February 8, 2012
I Will Pay My "Fair Share" of Taxes When...
By Robert J. Mack
Our president throws out the phrase "fair share" pretty often -- on his campaign stops throughout the country, in his State of the Union campaign speech, you name it. But the president needs to understand that fairness is a subjective thing. One man or woman's legitimate, evenhanded, free-from-bias, conforming-to-rules tax proposal just might be considered unfair by the people being taxed.
President Obama is being totally unfair to the people he wants to tax in order to pay for his dream of an evenhanded America. The facts support this -- nothing subjective about it. So I will pay my "fair share" of taxes when:
- Obama and the Democrats stop spending more money than they bring in. People looking over their budgets at home know the consequences of spending more than they make. It's called "going bust." Default and bankruptcy won't be too far behind if that condition continues.
Moody's is watching America's debt. And as of fiscal year 2010, our debt, according to the usgovernmentdebt.us website, was at 13.5 trillion dollars and 92.97% of GDP. It's estimated at 16.6 trillion dollars and 105.32% of GDP for fiscal year 2012.
Look at the Greek economic malaise to witness an example of the overindulgence we are also experiencing. According to the Troika Report (International Monetary Fund, European Commission, and European Central Bank) as reported in the October 21, 2011 edition of The Telegraph, Greece's debt will peak at 186% of GDP in 2013 and go down only to 152% by the end of 2020, requiring "further debt relief to ensure sustainability." At the end of January, as reported on Reuters, a deal for a 130-billion-euro bailout by insurers and the European Central Bank is imminent as long as Greece accepts new reforms and "more austerity." Do we want to be Greece, with austerity bailout deals and the threat of default?
- The president and his administration stop squandering the government's income on failed enterprises like Solyndra. Over 500 million dollars of our money was spent on a loan to a company that never had a chance, according to an ABC News report that said: "[T]here had been deep misgivings inside the Obama administration about approving the loan to Solyndra -- a company struggling to make a profit on solar panel sales at a time when aggressive Chinese competitors were driving down prices."
- Obama and the Congress reform the tax code (which is indecipherable at best) and enact a flat tax that affects everyone in the country and eliminates inequities. According to the Tax Policy Center, 20% of U.S. households that earned 53% of the income in 2009 paid 67% of the taxes. Talk about unfair.
- The president stops pandering to the left by rejecting fossil-fuel energy projects like the Keystone XL pipeline, ceases using moratoriums and permit-slowdowns to prevent deep-water drilling, and halts employing the EPA to investigate the fracking industry. Those actions are unfair to the many thousands who would be employed without them and robs the country of tax revenues. The Keystone XL pipeline alone would create thousands of jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
Speaking to the Washington Post, James T. Callahan, president of the International Union of Operating Engineers, called Obama's decision "a blow to America's construction workers" in "the sector hardest hit by the recession." Deep-water drilling in the outer continental shelf is virtually nonexistent. "More than 97 percent of these resource rich areas [are] devoid of any [drilling] permits" due to the draconian rules of the Department of the Interior, according to Randall Luthi, president of the National Ocean Industry Association, in The Washington Times. And, from a January 31 op-ed in the same paper, "Mr. Obama's call for [fracking] drillers to disclose the chemicals they employ is largely superfluous because most companies already do so voluntarily."
- The president doesn't use the tax code to penalize those who make over 250,000 dollars a year, many of whom are small business owners who are not hiring because of just such a potential tax. In his State of the Union address, Obama said that "we need to change our tax code so that people like me, and an awful lot of Members of Congress, pay our fair share of taxes. Tax reform should follow the Buffett rule: If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes."
- Richard Rahn, senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth, exposed that piece of "fair share" rhetoric by the president in an article called "Obama's odd sense of fairness" in The Washington Times:
In fact, the very rich pay far more in taxes than the relatively low nominal numbers they report on their tax returns. Many very wealthy people obtain most of their income from dividends, capital gains and interest on tax-free state and municipal bonds. The actual tax rate Mitt Romney, Warren Buffet and most other wealthy people pay on dividends, when correctly calculated, is about 52 percent, as reported by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which includes the federal and state corporate-level-profits tax burden, plus federal and state taxes on dividends. ... Just about every industrial country provides relief for the double taxation of corporate equity, either by having a lower personal rate on dividends, a personal tax credit for dividends or a lower corporate-level tax. Despite the 2003 dividend tax cut, the overall U.S. rate of dividends ... is still the fourth-highest among the 34 high-income nations of the OECD. Mr. Obama seems to think it is "fair" to tax the same income multiple times, at a total effective rate of more than 50 percent.
- Obama doesn't demonize and tax those who invest their monies in America's economy. Raising the capital gains tax significantly from its current 15% rate to 20% effective next year is going to make it less profitable to invest in American enterprises. That is a dangerously ridiculous idea for capital investment. We are a capitalistic system, after all. The capital gains tax should be eliminated, not raised, to spur more people to risk their money on American companies that will grow the economy.
Of course, this is a never-to-be-realized wish list for President Obama and his Democrat cronies in Congress. And, of course, I'll pay whatever taxes I legally have to. But when Barack Obama wants me to pay more than what I already give to the government...well, then I must entice everyone to vote for someone else for president come November.