I just saw a debate on CNN between Justin Ruben (not Justin Bieber, like my brother thought) and Anderson Cooper. Ruben insisted that Republicans were making “a war on women” with the election, and were pitting women against students to attack both. Republican attempts to cut down deficit spending made up the heart of Ruben’s argument. But when Anderson asked him how he planned to pay for the programs we can’t afford, he whined that we should “make the rich pay their fair share” so everyone else could continue to ride the gravy train.
Their “fair share?” If Democrats want to make this an election about fairness, they are certain to lose!
What am I talking about? First of all, look at these numbers:
- The top 1% of income earners pay 22.7% of income taxes
- The top 10% of income earners pay 50% of income taxes
- The top 20% of income earners pay 65.3% of income taxes
- The top 40%of income earners pay 84.3% of income taxes
(h/t to our source here)
The top 40% of income earners pay 84.3% of income taxes? The top 1% pay nearly a fourth? That’s not fair enough for you? Perhaps, on the issue of fairness, we should look at what the lower-income groups make:
- The bottom 20% of income earners pay 1.1% of income taxes.
- The bottom 40% of income earners pay 6.1% of income taxes.
Anyone have a calculator? The bottom 40% pay about 6% of income taxes. The top 40% pay about 84%. Through some elementary school-level arithmetic, we find that the top 40% pay 14 times as much in taxes as those in the bottom 40%. But yet many liberals (including President Obama) have said that the rich aren’t paying their “fair share.”
What seems fair to you then, Mr. President? Should the top earners pay 15, 20, 50 times as much? 100? 1,000?
Wait! I can hear it now… “You know, that’s just a slippery slope. Logical fallacy. Just because taxes seem unfair now doesn’t mean they’ll get more unfair in the future.”
Oh, really? Let me remind you of something. Income taxation began in 1913. In that year, the top marginal income tax rate (the highest rate you could pay) was 7%. Just seven years later, it stood at 73% – an increase of a factor of 10! Yet if I had made my case in 1913, I would have gotten the same “slippery slope” retort!
Today, things are a little better, since the top rate is only 500% of the 1913 level. But apparently that’s still not high enough. We now need to tax the rich more so we can spend more – the liberal philosophy, in a nutshell. As Oscar Wilde so eloquently put it, “the bureaucracy must expand to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.” Your President believes the rich should pay for that expansion. Republicans, on the other hand think the government should shrink, and the savings should be passed on to you.
But Geez-O-Pete! From 7 to 73% in seven years? The top 1% pay 25% of all taxes? The top 40% pay 84% of the total? The lower 50% pay nearly nothing?
Looks like the last thing Democrats can afford is an election based on fairness.