With the budget topping the Congressional -- and indeed much of America's -- agenda, there's a lot of talk, from the Obama Administration, to Congressional Dems, to Leftist Pundits, about the need of the wealthy to "pay their fair share." Unfortunately, what none of them seem willing -- or able -- to do, is define it. What exactly is their "fair share?" What's the equation by which we determine what's "fair" when it comes to taxation?
Some on the Left seem to be arguing that, because "the rich" hold such a high portion of the nation's personal income, perhaps they should pay more than those who hold less. It is somehow unfair, they argue, that "top 1% [of earners] grabbed more than 20% [of the nation's wealth]. Well, then, let's assume they should be taxed accordingly then.
According to the IRS (via reason.org), that same top 1% of earners who "grabbed" about 20% of the all personal income are already paying 38% of the tax burden. The top 25% earned 67.4% of the total income , but paid in 86.3% of all taxes. If this is the standard, it's pretty safe to say that "the rich" are paying "their fair share" and then some.
So, we have a pretty good idea, I guess, of what the President and other Democrats aren't talking about when it comes to "their fair share."
So what is it? Well, many on the Left also like to point out that our tax dollars fund important government services. Which is valid. So perhaps one's "Fair Share" is based upon services rendered. Maybe more government spending benefits the rich disproportionally to the amount they pay in.
Do the Rich get more military protection than the poor? Conspiracy theories aside, they do not. Do they get more use of the roads, or the police, fire and other emergency services? Again, discounting conspiracy theories...
But, hey, let's not leave anyone out. Let's say, just to include the absurd, that the top 25% benefits disproportionately from infrastructure, defense, emergency services, etc. Let's say they get twice as much benefit from these things as the average non-wealthy person. Very well. In that case, one would expect that these elites would be responsible for 75% of the tax burden -- twice as much as what the rest of the citizens pay -- accordingly. But again, even in the face of this supposed inequity in service, this top 25% still pays beyond their "fair share," at 86%.
And of course, that's not even factoring in government health services and welfare, which is 36% of the current budget -- and which, while it could be argued, I suppose, that the wealthy do benefit on some level, from these line items, we can certainly agree it is the actual recipients who benefit the most.
So the "fair share" demanded by Obama and company isn't a portion of income. It isn't payment for services rendered. So what is it?
If "fair share" is the be the liberal narrative, it's high time some Republicans started demanding a definition. And I don't think most Americans will much like the answer.