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Your Fair Share of Taxes

Who is Really Paying and How Much is Just?

How does the old adage go? The only things that are for sure are death and taxes? 

You might also say that the only thing more mysterious than our place in the universe is what tax code would be fair, just and practical. There lies one of our biggest current debates in the political world. The tax debate is multi-layered: Our biggest hit comes from the federal government, which includes Social Security and Medicare. Then, we have another chunk that goes to the state of California. And then we still have local taxes for Marin County and the city of Mill Valley. Oh, we also have California sales tax. And don’t forget a tax on gasoline. There's also a tax if you inherit a bicycle from your uncle Pete. 

It’s a wonder there is not a tax on a tax. 

Yet again I ask: what is a just, fair and practical tax? Too often our politicians blend these two together as though they are a married package, but they are not.

What one person finds a just tax at 25 or 50 person, another person mind find that rate appalling and borderline un-American. So there will always be an argument as to what is a fair tax, as long as the tax codes stay as they are. 

There are a few brave politicians, and even more economists who suggest that the most just tax is a FLAT TAX, or a CONSUMPTION TAX. The argument by these supporters is that there are few if any loop holes, and these systems compel the “rich” to pay their fair share.

How much are you “rich” Mill Valley citizens willing to pay? We have huge property taxes that go on top of all the other taxes I’ve mentioned above. When all is said and done, what is your bottom line? Would you be willing to pay 40 percent? 50 percent? 60 percent? More? I’d like to see a liberal politician say a bottom line of WHAT is the TOP dollar anyone would pay.

It’s rather pointless, and gutless, to keep yapping that the “rich” need to pay their fair share. By all accounts, the rich and semi-rich pay the majority of the taxes already. Yet if the money-spending politicians would simply say, TOP dollar anyone will pay will be 50 percent of all your earnings (capital gains, and all that extra stuff can be negotiated as well) then there might be a point where a conversation can begin.

YET, when one argues WHAT tax rate is good for the economy, the answer seems less black and white and more clear. The modern day Gandhi of the liberals was John F. Kennedy (The same one who fought and had a strong anti communist-socialist stance). He was quoted as saying in 1963, "It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today, and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the tax rates....An economy constrained by high tax rates will never produce enough revenue to balance the budget, just as it will never create enough jobs or enough profits." 

This quote has gained steam recently in the circle of conservatives, pointing out that the economy WILL improve, and EVERYBODY will make more money, if taxes remain “low.” (Read a recent article by the Wall Street Journal’s Steven Moore titled, “The U.S. Tax System: Who Really Pays?” It’s an eye-opening and detailed description as to why the economy and EVERBODY gains if taxes remain low.

Instead of this idea of lower taxes being adopted by the President, what we instead hear is how the “rich” are not paying their share and they should pay more. This from our President who used once preached unity and that we are not blue or red America – we are just America.

I suspect most Mill Valley citizens (rich and non-rich… liberal and conservative) are enthusiastically willing to pay their fair share of taxes. Yet, the president is more about sharing and redistributing wealth than he is in prosperity for all.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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