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Their fair share

Posted: January 24, 2013 4:11 p.m.
Updated: January 25, 2013 5:00 a.m.

We commented Wednesday on the majesty of presidential inaugurations -- President Obama’s, to be specific -- but noted that oath-taking day is one in which all Americans can take pride in the way our government operates. With the exception of Beyonce’s rendition of the Star Spangled Banner -- was she lip-synching or not? -- there was little controversy to be observed.

In his 18-minute address to the nation, Obama laid out a liberal agenda which he plans to make a blueprint for his second term. The things he noted were all noble goals, but he barely acknowledged the most pressing issue facing the country right now, that of massive deficits that are threatening to wreck the economy of this country. During his entire re-election campaign, the president did little more than pay lip service to the fact that something radical has to be done to get spending in control. Instead, he continued to repeat his mantra that all we need to do is raise taxes on the wealthy, a claim that is so ridiculous that policy experts dismiss it completely as a way to balance the budget. Yes, taxes can go up on those who make a lot, but there are lots of other things that must be done. Controlling spending is a subject the president seems to ignore.

Nearly half of the citizens of this country pay no income taxes at all, whereas the top half of income earners -- that’s where the middle class falls -- pays 98 percent of all income taxes. The system gets more progressive the more people make, as it should, though Obama would have you believe high earners pay far less than they should. Writing in the New York Times, Eduardo Porter noted that the rich today pay a larger share of federal taxes than they did decades ago. The American Enterprise Institute notes that the top 1 percent make 19 percent of the income in this country and pay 37 percent of the taxes. For those lucky enough to be in that category, it hardly appears they’re shirking their fiscal duty, or, as the president likes to put it, not “paying their fair share.”

A progressive tax system is a good thing for this country. Those who are successful have a responsibility to help those less fortunate and should pay higher tax rates. But Obama errs with his constant accusations that successful people are getting off easily. Those 50 percent who pay 98 percent of the taxes -- if you’re reading this, you probably fall into that category -- are doing their fair share and more.


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