Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I've Already Paid My Fair Share. . . Jerk

“This is not class warfare, this is math,” said Obama about his latest attack on the rich. And in so saying, Obama proved to us that not only is he a horrible president, but he’s bad at math too. Let’s see who really pays what in the way of taxes.

President Fail and his winged monkeys keep saying the rich need to “pay their fair share.” Chief winged monkey is the Crony Cornhusker Warren Buffett. Buffett, for those who don’t know, is a disaster profiteer, having made several billion during the financial crisis by loaning money to Goldman Sachs and General Electric (both of whom are heavily connected to the White House). Those loans, by the way, were guaranteed by we peons with TARP funds.

To thank Obama for adding to his $50 billion fortune, Buffett is now running around asking that his taxes be raised. And to back up his demand, he’s claiming that his middle class secretary pays a higher tax rate than he does. Clearly, a billionaire should not be paying a lower tax rate than someone in the middle class right? Hence, we need a tax on everyone making more than $250,000 a year. . . I’ll leave you to figure out how $250,000 equates to being a billionaire.

But is what Buffett says true?

Buffett claims he only pays 17% in taxes, which he implies is typical for millionaires and billionaires. But according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center (using IRS data), millionaires and billionaires actually pay on average 29% of their income as federal taxes. By comparison, middle class earners ($50,000 - $75,000) pay on average 15%, and the lowest income earners ($20,000 to $30,000) pay on average 5.7%.

So Buffett isn’t typical. In fact, he’s underpaying the average by 43%. Which means he shouldn’t be complaining about tax rates, he should be complaining about all those great deductions he’s using to keep his taxes low. According to the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, there are about one trillion dollars in deductions, exemptions and credits taken each year. No doubt, Warren uses a lot of those. He also probably lowers his rate by keeping much of his money overseas. Why don’t we eliminate those things first before we start attacking “the rich” (i.e. anyone earning $250,000 a year). Want to bet that Warren would squeal like a stuck pig if we did that?

And while we’re at it, what is a “fair share” anyway? 236,000 Americans made more than $1 million in income last year. As a group, they paid 20% of all federal income taxes. Is that fair? Is it fair that 46% of Americans pay NO federal income tax? Is it fair that 52% of Americans receive a check from the government? Not in my book.

Maybe the “fair” thing to do would be to pay back what each of us took from the federal government. All I’ve really gotten is military protection and crappy roads. So in my book, I’ve already more than covered my tab. I doubt Obama or Buffett can say the same.

But let’s put some perspective on this. Where did all the money go?

Obama spent it.

In 2007, the federal government took in $2.568 trillion and spent $2.728 trillion, giving us a deficit of $160 billion. In 2011, the federal government will take in $2.23 trillion and will spend $3.629 trillion, giving us a deficit of $1.4 trillion -- 8.75 times the deficit we had just four years before.

What caused this?

Social Security and Medicare went up $162 billion and $119 billion. Lost tax revenues cost another $338 billion. But that’s only $619 billion. Where did the other $621 billion come from? That’s spending.

That’s the remnants of Obama’s stimulus bill, which is still wreaking havoc in the system. Says former CBO chief Douglas Holtz-Eakin, “it was essentially a down payment on the Obama domestic agenda. . . it’s spread all through the budget.” Essentially, it raised baselines and kicked off new spending that now continues unabated. That’s Obama’s legacy. Over ten years he’ll cost us $6.2 trillion in new spending. . . double that once you factor in the automatic increases. That’s why we’re broke. And that’s why anyone who tells you we’ve started an “austerity program” is lying.

So before Obama starts whining about other people paying their fair share, maybe Obama and his friends better figure out some way to cover that tab themselves, because it's only fair that they pay that back. Maybe it’s time for a “union employee surcharge”? Maybe it’s time for a “green subsidies refund charge”? Maybe Team Obama better start washing the country's dishes.

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