St. Petersburg Times endorsement of Obama
The St. Petersburg Times endorsement of Obama for President in their Sunday (10/26/08) edition came as no surprise. Nor was it a surprise when they stated one of their reasons for supporting him was “His approach to a fairer tax policy.”
I am a member of that large working middle class Obama has promised will benefit from his fairer tax policy, yet I do not believe his tax policies will be fairer to me, or to anyone else. I have repeatedly asked my liberal friends just what is fair about the government increasing the tax burden on one of its citizens so that another citizen can pay less tax or, in many instances, no tax at all. The answer I generally receive is the individual who will end up paying less or no tax “needs” to pay less or no tax, and that it is only “fair” that society recognize this “need.”
I then ask my liberal friends a follow-up question, “At what point do you believe we will have achieved a fair tax system?” I rarely receive an answer to this question. Seriously, is the tax system fairer when the percentage of filers who pay no income tax rises from today’s 40% to, say, 60%, and only 40% of our citizens pay the total cost for government services that are rendered to everyone? Or should the percentage of citizens paying for all government services be only 25%, instead of 40%?
In 2007 a family that paid no income tax could receive via our tax system a welfare payment of as much as $4,716. In politically correct speak this welfare payment is referred to as an Earned Income Credit. Would the tax system be fairer if this particular welfare payment is increased to $6,000 or $7,000 or more? In 2007 a family of four could make a gross income of $42,050 and still not owe any income tax. Would the tax system be fairer if a family of four could make a gross income of $65,000 and still not owe any income tax? Is the tax system fairer when it provides credits to filers sufficient not only to eliminate any obligation to pay income tax, but which effectively refunds to the filer his total payments for Social Security and Medicare benefits?
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary provides several definitions for “fair.” The definition I prefer to use is, “marked by impartiality and honesty: free from self-interest, prejudice or favoritism.” Unfortunately, I believe my liberal friends use “fair” in the context of an alternate Merriam-Webster definition, that being, “superficially pleasing: specious.”
- Ed Stewart, Clearwater
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