One of the major flaws of the Constitution is that it allows our bottom feeding legislators to dictate what handing over a fair share of our income means. They also get to decide how our money is spent. This means that elected officials who cry the loudest over individuals and companies not paying their fair share are the ones who spend more of our money. When they choose what to spend on, they tend to choose badly. Is that fair?
There is no such thing as paying your fair share
The meaning of fair share and more proof that you will never pay enough taxes was hammered home this weekend by Barack Obama, who delivered a weekly address about rewarding someone for holding a job. This horse has been dead for a long time but the beatings keep on going. Is it possible that America’s taxpayers and businesses are so selfish that we not only don’t pay enough taxes, we also need to pay a minimum wage surcharge for goods and services to atone for low wage jobs that, inexplicably, pay low wages?
Politicians know that our memories are short. In case anyone forgot, the Labor Department announced that Obama’s “We Can’t Wait” minimum wage increase for federal contract labor has been delayed for six months. No matter. Credit was already taken and we still won’t be paying our fair share. Even if we wanted to, how would we know what a fair share is when the target keeps moving as spending priorities change?
Legislators create a fair share deficit
Your fair share isn’t a magic number. It isn’t any number. There is no such thing in the tax code and it isn’t the real problem, anyway. The problem is the fair share deficit: the difference between what government wants to spend and what it takes in. If legislators come up short, taxpayers aren’t being fair. Unfortunately for us, that spending has a lot more to do with furthering political careers than economic sanity.
If there really was such a thing as a fair share for every American and every business, we wouldn’t need vitriol from the tax and spend set to try to coerce more money. That’s why people move out of states that don’t deserve their taxpayers (see: Say No to Illinois Debt and Politics: Leave While You Can.). Constant demands based on what Congress spends is also one of the reasons businesses leave. They get better treatment in other countries.
Where do inversions come from? Democrats.
Inversions are an inflammatory issue for members of Congress panting at the heels of anything that generates an income. They blame U.S. companies instead of themselves for what they see as a trend towards corporate tax evasion:
Corporate inversions are costing the U.S. tax base billions of dollars in lost revenue, leaving ordinary Americans to foot the bill.¹
We wouldn’t have to foot the bill if Congress didn’t overspend, but this is about political careers, not budgets or solvency. According to Senator Dick Durbin, someone has to pay, like it or not:
I don’t care to do business with a company that doesn’t think it owes its fair share of taxes. If they don’t pay their fair share of taxes, then other good American companies and individuals will be forced to pay more.²
Wringing his hands over Burger King’s threat to move to Canada, Durbin was honest enough to let us know what the real problem is:
Public assistance for families of fast-food workers cost taxpayers nearly $7 billion per year, while your company posted $1.1 billion in revenues and $230 million in profits last year.³
Is it offensive to suggest that working in a fast food restaurant is not a path to riches? When prosperity was an individual responsibility and not something the government provided, these were jobs teenagers took to get their feet wet. Not anymore. Minimum wage jobs mean employers aren’t paying their fair share towards what politicians like Durbin deem an acceptable standard of living for positions that were never intended to support families.
The truth: success is a government responsibility paid for with your taxes
It’s easy to get caught up in nonsense about what we should be paying in taxes to make sure we aren’t cheating on our fair share. We don’t tend to hear much in the way of thanks for what we are already paying, or what we are paying for. Your fair share goes to government waste. It educates everyone, even non-citizens, and you pay whether or not you have kids. It helps pay Obamacare subsidies even when they are fraudulent (see: Electronic Records: Federal System Works for Crooks). It also goes to public assistance that makes Democrats look good and reinforces the belief that individual success is the government’s responsibility. The more we pay, the more Uncle Sam can dole out, and the more our bottom feeding legislators can tell us we are coming up short.