President Barack Obama is right. It is time for “fairness.” It is time to ask some Americans to do more, contribute more, sacrifice more.
But like most things Obama does, he has singled out the wrong group. The rich and business owners already pay far too much in taxes. They already sacrifice too much. They already share their wealth too much. The top 1 percent of income earners (almost all of whom are small business owners) already pay 40 percent of the personal income taxes in America, more than the bottom 95 percent combined.
The top 20 percent of income earners pay almost 100 percent of the income taxes in this country. That means 80 percent of the population pays almost no income taxes (a full 50 percent pay ZERO income tax).
Obama said, “Warren Buffett’s secretary shouldn’t pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett.” The problem with that statement is that it’s a lie. Let’s get the facts straight.
The typical household with over $1 million in income will pay an average of 29.1 percent in taxes this year. The typical household making between $50K and $75K will pay 15 percent in taxes. Lower income households (below $50K) will pay an average of 12.5 percent in federal taxes (virtually 100 percent in the form of Social Security taxes).
In dollar terms that means the typical millionaire will pay $290,000 in taxes and the typical $50,000 middle-class family will pay $7,500. But, most importantly, almost all that $7,500 is Social Security taxes they will get back after age 65.
Why doesn’t Obama quote the actual numbers and ask Americans if this sounds fair? One American pays $290,000 in taxes. The other pays $7,500. Obama calls this “unfair.” Well as you can see, he’s right. It’s definitely unfair — it's unfair to the 20 percent of the citizens who pay virtually 100 percent of the cost of the governmental benefits, which are enjoyed for free by the other 80 percent of the population.
Obama purposely leaves out the fact that the rich and business owners earned their money, many by risking their life savings to start a business. In almost every case, they’ve worked hours that would kill a normal human being.
These small business owners whose risk and sacrifice create the 9-to-5 jobs for their employees also pay half the payroll taxes, and health insurance and workers comp for their employees. They also pay virtually 100 percent of the taxes in this country to support over 21 million government employees, one-fifth of whom make over $100,000 a year for a 9-to-5 job.
If Obama were honest, he would say, “From now on, everyone who risks their life savings, and gives up the security of a five-day week, 9-to-5 job, early retirement, and guaranteed pension, to start a business must be punished and have their earnings confiscated and redistributed to my voters."
How would Americans feel about that statement? Sadly, many of the 50 percent who don’t pay taxes and have their hands out, agree. Also remember that famous quote from an Obama supporter, “I just want some of that Obama money.”
It isn’t just small business owners being discriminated against. Most doctors, lawyers, accountants, and other highly paid professionals also sacrificed, many investing countless dollars and hours in their education.
After their years of sacrifice and investment, what right does Obama and his liberal/progressive/socialist cabal have to demonize them for paying only 29 percent in taxes so he can buy even more votes from the 50 percent of entitlement takers/non-taxpayers who never sacrificed or invested?
Why won’t Obama have an open and honest discussion with America about this? The answer is that the progressive left (i.e. socialists) hate facts. The facts above tell the true story. The rich are already paying more than their fair share, sacrificing more, risking more, working longer hours, and shouldering almost 100 percent of America’s tax burden.
Now is not the time to target, demonize, and punish them, it’s time to reward them. It’s time to stop class warfare and tell the truth.
The cold hard truth is that the rest of America: the poor, the lower middle class, the unions, and the government employees have to pull more of the load. The reality is that Obama’s voters get a free ride as a bribe to vote, support, and contribute to Obama.
Yes, we need more “fairness.” The problem is that Obama voters, those doing the most protesting and complaining, are the ones who need a refresher course in the definition of “fair.” They want something for nothing. It’s not just that they ‘want’ it, they ‘expect and demand’ it.
It’s no surprise when pollsters ask Obama’s voters if others should pay higher taxes, they emphatically scream “YES!” Why not? It costs them nothing, and they get 100 percent of the benefits.
So, Obama is right. Let’s make the tax system fairer. Let’s ask Obama's voters to sacrifice, contribute, and bear at least a little more of the load.
One last thought. If Warren Buffett and his jet-set billionaire crowd don’t like the 15 percent capital gains rate, instead of lying about the facts and hurting the small business owners who create almost all the jobs, they can simply reclassify all their capital gains as regular income and pay the full 35 percent tax rate.
And, if they still think that’s too low, the super-rich liberals of the world can voluntarily pay 100 percent of their income as a gift to the poor. No one is stopping them. Let’s see them put their money where their mouth is.
Unfortunately that's not Buffett's agenda. His agenda is keeping taxes on the rest of us so high, we can never compete with him. He's already got his $45 billion.
Wayne Allyn Root is a former Libertarian vice presidential nominee. He now serves as chairman of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee. He is the best-selling author of "The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold & Tax Cuts." His web site: www.ROOTforAmerica.com.
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