2010-12-05

What's fair about it?

I hear the word "fair" a lot in politics and the news lately. Mostly when it comes to taxes. So, I'm wondering, what is fair? Is it fair for someone who makes more than a quarter million dollars per year to pay proportionally more taxes than those who earn less? You know what, I think it is.

Less than 2% of tax paying households earn more than $250,000. Less than 2%! You know what that tells me? That those 2% are very hard working, but they are also benefit quite a bit from living in this country. How many people in the word earn that much money annually? A tiny, tiny, TINY amount. Undoubtedly, such wealth is attainable, in part, because we live in this country, and we enjoy the benefits and protections of it. I don't think we realize how much our system of government enables the generation of wealth. It only makes sense to me, then, that those who have benefited so greatly should also return some of that wealth to bolster the system that enabled their success.

I understand that high taxes can be a detriment to business and a healthy economy. I get that. But the reality is that if you earn a quarter of a million dollars a year, a slightly higher tax bracket isn't, in any appreciable way, going to interfere with your happiness -- unless, of course, it's all about the money. And, if you do make that much money, and you are unhappy with how the government would spend it, you are encouraged to give it away yourself, to the causes and the people that you think deserve it the most.

I know that no one likes to pay taxes. And I think it's a healthy battle to try and keep tax rates as low as possible. But at the same time, the incessant whining is getting old.