Over the last month, there has been a tax debate created largely by Mitt Romney paying 13.9 percent on his 2010 income. Katie Baird and many Democrats criticized Romney for paying such a low rate.
In 2004, presidential candidate John Kerry paid 13.1 percent on this 2003 income. Did the Democrats complain then? How about Katie Baird?
Our progressive tax system has not changed since 2004. Higher income earners pay at a higher tax rate than lower income earners. In fact, a new study by the Heritage Foundation found the lower 49.5 percent of taxpayers pay no income tax. Yes, they do pay payroll taxes, but so does everybody.
Furthermore, this notion that wages and capital gains should be treated the same for tax purposes is preposterous. You don’t just take a risk with investments. You take a huge risk.
Human capital? Employment is over 90%. Is there a 90 percent success rate with stocks?
So what’s the beef? Fairness. All of a sudden our tax system is unfair. We hear, “Is this fair?” over and over. Is this an argument based on the facts or is it just political expediency? I would suggest it is the latter.
A recent cartoon of President Obama giving a political speech says it all: “I won’t allow the half of Americans who pay no taxes to bear the burden of the other half who aren’t paying their fair share.”