Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Who Exactly Are the “Better Off Among Us” Not Paying Their Fair Share of the Taxes?

The Progressive mantra as articulated by our President is: all we need do to sustain all the Federal give-away programs is to ask the best off among us to pay "a little more." According to the non-partisan Tax Payers Union, the top 1% already pay ~40% of the Federal Income Taxes and the Top 5% pay ~60% while over half the population pay NONE at all, so who exactly isn’t paying their “fair-share?”

When you have more people “in the wagon” than “pulling the wagon,” the incentive is to stop pulling and get in to allow the other dwindling minority to carry an even bigger load of dead weight. Is this what our Progressive President is advocating?

Some argue that those that don’t pay Income Taxes do pay other taxes, e.g. gas tax and payroll tax. That’s true but those are specific taxes for specific services; gas taxes fund roads, and payroll taxes fund Social Security and Medicare. Here low income contributors actually receive a disproportionally larger benefit than their contributions cover. Those that don’t pay income tax contribute nothing to the common functions of Government for which they also derive great benefit. These include National Defense, law enforcement and criminal justice, environmental protection, and hundreds of other common services. Those who don’t contribute but derive great benefits from these common services enjoy an equal vote about how they are delivered yet have no incentive to constrain costs or encourage efficiency. At a time of unsustainable deficits and debt does anyone really expect the people “in the wagon” to be in a position to weigh the benefits of “give-away programs” against their costs?

I believe the bottom line to this is we cannot go on forever borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend before the rest of the World that is “helping to pull our wagon” quits helping to pull or at least want a lot more money to help us. The inevitable result is the “wagon stops” and everyone, riders and pullers, are in trouble. This is a catastrophe that doesn’t have to happen if we get our house in order now but it will call for shared sacrifice. All Americans need to have some “skin in the game.” We should let all the Bush era tax cuts expire in 2013 (except for the inheritance tax which makes it impossible to continue to operate a small business S-Corporation or a family farm when an owner dies) and find a way to include that half paying nothing so they have a stake in the County’s future and an incentive to constrain costs. Americans have always been great at pulling together in emergencies so let’s lay out the facts and involve everyone in the “shared sacrifice.”