. That doesn’t seem fair!
Dr. Walter E. Williams, in an article dated Aug. 29, 2012; “The Rich Don’t Pay Enough?” shows that:
“According to IRS 2007 data, the richest 1 percent of Americans earned 22 percent of national personal income but paid 40 percent of all personal income taxes.”
In addition, he asks this poignant question:
“What standard of fairness dictates that the top 10 percent of income earners pay 71 percent of the federal income tax burden while 47 percent of Americans pay absolutely nothing?”
Almost universally, Americans believe that politicians are crooks or thieves. So, I find it a great irony that we gave them, with the adoption of the 16th Amendment, the authority to tax our income. It is just delicious that we voluntarily give this group of people, that 61 percent of Americans believe is doing a poor job*, a recurring pot of money and expect them to spend it wisely.
What would actually be fairer is for every American to pay the same, either the same percentage or the same dollar amount. My personal favorite is for every American to pay the same dollar amount and spend the rest of their income as they see fit.
If every American paid something, human nature would suggest that more citizens would scrutinize those rascally politicians and the decisions they make concerning our money.
Fairness has nothing to do with the reason the president and the Democrat party wants the wealthy to pay more in taxes. Simply, there are fewer votes among the wealthy than among the non-wealthy. When your primary job is to get reelected it is natural to pander to the larger bloc of voters.
I am concerned that more citizens are expecting more from the federal government, but expecting a shrinking group to pay for it. That is not only unfair, it is unrealistic.
*Rasmussen Reports, 13 Nov., 2012.
Gene Brown is a former Marine, a retired air traffic controller and a proud representative of the many Americans who profess Conservative political views. He is a Quemado resident and has been writing Gene’s Nickle since January 2009.