Hmmm. Fair share. Can you define that? According to the Congressional Budget Office, for the latest 2007 figures, the top 10% of incomes (which began at $102,900 at that time) paid 55% of the total Federal taxes paid. I suspect that these folks also live in nice homes, so they probably pay a disproportionate share of property taxes; they buy expensive things, so a disproportionate share of sales taxes, etc. (Note I didn't say a disproportionate share of their income; I'm not insensitive to the fact that taxes weigh heavily on the poorer people in our society, and I fully agree we need to do more.)
Many of them are happy to support the services we need as a society - police, education, etc. - but perhaps their enthusiasm wanes when they see things like last week's news about the failed attempt to create a version of Sesame Street for Pakistan. Budget - $20,000,000. Luckily, after corruption siphoned off the first $10,000,000 (that's about 286 nicely used Lotuses, or 100 teachers), the project was suspended.
Maybe instead of calling the very top the 1%, we should call them the 28%, as that's the share of taxes they paid.
Actually, the most recent IRS figures, in terms of looking at where taxpayers fall, have the top 1% paying about 38% of all federal income taxes collected. The top 10% pay about 70% of all federal income taxes collected. The bottom 48% pay, on average, no federal income taxes.
The so-called 'rich' also pay far more sales, real estate, personal property, state, local, inheritance, capital gains and other taxes. Disproportionately so. They are also far more charitable in their giving. Just ask hospitals, colleges, universities, museums and even local school systems how much they rely on the generosity of those 'not paying their fair share.'
IRS figures also show that of tax returns with an income of $250,000 or more for a household, which is the threshhold the current administation wants to use to raise taxes for that fair share (contrary to the oft quoted millionaires and billionaires), 60% come from small business, where both sides agree the needed jobs are to come from.
The governor of my state, Martin O'Malley has national aspirations and has been inviting himself to all the national talking heads shows. Maryland has spent itself into a hole, but has a constitutional requirement to balance its budget. O'Malley is one of the biggest water carriers for the current administration, and he's been there all along in echoing the 'tax the millionaires' mantra. Then, just this year, he's raised income taxes on households making $150K, individuals making $100K. That means a husband and wife, each making $75K, are now part of the evil rich. He wanted to add 6% sales tax to gas, in addition
to another 15 cents a gallon tax on gas. He doubled the flush tax. Doubled the car registration fees, doubled all tunnel and bridge tolls. All regressive taxes that hit the poor and middle class the hardest. And let's not forget Maryland has gone 'all in' with gambling. It was an early adopter of lotteries, and now has approved up to 6 Casinos throughout the state. And again, this type of gambling hits middle and lower class the hardest.
Capitalism ain't pretty, there are plenty of warts. But it beats all other alternatives.
And there IS one big difference between Big Business and Big Government. Big Business must be competitive and produce things to grow. Big Government can only grow by taxing, printing money, or borrowing. It does not actually produce anything of value that brings in more than it costs. In other words, no organic growth.