Skip to comments.Repelled by tax 'fairness'
Posted on 01/24/2013 2:04:50 PM PST by Graybeard58
The wealthiest Americans always have had targets on their backs, put there by politicians ginning up class envy to justify ever-more-progressive taxation and wealth distribution. But of late, "the rich" have been subjected to a relentless thrashing at the hands of leftist politicians and "journalists" for being guilty of the crime of first-degree success.
The 2012 presidential campaign was all about the Top 1 Percent "not paying their fair share," even though for 100 years they've done the heavy lifting on income taxes. Today, while nearly half of U.S. households pay no income taxes, the Top 1 Percent account for 22 percent of all income-tax receipts while taking home just 13 percent of the nation's earnings, according to the most recent Congressional Budget Office data.
When we hear liberals demagogue the wealthy, our thoughts go to economist Thomas Sowell: "Since this is an era when many people are concerned about 'fairness' and 'social justice,' what is your 'fair share' of what someone else has worked for?" With Democrats and "journalists" incessantly hammering the fair-share message home, most Americans think faceless fat cats: bankers, Wall Street professionals and insurance company executives, but not union bosses or former politicians such as Al Gore and Chris Dodd; oilmen, but not wind- and solar-energy speculators; surgeons, hospital presidents and pharmaceutical company CEOs, but not actors, singers and athletes.
Athletes such as Phil Mickelson. The winner of 40 tournaments, including the 2001 and 2002 Greater Hartford Opens, he has augmented his $67.7 million in career PGA winnings with millions from product endorsements. He ranks seventh on Forbes' list of highest paid athletes; his net worth is estimated at $180 million.
Unlike Mr. Gore, Mr. Dodd and other liberal skinflints, Mr. Mickelson spreads the wealth around on his own. For years, he and his wife, Amy, have contributed their time and money to charities and have raised millions for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, Homes for Our Troops and Birdies for the Brave. The Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation supports many youth and family initiatives.
And like most Top 1 Percenters, Mr. Mickelson became wealthy through hard work and perseverance, not the political spoils system. As a reward, he pays taxes through the nose. But for the Mickelsons, it just got worse thanks to the fiscal-cliff resolution, Obamacare and California's Proposition 30, a "temporary" 30 percent increase in income-tax rates on Golden State millionaires. "If you add up all the federal, and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate's 62, 63 percent," he said. "There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state, and it doesn't work for me right now."
By "drastic changes," he means "tax avoidance." He may play fewer tournaments, which would hurt his bottom line but also the charities the events support. But can you blame him? Governments make more from his toil and sweat than he does. Despite that, in Barack Obama's America, the Mickelsons still don't "pay their fair share."
They also may move to a state or country that doesn't treat its wealthy philanthropists as tax pinatas. We have said for years that the liberals' holy grail of "soaking the rich" is unattainable because the wealthy can avoid taxes in ways unavailable to the middle-class saps onto whom the misery of progressive taxation trickles down as lost jobs, reduced income, and higher prices for goods and services.
Phil Mickelson, a good husband, father and citizen but not your stereotypical Top 1 Percenter, is but the latest proof.
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Just a suggestion, but there ought to be ‘no representation...without taxation’. We might want to review the method that states get representatives, and start to identify states which have actual tax-payers, and reward them....subtracting those from the states with significant states with no tax-payers.
Freedom requires, I believe, a circle of privacy around each individual. Our taxation system is set up such that privacy regarding your assets and finances is actually illegal.
Or so it seems to me.
We need to come up with a system of taxation that does not require people to reveal anything personal. One way is the sales tax and variations on that theme. Another is a banking services tax that nicks a percent when money passes in or out of the bank, without regard to where the money came from or is going to.
There may be other ways that achieve the same end. Import and export duties, for example, or taxes that focus on businesses but not the private individual.
As it is, the government increasingly asserts ownership over the citizen which means at a certain point he is no longer a citizen, just a subject.
In many countries your personal safety depends on your ability to keep your finances private, and I think for slightly different reasons we are headed in the same direction.
Excellent editorial - thanks!
Excellent editorial - thanks!