Thursday, January 26, 2012
"Fair Share," and "Class Warfare": Please, make it stop!
First off, let's tackle why it's stupid to say that rich people need to pay their "fair share." The so called "1 percent," foots about 30% of the tax burden. That's a pretty good chunk for a small group of people. So yes, in terms of proportionality, rich people are paying their fair share. Now, some people might think that 30% is not enough, but that's an entirely different argument. If we strictly look at proportion, they pay more than their fair share.
Now, for those of you who claim that they already pay their fair share, and that taxing them further will stifle growth, I think you're fairly off base with that assertion, too. Why are rich people rich, and why do they continue to be rich? Because they're smart with their money, and they've invested in the American economy over the years. A perpetually slow economy means that they stand to be not so rich in the future.
So I think we can all agree that investment is the key. We want them to put their money into the economy so it can turn some sort of growth that benefits everyone. Knowing that helping the economy helps them, why do you think that they would suddenly invest less and stifle growth just because 5% more of their income goes to taxes?
Look at Warren Buffet, for example. He's insanely rich and writes $49,000 checks to the treasury on a whim. Do you honestly think that a savvy businessman like him is really going to say "holy shit, I pay 5% more of my income to taxes! I have to seriously tighten my belt, or my entire lifestyle is going to crumble around me!"? Do you honestly think that 5% is going to be more than a minor annoyance to someone as rich as him?
Logically, no. But I get the sense that a lot of rich assholes have convinced a lot of people that that's how they think. The mega-wealthy likely don't give two shits about losing 5% more of their income. They will still invest, probably even invest the same amount that they were investing before. I mean, how much of their income goes to investments anyway? I think it'd be interesting to see.
And they might actually invest less just so that they can get what they want. Investing less because they pay more taxes has more with them being greedy assholes than it does with wanting to take less risk. Don't believe me? Well then you've got a *lot* more faith in human nature than I do.
So here's an idea: lets stop using bullshit catch phrases like "fair share," and "class warfare." The real issue is that middle class Americans pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes, and they're the people who need that money the most. What's that? Do I hear the whispers of "flat tax," on the wind?
If I'm required to pay 25% of my annual income to taxes, then some guy who makes millions more than me should be required to pay the same proportion. It's only fair, isn't it? Sure, he needs to invest his money, but I need to eat and raise two children. So as your logic goes, because I don't have enough money to invest, I should get to keep less for myself? Doesn't that seem just a little bit on the stupid side?
Anyway, we all know that the 1% can very, very easily continue to invest at their current rate even if they cough up 5% more of their income to taxes. Stop kidding yourselves on that one. Now, how that money is spent is a completely different story . . .