”Fairness” is a function of impact and capability, not a numeric value. That’s why you don’t grade a second grader’s 90% as a higher gross capability than a 7th grader’s 85%. That’s also why our progressive tax system works. A “fair” tax of 15% for everyone is not actually “fair” because the impact is radically different between a person that makes 10K a year, 100K a year and 1MM a year.
I offer this because many folks think that a numerically equal number is in some way fairer than the rich paying more by ratio than the poor. It’s not. The price of car insurance doesn’t change, the price of medical care doesn’t change and the price of essential food doesn’t change. Sure, a wealthy person has the option to spend more than the baseline, but the poor person does not.
America is based, not on equal happiness and income, but equal opportunity for happiness and income. To create equal opportunity, we need to have a fair plan for taxing people and supporting our union. America requires revenue, for highways and infrastructure to research and health protection to security and a level playing ground. Therefore, when we collectively ask for the 1% to pony up a bit more and they say it’s not fair, yet we allow medical benefits to expire, school loan rates to double and our infrastructure to implode, we must evaluate whether we want “fair” or simply an easier go for those that already have success.
I, for one, dislike paying taxes every bit as the next person. But I consider them a cost of doing business: I essentially outsource the building of my roads and infrastructure, security, research for my future and mechanisms for ensuring my health to the government. In exchange, I don’t always get what I wanted to pay for: I’ve seen my money squandered on a bloated and corrupt military industrial complex, misbegotten wars and often horribly inefficient bureaucracies. But I am not an advocate of tossing the baby out with the bathwater, I’d like to see it trimmed and tightened, not eliminated.
I invite all of my friends to step back from partisan rhetoric, from the very popular and contemporary notions of personal success above all else, and the damaging notion that in some way we are all on our own and not in this country together, to reevaluate what is important and what our country really stands for. ALL OF US have benefitted HUGELY from the gift that this country is in our lives and it’s important that we foster its growth, keep it healthy and provide it as an even better framework for our children and their children.
By the way it’s nice to be back. It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here and I’ve really been feeling the need to do so. I don’t know how much I’ll get here, but I’m going to start making an effort again. Thanks for coming by.