One of the dubious achievements Obama took credit for in his farewell speech in Chicago was the wealthy paying a fairer share of taxes. There was a joke hiding in that boast. We all know that Democrats will never stop demanding a larger fair share of higher incomes, so “fairer” means absolutely nothing. The good news is that all the accomplishments inflicted upon us can be reversed if we change the meaning of fair share.
Lasting, meaningful change has staying power. Obama’s agenda was based on the partisan equivalent of fake news. Propaganda became facts. Distortions, innuendo, misrepresentations, and disinformation were accepted as the truth.
The meaning of fair share can change so it has something to do with fairness.
It’s about time.
Fair share taught us a lesson about greed
If Republicans do their job there will soon be a completely different take on fair share. We will get a chance to revisit the concept of fairness and the basic bargain Mr. Obama thought he was talking about before it became so horribly distorted by greed.
That’s not to say that Americans are greedy. We were indoctrinated with the idea that greed resides at the top. Fair share became a slogan for opportunity denied because the lower classes were being cheated. The solution was a progressive agenda that demanded costly things like education and health care be given away for free and paid for with fair shares from the enemies of the middle class. That fair share benchmark had a name. It was called the Buffett Rule.
Anger and tears: fair share means less free stuff?
The tears we saw on the night of November 8 and the anger still reverberating through the nation have a lot to do with how the meaning of fair share will change. For eight years fair share was all about money. If you had lots of money you weren’t giving away enough. Too many Americans elected politicians who promised to take it away.
That decidedly anti-American view of how things should work almost put an Obama clone in office.
If Republicans do their job we will rewrite the meaning behind that failed fair share compact. Obama’s basic bargain can stay where it is. The concept is sound. If you work hard you should do well, but people have to work and they have to understand that everything has a cost, including lofty political ideals. Basic bargain doesn’t mean that your path to the middle class is paved with other people’s money or the profits of your employer. It means a path and that’s all.
How should our fair share change?
What will a conservative fair share agenda look like, one where everyone contributes?
Taxes should go down for everyone, including the very wealthy. If Congress can’t figure out where the money will come from it can start by not wasting what we contribute. We can patch the leaks in government coffers and bridge the tax gap. Stop improper payments. Understand what theft of public funds really means.
Social responsibility should come back. That means not rewarding people or finding excuses for the bad things they do. It means working and accepting that having few skills does not merit a larger income. It means not expecting costly things to be free just because you want them and others have money. It means not blaming society for your failings while others around you better themselves.
Fair share means not expecting health care to be free, but it also means not refusing to sell consumers health insurance and then taking all of their money and assets when they can’t pay their hospital bills. That’s a challenge for Republicans. Repeal and replace with what?
Fair share means asking the world to step up and not rely on the U.S. while condemning us for who and what we are.
Fair share means immigrants doing what those before them did. They should respect their new country enough to follow its laws instead of breaking in, taking, and demanding more.
Veterans deserve their fair share. We spent untold billions on national health care while the government turned its back on those who served. This is shameful and like most government bad behavior, it has lingered far too long.
Your race doesn’t mean you don’t have to do your fair share for society. It does not mean that you get a pass on violence or lawbreaking because you were told that life for people like you isn’t fair. Most of all, it doesn’t mean reinterpreting our society’s values to justify your behavior.
Finally, Democrats must acknowledge their own fair share. That means accepting that their party is also responsible for the things that need to be fixed. Accepting responsibility isn’t difficult. You just have to get used to it.
Any other ideas? Let me know. Leave your comments.