So, That's How the Jake Sullivan Intruder Snuck By the Secret Service
If Joe’s a No-Go, Then Who?
Why Does Our Misery Surprise Us?
The Mainstream Media Threatens American Democracy
Millennials Are Starting to Shift to the Right
Conservatives Are Winning In the Boycott Against Woke Companies
18 States Sue Biden As Illegal Aliens Enter the U.S., Reaping the Benefits...
Biden Signs Debt Ceiling Bill, Avoids Default By Two Days
DeSantis Responds to Heckler In Best Way Possible
Biden Lies Several Times While 'Celebrating' a 'Crisis Averted' Situation In Debt Ceiling...
Some Transgender People Are Crowdfunding to Leave the State of Florida
Brace for Impact: DOE Is About to Unleash Sexual Assault on Girls and...
Pride Month and Why Schools Are Sexualizing Children
Abortion and the Question of a Higher Law
A Bad Start For Pride Month

Glory to the Taxpayer

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

When I hear about the hapless celebrity who is fleeced by his unsavory accountant for millions, I marvel at how stupid some people can be -- until, of course, tax day rolls around and I realize my accountant, were he a less virtuous man, could do the same.

Yes, our tax system is fairly complex. And complexity is what makes it work. If Jane Taxpayer figures out she spends more than three months of her year working for Joe Biden, well, she might be annoyed.

Fact is she should feel blessed. As our vice president once posited, paying taxes is patriotic. So it's worrisome that fewer and fewer Americans are asked to participate in the ethical work of paying off General Motors' $4.3 billion second-half losses or subsidizing wind farms in Montana.

According to the Tax Foundation, this year the top 10 percent of earners are on the hook for about 73 percent of all the income taxes collected by Washington.

Sean Hannity FREE

On the flip side, nearly 50 percent of households -- because they don't make enough or they have various deductions -- do not pay any income tax whatsoever. (Your payroll taxes "fund" your own stake in Social Security and Medicare.)

If there's a smoother way to spread the wealth, I'd love to hear about it. But if government is a force of righteousness -- a wondrous $3 trillion gift that saves lives and imbues America with hope -- why is it that so many of its citizens aren't fully invested in the magic?

To be fair, as burdensome as income taxes seem to everyone, most of us are disconnected from the genuine and growing cost of government. Tax payments have been declining for the majority of Americans (good for the economy and your freedom), while government spending is increasing.

Now, I hate people who are richer than I am as much as the next guy. But how long can we keep relying on the wealthy?

The total income taxes paid by the top 1 percent of earners as a share of gross domestic product has doubled since the early '80s. At the same time, the bottom 95 percent of earners pay a significantly smaller share. I'm not an economist (sorcerers!), but this strikes me as an unsustainable policy.

It's true that President Barack Obama has come up with more than $3 trillion in new taxes during his short tenure, but that's not enough. Paul Volcker, the president's informal adviser and a former Federal Reserve chairman, recently broached the idea of "value-added tax," a consumption tax embedded into everything you buy, and a new carbon or energy tax. (Interesting concepts if they were fixed to future plans to cut taxes on income, labor and investment. They are not.)

It's doubtful that raising taxes is the answer. As a study conducted by the Tax Policy Center found, even if Washington raised taxes by 40 percent, it would "reduce -- not eliminate, just reduce -- the deficit to 3 percent of our GDP, the 2015 goal the Obama administration set in its 2011 budget."

Someone could mention how helpful a massive across-the-board spending cut coupled with entitlement reform would be for the long-term fiscal stability of the nation, but then again, that person would be engaging in idealistic flights of imagination.

So taxes it is. If I were running a minority party, I would make tax reform a major plank of my campaign.

Cut capital gains and corporate taxes. Simplify and flatten income taxes. Finally -- and this is sure to go over well in suburban and lower-income households across the nation -- spread the income tax burden more equitably so that all of us can enjoy "investing" in Washington.

After all, if your taxes were tied to their spending in any substantive or immediate way, politicians would be ... well, they'd be in trouble.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member


Trending on Townhall Video