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.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.
And the president thinks that the wealthy aren't paying the fair share?
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.