by Kay B. Day
Class warfare is in full swing in The Big Apple.
Organized labor and groups like ACORN gathered supporters in lower Manhattan Thursday to protest New York spending cuts and to ask for “fair tax reform.” WCBS TV said approximately 50,000 people showed up; we have no way of verifying that number. Protestors want what they call "fair tax reform"—increasing state taxes for New Yorkers making $250,000 or more, the same economic class the Obama administration is targeting. In a rather stunning illustration of the entitlement mentality proponents of collectivism embrace, United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten advised, "For those of you who prosper during boom time, we ask them pay a little bit more. Pay a little more so New York can avoid cutting the services that our most vulnerable need." “Vulnerable” is the new politically savvy buzz word in our era of “change.”
So who really funds all those federal programs both political parties love to nurture? Tax experts have done us a favor.
On the same day the proponents of taxing the "rich" marched, The Tax Foundation issued a breakdown the federal government should issue in an easily accessed format. The foundation broke down tax payments by economic group. Once your adjusted gross income reaches $100,000, your taxes rise substantially. The income group ranging from $100,000 to $200,000 paid 20.4 percent of total taxes, the largest percentage of any group. Close on this group’s heels is the $200,000 to $500,000 group. They paid 17.3 percent of total taxes. These are the two groups who paid the most in total, though earners making more than $1,000,000 have a higher tax rate liability.
I looked high and low for figures on taxes and The Tax Foundation has a wealth of data. The first thing I did this morning was send them a donation. If you pay taxes you should too. This is the only transparency you'll probably see on this subject. The government certainly isn't presenting it in an easy-to-find-or-interpret manner.
President Barack H. Obama has frequently cited those making more than $250,000 as rich. I confess I don’t make that much—I’m a freelance writer. But I also confess I was brought up by a mother who stressed that envy is a terrible thing to embrace.
The federal tax code already penalizes anyone making a substantial income, and that is in addition to applicable state income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and all manner of other revenue producers governments eagerly target.
The federal government treads dangerous ground when leaders encourage one group to envy another. This can lead to civil unrest, especially when the day comes when the government has run out of people to tax, or when those who are able tuck their money away in offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes.
This morning I received an email from Ryan Clemence. It’s a telling passage for the times we live in and it would benefit our government if every senator and representative as well as those in the executive branch had to write it on a chalkboard 100 times.
In 1931 Dr. Adrian Rogers said, “You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”
The federal government, for a long time, has refused to live within our means. Do that long enough and those of us who endorse self-reliance know you will ultimately break the bank. Or in this case, the backs of productive Americans.