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What is someone’s ‘fair share’ of anything?

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Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

No one likes to be accused or blamed for doing something that he or she didn’t do. Yet, the rhetoric that has been the battle cry of liberals for decades involves the “rich” not paying their “fair share” of taxes, despite factual information to the contrary. According to the tax policy center in 2019 the top 1% paid 29.4% of all federal income taxes and the bottom 20% paid 3.2%, when factoring in the payment of federal taxes on capital income the top 1% paid an effective marginal tax rate of 39.9%, the middle earners pay 30% and the lowers earners pay 14.9%.  However, this isn’t the message shouted from rooftops by Democratic Party members, including President Biden. This inconvenient truth perpetuates myths that fuels class warfare in America and ignores anything closely related to the true facts about who pays their “fair share.”

It is ironic that many of those who scream the loudest that the rich aren’t paying their fair share of taxes either owe taxes themselves or are affiliated with tax cheats. Recently a nonpartisan report came out that indicated that Joe Biden may owe as much as $500,000 to the IRS because he improperly avoided paying Medicare taxes.  This, from a man, making speeches about forcing the rich to “pay their fair share.”

In a Met Gala event, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore a dress with the words, “Tax the Rich,” at a function that cost over $30,000 per plate. She attended this gala with the woman, Aurora James, whose company designed AOC’s dress. James, has 3 open tax warrants against her company as well as 6 federal tax liens for failing to pay taxes. To make matters worse, James received $41,665 in pandemic relief from the federal government, and in September of 2020 she also purchased a house in Hollywood Hills that cost 1.6 million dollars and is delinquent in property taxes on that house.  

There are numerous other instances of politicians not paying their taxes as well. The IRS filed a tax lien against Rep. T.J. Cox (D) California for not paying federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.  For years Al Sharpton didn’t pay his “fair share” of taxes and the list goes on and on regarding those who scream that the “rich should pay their fair share,” but they conveniently pay what they owe.

Democrats are quick to cite Jeff Bezos in their rants about problems with the tax code, and I would agree with them about mega rich people paying very little in taxes, but the question about loophole is simple. Who sets up these codes, which allows mega rich people to take advantage of legal exemptions that are unavailable to the average person who lacks the resources of hiring high priced accountants to find these hidden tax code gems?

Recently, I’ve watched videos of people (including those in AOC’s district) who have bought into what they have been told and parroted back the phrase, “The rich shouldn’t pay less than I do in taxes.” Then, after they were allowed to give their impressions about what they had been told, they were shocked when the true facts of how much the rich do pay were revealed to them.

Creating division among people is an effective tool for leftist politicians. If they keep people divided and angry at one another, no one will question what they do, and they can become rich in a very quiet way at the expense of the average person. Very wealthy politicians seem to vilify those who have even more than they do and attempt to use this as a socialistic lightning rod to have people target the “filthy rich” instead of those who became rich through filthy measures.

I have asked numerous people on the left why the rich should pay more just because they have more, and this question was greeted with silence. Once I did have one person tell me that if people have more than they should pay more, even though this person couldn’t explain why. Okay let’s follow this socialist “logic” and apply it to more than just income, let’s apply it to other aspects of life:

  1. I started losing my hair around 20 years ago, and today I’m bald.  There are people who have a surplus of hair, shouldn’t these people be forced to compensate me for my hair loss?
  2. I’m a teacher, and there are some very gifted students that I teach as well as others who can’t pass classes no matter how hard they try or because they are simply lazy.  Why not have the A students give up some of their grades, and accept B’s, while giving their grade to the F students, so they can attain D’s?
  3. In sports some teams are perennial winners, while other franchises rarely go to the playoffs or have winning records.  Should teams that win a lot of games be forced to give up some of their wins to the underachieving teams to make competition more equitable?
  4. Should healthy people be forced to pay more for the health care of those who are not healthy?  It stands to socialist reason that if you have better (more) health than others, you shouldn’t have an issue helping others to be healthier.
  5. If you are young, should you pay more for the care of older people because you have MORE years to live than people who are older?
  6. Should people with 20/20 vision pay for the contact lenses, Lasix and eye glasses for people who need help to see better?

The list of people with more, assisting those with less, could go on endlessly, however, the point is that the combination of hypocrisy, intentional misinformation and inability to justify why having more necessitates paying more is a tool of those who use these things to distract the average voter from the real problems.  

As our national debt approaches 30 trillion dollars, politicians want the average person to get angry at rich people for being rich and they want to use this anger to increase taxes. Politician logic (and more than 50% of people in Congress have a net worth of over 1 million dollars) is for the average person to be angry at the billionaires, and ignore the wealth of the millionaires (especially those who became millionaires while serving in public office).  If people want to get angry, they should get angry at politicians whose reckless spending sprees have created this insurmountable debt, which weakens the purchasing power of every American and will pass on this horrendous debt for future generations.

Michael Matteo
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