Taxes and Fairness in the same sentence... that is an amazing statement, without the political drama that swirls around it. BUT- we live in an election year where everything takes on a new element. So let's talk about taxes and fairness.
For starters- let's use the Presidential candidates as examples of what is "fair". President Obama paid $162K in taxes which is roughly 20% of his income. Mitt Romney paid several million dollars (about 3 million if I remember right) and about 14% of his income. THOSE are the facts- period. Everything else is a spin on it to make it sound better or worse- remember that like it was your own money- it gets important later.
President Obama use words like "fairness" when talking about the Buffett Rule, the tax code, the deficit, and "doing what is right" for the American people. Those words sound great, but are really hollow if you peal the onion even a little bit.
Fairness is truly in the eye of the beholder- who is to say which is more fair a higher percent OR a higher dollar amount? Who is to say what should be done- lower the overall rate on the rich to create jobs or raise the rate on the rich to be more fair? Who is to say that lowering rates will create jobs? Who says that raising the rates on the wealthy will be more fair?
IF you look at one end of the spectrum- then shouldn't you look at the other as well? The lower end of the wage earners pay "little to none" federal taxes and receive most of the benefits. The top end pays in the most, and has the need for almost none (or truly don't ever need). So in the name of "fairness", our great solution is to raise the taxes on the rich to pay even more, not get any still, while we keeping paying all and more to the lower class for longer?
REALITY CHECK TIME- it won't help pay the deficit AT ALL, it won't cure the ills we face, and it is a COMPLETE waste of time when considered BY ITSELF. Any talk of "fairness" should be tossed out the window. Do you remember when you were little and your parents said "life isn't fair" in some way? IT was a way of getting you used to getting over things, to making you accustomed that life wasn't given to you- it was simply what you made it, with some real big curve balls in to keep you guessing. Fairness would mean we all pay the same in dollar amount OR the same in percent- neither is possible and neither is being talked about, so the word FAIRNESS needs to go away, unless you admit it is for political gain ONLY. The word REFORM should also go away unless tied to specific examples of WHAT someone would do to make adjustments to 76,000 pages of tax code created over decades. You can not do it in a soundbite- and I am really tired of soundbites, and tired of not hearing solutions. THAT would be refreshing.
Solutions, like we discuss here on FixTheNation.com, are what we need. What collection of ideas would you piece together to solve the tax code, the job creation riddle, and get investment capital off the sidelines and put to work in America? THAT is what I would like an answer to.
But fairness? Seriously? And another thing- give up calling it the Buffett Rule unless you want to discuss the rest of that man's recommendations (which included REAL cuts in spending). I have already called to increase the "wealthy" tax burden slightly, but put it together with solving Social Security, lowering small business tax burdens, creating jobs, and cutting spending in a real way.
The word FAIRNESS or REFORM shouldn't be used until someone steps up with a complete package of a solution, not put out as soundbites to win office- then never get it done to make our country better off. Oh yeah, sorry to bring in REALITY again- but that is what these elections are for, and why we make broad based decisions- to make the United States and the people living in it- better off, not worse.
After all, what is more fair someone who paid 20% but only $162K or the person who paid over $3 million but only 14%? BUT whichever you pick- apply it to the entire revenue spectrum- IF not, ask yourself what truly makes it "fair"?
Who will you vote for? Hopefully, you will vote for whoever you believe in, whoever you trust to make your individual life a little better, but also for the person who will try and tackle the BIG issues once and for all. Make no mistake- this election will solve or bury us financially, redirect or sustain the current social path, and address or ignore our serious problems in the next four years?
WHO do you think could build a better America? Come November- I truly hope you go VOTE and use your voice.