Sunday, September 25, 2011

Defining a "fair share"

White House representative David Plouffe was on Fox News Sunday today and host Chris Wallace tried to pin down what level of taxation on the rich the Obama Administration would consider "fair":
I also want to get back to this issue of fair share, which you keep talking about. Put it up on the screen. According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, the 1 percent of households with the highest incomes pay 38 percent of federal income taxes. The top 10 percent pay 70 percent of federal income taxes. Meanwhile, 46 percent of households pay no federal income tax at all.
And the president thinks that the wealthy aren't paying the fair share?
Plouffe dodged the question and focused on some 22,000 millionaires who pay a lower marginal rate because (I assume) they earn income from capital gains which is taxed at a lower rate or because they earn interest income on government bonds which are not taxed at all.  Of course tax laws are structured this way to encourage investment and provide an influx of funds to state and local governments.  But the capital gains tax, in particular, offends Obama's fetish for "fairness" where he'd rather have the government lose revenue than allow the "rich" to keep their investment income.

Over at National Review, Andrew McCarthy notes that the White House won't put a number an what's a fair share because it would suggest that the awful rich have a right to any of it (h/t Cold Fury):
In this instance, they are deathly afraid of that number. The “fair share” can never be quantified - not in theory, not in practice. Conceptually, it is a non sequitur, because it gets the Left’s premise exactly backwards. To peg the rich man’s “fair share” at anything greater than zero would be to admit that the wealth is his in the first place. Having intensely focus-grouped the matter, the strategists are quite sure you’re not ready to be told that all wealth belongs to the state, and that since it is theirs, not yours, “fair share” is whatever they decide under the exigencies of the moment.
And, brother, we got over 14 trillion in exigencies at the moment.  I've noted before that if Obama could be honest about shared sacrifice, he'd make the case for raising the income rate equally - say 2% - across all income groups.  The rich would pay the lion share in total taxes and the bottom 46% would have at least some stake in funding the government.  But Obama isn't really interested in "shared sacrifice" and "fair" taxation since everybody knows that his plans are just campaign markers.

Is anybody really fooled by Obama's transparent political machinations?  Even Plouffe seemed embarrassed to parrot them.


Anonymous said...

I've noticed that is the fastest way to shut up a Statist is to ask the details.

What is Middle Class in Massachusetts? How much should they get to keep? How much is "rich" in New York?

They never answer, just talk more about CEO's and fairness in an obnoxious sing-songy voice.

Anonymous said...

Did you ever notice that Statists walk like THIS, uh duh dum duh duh duh? And they flop their arms around all like argle argle rargle fargle! They're so ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

Not sure how they walk or flop their arms, but they are, indeed, ridiculous. Have you ever noticed how they comment on the internet--often just contrarian nonsense that tries mightily to avoid the subject, or the way they feel compelled to answer any post that disagrees with their secular religion--no matter how insignificant, or how they always post links to publications and authors that no reasonable person would deem reliable? As you said--truly ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I know! The very worst part about their internet comments is the obnoxious sing-songy voice.

But the best part about holding a cartoonish image of anyone I disagree with is that they always behave like the one-dimensional idiots I know they are. So satisfying to my ego.

Guys like you and me, we got sense.

Anonymous said...

Oh, sense isn't the issue. It's a total lack of perspective, a delusional view of the veracity of their own opinions, and a faux sense of humor that fails to hide a seething anger. But, of course, you know all that.

Anonymous said...

You must have "shut up" a lot of Statists with your substantive list of synonyms for badness, and wrongness, and bad wrongness. I'd love to watch you at work sometime.

And of course, you're so dead on about liberals and their faux humor. Looking at the history of funny, the keyword has always been "conservative."

Anonymous said...

I think you are confusing "Anonymous" commenters. I'm not trying to shut up anyone--least of all liberals/progressives, or "Statists." The more voters learn what these people really believe, and the more their policies are seen in action, the more clear it becomes that their ideas are a functional disaster. The mental gymnastics required to adhere to the secular religion that is modern liberalism would awe Nadia Comaneci.

Eighth different Anonymous said...

Ah, if only there were a counterexample of philosophically conservative policy directly causing measurable damage in the real world.

And if only this actual damage was followed by conservatives reasserting the absolute correctness of that policy, and demanding that it continue.

However, there is no such example.

Anonymous said...

Ahh, more of that classic liberal humor mixed with a dose of cynicism. It smells like...victory.

another Eric Lindholm said...

Come on, Eric. The top 1% may pay 38% of all taxes, but they hold close to half of the nation's wealth. Obviously a multi-millionaire is going to pay much more in taxes, measured in raw dollars, than someone at the poverty line, no matter what system is in place.

Anonymous said...

It smells like...victory.

From where your nose is planted, we can only assume Rush Limbaugh ate some victory for lunch yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Another classic 'liberal' meme--marching orders from Rush Limbaugh. Let's see what's left--this is all because I'm a rich Christian, you're gay, and Obama is black. Throw in a little Sarah Palin and the Tea Party, and we've just about covered the bases. As I commented earlier--ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Marching orders for WHAT, you poor victimized sweetpea?

Rush Limbaugh is here not for his role as drill sergeant, but because he is regarded as one of our primary "conservative humorists." (Admittedly, it's not a competitive field.)

This line of empty, repetitive bitching you've been parceling out is straight out of Limbaugh's "comedy" playbook -- liberals have no sense of humor because they just don't, liberals are paralyzed with rage because they just are, liberalism is a "secular religion," liberals fold like a house of cards the minute they're confronted with a smidge of common sense.

But if you're not already part of the EIB circle jerk, whether literally or by disposition, this material is astonishingly lame. It's like being asked to laugh at Polish jokes not based on content, but because you believe Poles are literally the stupidest people alive, and the reason the jokes are funny is because they reveal that fundamental truth.

Then again, anyone who thinks "smells like... victory" is an underused punchline that packs a punch isn't going to be a student of actual comedy.