Is there anything in the world easier — or more cowardly — than being a politician, calling for some grand government scheme built in your own mind for political gain, and then declaring that it will be funded by demanding that the rich “finally” pay their “fair share” of taxes? If you happen to be looking for the most precise definition of the word “craven,” look no further.
As Democrats prepare to reach their grubby fingers deeper into our pockets to confiscate yet more of our hard-earned wages for their Orwellian “human infrastructure” scheme, which no one but progressives supports, they will as always limit their dissembling to those instances when their lips are moving. They carry on, beating the fair-share horse to death. Biden recently tweeted, “I’m sick and tired of the super-wealthy … not paying their fair share in taxes,” confident that the remarkably incurious corporate media won’t try to pin him down on the precise definition of the phrase. Just as they do not force Democrats to explain the impossibility of a bill costing trillions actually costing nothing. After all, these things sound so good in their current form, why spoil the game by attaching meaning to them?
The Equality Equation
But let’s go ahead and call their bluff anyway, and ask the questions head-on. What exactly constitutes that mythical fair share of the tax burden for the wealthiest Americans — 50%, 75%, 90%? Who gets to decide? Does the fairness of the share change with economic circumstances, or new presidents, or new Congresses? Is there a mathematical formula for determining fairness that Democrats have not shared with us? And oh, by the way, how is it that $3.5 trillion actually equals zero?
The answers must come not in vague political-speak about how the entire package will cost nothing, according to both Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), because it has all been “paid for” by punishing the wealthy for their success by running up their tax bill — and vilifying them in the process. No, the answers must come in hard numbers, the kind Democrats are loath to reveal.
Indeed, we have focused for months now on the historic size of the bill, initially $3.5 trillion, and the contents of it, an unprecedented array of proposed social programs from “cradle to grave.” But we have spent far less time discerning who will actually pay for this legislative behemoth, which has been reduced from its original size of some $6 trillion.
Consider what Biden is truly saying in his side-splitting assertion: Since only the filthy rich will feel the pain of higher taxes, the cost amounts to zero. History has taught us that such rank cynicism and divisiveness from career politicians who find successful people particularly easy prey universally leads to higher taxes not only for the rich but all of us.
In fact, among the left’s clever grandstanding schemes for funding its monstrosity is an increase of some $100 million in tobacco taxes, which actually hit the poorest among us. Then comes their head-spinning plan to tax capital gains — effectively taxing not income, but wealth — on the richest among us that have not yet been realized. Yes, Democrats want their cut of your profits before you even receive yours.
But the most odious of all their schemes is opening up routine bank transactions to IRS scrutiny. That is a tax, or worse a threat, that will affect every American. Beyond that, we can be all but certain that the Democrats’ projections on revenue versus expenses will fall well short of the mark, as they always do. Whose taxes will be raised then? Billionaire Elon Musk perhaps said it best: “Eventually, they run out of other people’s money and then they come for you.”
The worst part is that the left’s vilification of the wealthy is based on false information they know their supporters are likely to swallow whole. As they imply or state outright that the rich are essentially getting away with murder on taxes, actual hard data directly from the IRS paint a very different picture. You might be surprised to know that the average individual income tax rate on the top 1% of households is 25%, while it is only 7% for middle-class households and 3% for the bottom half of households. In addition, statistics from the Treasury Department reveal that the wealthiest Americans of all, the top one-tenth of 1% (0.01%), pay an average rate on all taxes of 32%, while middle-income households average out around 12%.
Do Democrats care about killing the proverbial goose that lays the golden egg? Is punishing success now de rigueur among the perpetually outraged class warriors of the left? Perhaps leftists associate a vibrant, growing economy with Trump and thus prefer the near-static state of things that brings to mind the good old days of low growth under Barack Obama.
Democrats will, most likely later this week, finally settle their infighting and determine how big a chunk of American wealth they will seize to fund their dreams of an all-powerful federal government. And what they are telling us is that, because their grand scheme will be paid for entirely through higher taxes on the people and corporations who damn well ought to be paying their “fair share,” it’s as if these trillions will never be spent. The spin, the logic, and the chutzpah are nothing short of breathtaking.
~ Read more from Tim Donner.