Looking carefully at that which is unseen.

Thinking about: My “fair share.”

I am told I need to be paying my “fair share” of taxes. But nobody ever really seems to explain what exactly constitutes ‘fair.’ If you and I buy a cake, each of us spending five dollars for its ten dollar price tag, then obviously our “fair share” is half a cake each. Likewise, if you and I each own half of the same house, and a water pipe breaks, then each of us has a “fair share” of half the plumber bill. That’s simple, though, and perhaps too simple.

Figuring out taxes, however, particularly given a tax code that’s far more “social engineering” than it is “revenue for government operations,” figuring out just what someone’s “fair share” is can be a nightmare. Soaking the rich via progressive taxation is an often decried scenario – but what if a great deal of that wealth has been acquired because of special tax and legal benefits conferred upon the “wealthy?” Alternatively, that same progressive taxation lets the “poor” off the hook for any liability, but don’t the “poor” use many of the same services that the “rich” do – national defense, highways, courts, and so on? If their obligation is zero, then isn’t it ‘fair’ to have the obligation of the “rich” be zero as well?

Of course, Mom Hobbit was correct when she explained to me again and again and again that “life isn’t fair,” and so it would seem in regard to the alleged “shares” that are owed – they’re not going to be ‘fair’ either. But it sounds good, when you’re looking to take things that don’t belong to you, to describe your taking as “fair.” It makes it easier to sleep at night, I guess, if the warm fuzzy of using other people’s money to satisfy your own urges isn’t enough by itself to give you those sweet dreams that the pure-of-heart government service types deserve.

Flat tax. It’s the fairest you’re going to get. Something like 17% of the first dime to come through the door should do it. It’s only fair.


One response to “Thinking about: My “fair share.”

  1. manchester heating repairs September 20, 2011 at 5:07 am

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