The White House’s buzz words for the propaganda campaign to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans and corporations are “pay their fair share.” But is President Obama’s pitch reflecting honest economic inequity or more dishonest spin from their bag of duck-n-weave political manipulations?
In 2011 alone, nearly every member and minion of this administration (including the mainstream media) have regurgitated “pay their fair share” like cows chewing cud. They have done so to prompt Americans to feel that the wealthy are getting a free ride regarding taxation while lower- and middle-class folks pay their societal ticket.
Here is a small example of recent quotes from a single page of entries on the White House website (italics added):
From a Sept. 19, 2011, press statement from the White House’s Office of the Secretary concerning the “Fact Sheet: Living Within Our Means and Investing in the Future – The President’s Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction”: “… asking the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share. …”
From a Sept. 20, 2011, White House Rural Council blog post, titled, “Lessons from the Farm to Strengthen America,” written by Tom Vilsack, secretary of agriculture: “For agriculture, the plan focuses on what the President and I believe is one of the most pressing challenges facing producers right now … safety net and creating a better market for our agricultural goods. And it sets us on a path to compete by asking everyone to pay their fair share. …”
From an Aug. 4, 2011, post on the White House blog, titled, “All about the so-called ‘Super Committee’” and created by Jon Carson, who is deputy assistant to president and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement: “… asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share.”
From the July 9, 2011, “Statement from White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer on Budget Negotiations”: “We need a balanced approach that asks the very wealthiest and special interests to pay their fair share as well, and we believe the American people agree.”
From an April 13, 2011, statement titled, “Henry Statement on the President’s Fiscal Policy Speech” by Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, given immediately after President Obama delivered a speech on deficit reduction: “… giveaways to millionaires must come to an end. We simply cannot afford them. … All taxpayers must pay their fair share.” (Interesting how Mary Kay Henry got posted on the White House blog! Maybe readers can email my statements here to the White House and it’ll post my column, too!)
And none of these citations, or the host of others on other pages of the White House website, include the myriad of presidential mentions from the heartlands of America to congressional corridors and primetime television speeches – ad infinitum ad nauseam.
With all those Washington insiders spouting that “pay their fair share” verbiage, the majority of corporations and wealthy Americans must be dodging their “fair share” of tax dues, right?
Here are the facts.
The Associated Press recently ran a fact check on the Obama administration’s accuracy in calculating tax brackets. Here are three key facts as reported in the U.S.A. Today Money article: “Fact check: The wealthy already pay more taxes.”
Fact check No. 1: According to the Congressional Budget Office itself, the 10 percent of households with the highest incomes pay more than half of all federal taxes. More than 50 percent! And they pay more than 70 percent of federal income taxes!
“Pay their fair share”?
Fact check No. 2: The Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank, reports that, in 2011, households making more than $1 million will pay an average 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes. In comparison, households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay an average of 15 percent of their income in federal taxes. Lower-income households will pay even less.
“Pay their fair share”?
Fact check No. 3: In 2009, the IRS reported that 1,470 tax returns were filed by those whose households earned more than $1 million and didn’t pay federal taxes. But that is less than 1 percent of the nearly 237,000 households that earned more than $1 million a year. In comparison, the Tax Policy Center estimates that a staggering 46 percent of Americans will pay no federal taxes in 2011, and most of them are low- and middle-income families.
“Pay their fair share?”
If the Obama administration wants to go after those who don’t “pay their fair share” of taxes, then they should hunt down the remaining 45 percent of federal tax evaders. Even better, why not just dump the current tax code and implement a Fair Tax (or its equivalent), which would lower the tax rate of most honest taxpaying Americans and rope in the 45 percent who are dodging federal taxes altogether?
Combined with lowering America’s corporate tax rate (the second-highest in the world at 38 percent) under the average European rate of 25 percent, our country would not only experience the return of corporations and productivity to American soil and subsequently increase the domestic job market but also put more money into the pockets of Americans to rebuild our economy and even give the feds more funds to lower our national debt.
It’s time Americans tell the White House to stop its pay-their-fair-share shenanigans. As the president said in the Rose Garden a few weeks ago, I echo to you, Mr. President, “This is not class warfare – it’s math.”