What’s fair?

So now it’s all about tax rates. Romney pays “only” 15% and that’s not fair because he’s wealthy. How does one determine fair? What is the objective yardstick?

After deductions, our effective Federal income tax rate last year was about the same, so a statutory tax rate is like the sticker price on a car: No one pays it. Not if they’re smart, they won’t.

I like to come back to this simple question in these discussions: What is your agenda? Is it to provide for your social programs OR is it to soak the wealthy. If it’s the latter, then good luck to you. If it’s the former, then listen to this:

In 2010, the total REPORTED personal income in the U.S. was $12.5 trillion (Census). Federal budget: $3 trillion. This means that you could impose a straight 25% income tax on everyone and balance the budget. Everyone gets what they want. In reality, the rate could be much lower, because if you simplify income reporting, a lot more income would be reported, and there are lots of other sources of income for the government. Then, if you eliminated a lot of crap from the budget, you could drive it down even more. I’d be willing to bet (and it would be a real bet) that you could impose a flat tax for everyone making more than $35,000 of 17% and you’d get your schools, hawks would get their guns, I would get my passenger rail network.

Now, if you think then that it’s “unfair” that Warren Buffett only pays 17% of his income despite the fact that everyone’s getting what they want, then you should go look into the mirror and take a good long look at the face of tyranny.