No, class warfare isn’t math

It started with a guy who made billions by working the market, a guy with a political ideology that created some blindness. That blindness was to feed into the class warfare that goes back to the works of Karl Marx and a general disposition towards envy and greed. The President picked up on this in asserting a need to ‘tax the rich’ and claimed that this assertion was not class warfare, just math.

The facts are, though, that the current system is already quite progressive and the question isn’t about taxing the rich but rather one of how much. Ed Morrissey describes the AP fact check: Secretaries don’t pay more taxes than their bosses that was the stimulus for this latest round of rhetoric.

“Let’s hope that Warren Buffet is better at managing funds than he is at tax policy. After Buffett complained that his secretary pays a higher tax rate than he does, Barack Obama decided to call his new class-warfare taxes “the Buffett Rule” and emphasize that he wants to make taxes more “fair.” But was Buffett right? According to an AP fact check — and just about every ounce of common sense that exists outside of the class-warfare fever swamps of the White House these days — not at all”

When you look at IRS data, it appears that the wealthiest pay taxes at an average rate of 25% or more while those in the lower working class usually pay less than 10%. That is a simplification of a complex issue. The wealthy tend to have income based on more risky investment while the working class depends upon wages. There are loopholes and subsidies and deductions and other tricks that have been implemented to allow people to purchase things the government has deemed desirable – energy related things like solar installations, insulation, and energy saving are examples.

The basic philosophical difference is about who owns the wealth someone has. Do you own what you earn or does the government own it? How much should people be forced to pay (via taxation) for what the majority thinks is a good cause.

There were recent stories about a judge in the Kelo case who has regrets. If he knew then what he knows now, he says he would have expressed a different opinion. That was a non-tax case of where ‘the majority good’ as a referent for taking property from someone didn’t quite work out as planned. The history of communism illustrates the same story in regard to wages and price control efforts. History seems a difficult lesson to learn when it comes to base emotions like envy and greed and that is why the issue is up front yet again.

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