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Defining ‘Fair’ in Obama’s ‘Paying a Fair Share’ Rhetoric

The president's redistributionist notion of "fairness" is anything but fair.

by
Gary Wickert

Bio

September 12, 2011 - 12:00 am
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Williams is forced to personally pay the other half of Jones’ FICA bill. Williams withholds 7.65% of Jones’ paycheck and then is required to personally pay another 7.65% on behalf of Jones. And to top it off, Williams, a small businessman, is required to pay both halves of his own FICA obligation. Is that fair?

Let’s establish a sad fact which many redistributionists love to try and discredit. Nearly half of all Americans pay no federal income tax. Forty-seven percent of people either have such a low income that they are exempt from the federal income tax, or they qualify for enough tax credits that they get more back than they pay in. It’s not conservative hyperbole or Glenn Beck fear-mongering. It’s a fact. Only after that astonishing and dismal fact is digested can we have a frank and intelligent discussion about who is paying their fair share and who truly has “skin in the game.”

According to the National Taxpayers Union, the top 10% of wage-earners — families and small business owners who make over $113,799 — pay an incredibly unfair 70% of all federal income taxes. The top 50% of wage-earners pay nearly all federal income taxes. Is that fair? It seems that our president is not going to allow the half of Americans who pay no taxes to bear the burden of the other half who aren’t paying their fair share. This is why the vast majority of the half who don’t pay any taxes continue to vote for Barack Obama.

Despite the number of times Obama talks about a “balanced” approach to our national debt crisis, two words you will never hear him utter are “balanced budget.” He will talk about a balanced approach, revenue enhancement, shared sacrifice, and whatever else scrolls onto the teleprompter, but you will not hear those two simple words. After raising spending 25% during his brief but destructive tenure in the Oval Office, our president has no intention of balancing our budget. He sees no need for it. He believes it is a way of “ducking responsibilities” rather than facing problems.

The president’s proposed budget last February not only proposed an astonishing $8.7 trillion in new spending, according to the Senate Budget Committee, but was shot down in flames even by his own party, 97 to 0. From that day to this, our president has delivered a stark, divisive, populist message: It’s time for the top 50% to lighten the load on the bottom 50%. But what load?

“Throughout our history, the United States has grown and prospered when all Americans have shared in the opportunities created by our economy,” President Obama slowly reads during one of his 1000+ forensic exercises. Pitting those who contribute to society against those who do not, our president has begun to sound a lot like the father of modern socialism himself. It was Karl Marx who in 1847 said:

A house may be large or small; as long as the neighboring houses are likewise small, it satisfies all social requirements for a residence. But let there arise next to the little house a palace, and the little house shrinks to a hut. The little house now makes it clear that its inmate has no social position at all to maintain, or but a very insignificant one; and however high it may shoot up in the course of civilization, if the neighboring palace rises in equal or even in greater measure, the occupant of the relatively little house will always find himself more uncomfortable, more dissatisfied, more cramped within his four walls.

This sounds a lot like our own president when he told Joe the Plumber that we need to spread the wealth around a little bit. He continues to criticize “millionaires and billionaires” and the “wealthy,” which he mysteriously describes as “those making more than $250,000 per year.” Even if our president confiscated all of the wealth of the Forbes 400, it wouldn’t even eliminate the deficit this year alone — yet alone make a dent in the national debt.

Precisely what our president means by “fair” remains unclear — clouded in social envy, class warfare, and populist rhetoric. But one thing is certain. The so-called wealthy are paying a disproportionately higher amount of taxes even when compared to their share of the income — far more than their “fair share.”

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Gary Wickert is a board-certified trial lawyer, living in Cedarburg, Wisconsin with his wife and two sons. He has a political column in Reality News and has been an op-ed contributor for Ozaukee County's News Graphic as well as a feature writer for several Wisconsin magazines. He is also the author of several legal treatises on a variety of subjects and currently serves as supervisor in the town of Cedarburg. In 2011, Gary lost a bid for the Wisconsin Assembly in the Republican Primary by 72 votes.
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