In the movie Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Shia LaBeouf’s character, Jacob Moore, asks Josh Brolin’s character, Bretton James, how much money would be enough for him to end his career and settle down. His answer:
These days, the liberal establishment seems to have the same answer on taxes. While the left’s Occupy Wall Street movement has successfully highlighted the growing disparity between the haves and have-nots, liberals have astutely avoided calling a more “progressive” tax system what it really is: wealth redistribution.
Naturally, the left fails to acknowledge that this remedy has always been its answer to inequality, and one that has failed colossally and consistently throughout modern history.
Meanwhile, the debate in Congress has steadfastly avoided any discussion of a net reduction of government expenditures. Those “crazy” Republicans have only succeeded in reining in the rate of increase in government spending.
Yet, the left continues to drone on about how the wealthy are allegedly not paying their “fair share”. Again, the left has astutely avoided explicitly defining what it means by “fair share.” In fact, the top 10% of earners pay 45% of all taxes, a share larger than any other OECD country. The “dastardly” 1% pay a full 40% of income taxes. By this measure, it seems they currently pay more than their “fair share”.
But ask a liberal, any liberal, how much is enough. How much is one’s “fair share”? No liberal to whom I’ve ever spoken can answer this question. Yet it has an unambiguous answer:
Even if the President seized all the wealth of all U.S. billionaires, took 100% of the income over $250k, and all the earnings of all the Fortune 500 this year, it still wouldn’t be enough to fund the federal budget. It would simply wipe out much of the country’s capital stock (see the video below for the math, which my favorite Canadian blogger highlighted in a recent post).
But that never deters the left. Some guilt-ridden millionaires and billionaires around the country continue to bemoan how their secretaries supposedly pay more in taxes than they do. My response to all this hot-air is: put your money where your mouth is instead of throwing other hardworking Americans under the proverbial bus.
For every guilt-ridden millionaire and billionaire out there, I propose a new IRS program. Tax returns should include the option for every American to pay more than their “fair share.” They can even have the option to donate more of their dollars to specific arms of government.
The beauty of this plan is that it allows Americans to decide individually whether they are paying their “fair share” of taxes, while simultaneously exposing liberal hypocrisy.
As for solving the current unemployment problem, I have offered my own solution here, and wealth redistribution has no place in it.