Beware the phrase fair share

President Obama is making sure you know he won’t approve any kind of debt reduction progress until the rich are paying their “fair share” of taxes. He’s often making his strident point in front of a group of cheering union backers.

There’s a reason.

Don’t forget the union concept of fair share is one that demands nearly the same coerced contribution from a non-union member as one who joined the union. It’s how unions have kept their memberships over the last few years. In Wisconsin it’s recently disappeared. Quite simply, you don’t have to belong, and you don’t have to pay. The loss of fair share coercion has been very costly to the public unions here. They no longer have the income to peddle influence. Obama needs unions to win in 2012.

Hence, my argument that the “fair share” phrase isn’t as much about raising tax revenue as it is code language to unions that President Obama will protect them.

If you read through the internet, you’ll see a lot of folks are suggesting it’s also Marxist. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” is labeled by many as fair share. I disagree. If history has taught us anything, it’s that Marxism is anything but fair. Leadership lures the membership with promises they fulfill initially, but really don’t intend to keep. Somehow the need of the leadership far outstrips the financial need of the member. Nice idea, but humans are greedy by nature, and it eventually collapses.

Obama wants to divide the country into emotional haves and have nots in order to promise something to the have nots. He stays elected if he can convince a majority OF VOTERS that they have less than the other guy, and Obama can get it to them for free. So, while “fair share” isn’t exactly a Marxist statement, Obama’s desire to divide the country in order to rule it is rather suspect.

It’s going to be a big duty of the Republican leadership to call out Obama’s strategy accurately and remind the voters Obama’s promises didn’t exactly pay off the first time.

That leaves us to discuss fair. Are we supposed to give to the government until it hurts? Or is fair a flat percentage, as exampled by the concept of the tithe – a one-tenth portion. While our government maintains a progressive taxing system, one that causes those who make more to pay a larger percentage (which is assumed to hurt more), it’s well understood we also have a system full of loopholes lobbied by those who can afford to do so.

I’ll comfortably argue a tax system influenced by lobbyists isn’t fair. Hear Obama complaining about that? Heck no. His lifestyle is predicated upon the fact he has influence to sell, even if no one wants to call it that.

Combine the idea of loopholes for sale with the fact that

The top 5% of all taxpayers (income split on this group was at $159,619 in 2008) paid 58.72% of all federal individual income taxes in 2008.

and you have what can easily be called a complicated situation. Now that’s a fair statement.

So, while Obama spews the rhetoric, keep it in perspective. It’s a campaign strategy to divide voters and has nothing really to do with solving America’s current crisis. Call it for what it is, and we who disagree with the President’s strategy should be able to replace him soon. What we can’t do and still expect to win is get lazy. We’re in training for a November 2012 finish line. Pace yourself, but expect to invest a little sweat equity.


  1. When I was a youth Sen. Joe McCarthy, Rep. WI., was making the very same statements about his political enemies and anyone else he chose. His radical attacks on many law abiding people were finally condemned by both political parties, the public sector and he went down in disgrace. The present generation of voters do not understand that era and may be tempted to buy in to the symbols and labels used to cause fear. We fought a long cold and sometimes hot war with USSR and do not need to blame anyone anymore for that tragic and costly time in our history. My guess is that not one of those web blamers every read about the history of the Soviet Union, Karl Marx, Trotsky,Lenin or Sen. McCarthy. There is nothing in the government of the USA that resembles that past history. Be very careful before using symbols and labels. Right now I am reading one of my many books about President Abraham Lincoln who rose above the opposition that hated and killed him.

  2. Though I’m sure you would disagree, I’m far from a socialist. I do, apparently have a different idea of fairness than you do however. When a CEO makes 400 times the average worker’s wage, that is not fair. When an owner, using capital he inherited from daddy keeps 100% of profit, relegating workers wages to an expense analogous to raw materials, that’s not fair. When competing companies collude to keep wages low and profit high, that’s not fair. When business has the means and channel to address elected reps one on one, while labor does not, that is not fair.

    I’m all for capitalism. I just recognize that about 1 second after a market commences, certain people have advantages that others don’t and regulation is necessary to even the playing field. 50 years ago, when the highest tax brackets were in the 80 and CEO pay was “only” 40 times higher than the average worker, we saw some of the best economic times in the history of the nation. I’d like to see a return to those more fair times.

  3. No, those are talking points, jimspice. Show your outrage by refusing to support that company, but in our capitalist economy, you have no say over what one person is paid in comparison to another. Get over it. You don’t get to be “all for capitalism” and then cherry pick the things that bug you.

  4. Randy in Richmond says:

    You say “I’m far from a socialist’ and “I’m all for capitalism’. Most every other sentence in your comment supports neither statement.

  5. Cindy, sure I do.

  6. Fine, you can complain all you want, but don’t expect capitalism to accommodate your whining.

    There are blogs that will cheer your effort all over Wisconsin. Pick one and stop whining here. 🙂

  7. Cindy, that’s like the 3rd time in a month you’ve asked me to leave and not come back. You’re going to ruin your hospitable reputation. Why not just ban me if you find me so burdensome?

  8. Because I’d much prefer to convert you. 🙂

  9. Spice,

    I think you’d be better served saying that it’s unfair that tax policy over the last 30 years has disproportionately favored the top earners so that a CEO, who’s income was about 40 times the average worker’s income, is now exponentially higher than that.

    This is also why the average America shouldn’t care at all that the top 5% of all taxpayers pay about 58.72% of all federal individual income taxes since they’ve reaped almost all the real income/wealth benefits of these tax policies while the average American has experienced very little real wage growth in 30 years.

    Don’t blame rich people for riding 70 year low income tax rates, M.I.D.’s on multiple properties, 15% capital gains tax rates, etc. to the promiseland, Jim. Blame the average American for voting for people who value their campaign contributors more than their constituents.

  10. Tada!

    ” Blame the average American for voting for people who value their campaign contributors more than their constituents.”

    But, don’t expect to change things by whining. Use the tools the other side is using if you want to make progress. Find me a D who wants a flat tax, and I’d have to think very hard about voting for them.

    PS – Strupp, that was very well stated.

  11. Cindy, you may want to get your “Vote Spice” signs ready. Though not exactly a flat tax, I’ve often thought about a logarithmic function applied to the tax structure. For all intents and purposes it’s flat , say 30%, up to a certain point, the “wealthy” cutoff — $500G? — then gently rises, that is, slightly un-flat, ’til it hits the the “super-wealthy” cutoff, $5M maybe, then zooms up to a max of, I don’t know 66.66%. It’s my idea to correct the built in inequalities in markets, but it could just as easily be seen as a correction to recent decades’ policies that have funneled gains exclusively to the already well off.

    It’s not as good as my RE-gressive tax structure proposal (, but I think it would work.

  12. Yes, you’ve mentioned your logarithmic approach before. That’s not a flat tax. Taxing someone nearly 2/3 of their income (and that’s just federal!) is a bizarre thought indeed.

  13. How can you call it bizarre when it was the case for 40 of the last 80 years? Or was America un-American that entire time?

  14. It was, so it has to be American because it was in America. What it wasn’t (and isn’t) in my opinion is fair.

    Don’t you stay up nights worrying about fair?

  15. I suppose “fair” is a very subjective concept. There’s being born with a debilitating disease into a low income, low education family and being relegated to an almost guaranteed position of lifelong financial strife unfair, and being able to will your children only $50M as opposed to $100M unfair.

  16. A max of $66.66%?!? That’s absurd. That’s only federal before state and local leeches get their “fair share”.

    Would you think it fair for 75% of your income or more to be taken from you and given to someone else?

    Seems to me you want to take the majority of resources out of the private economy and leave those resources for a disfunctional government to reallocate .

    That insanity.

  17. The problem with any discussion on fairness is that things get bogged down because what one person considers fair, the next person considers unfair. However it would be a good thing for conservatives to be in favor of significant tax form for no other reason than that it would take away the “evil rich don’t pay their fair share” argument. Obama doesn’t have much to run on besides that and killing Bin Laden using the infrastructure that Bush/Cheney laid down. I haven’t studied it but Herman Cain has a tax proposal called 9-9-9.

  18. “…infrastructure that Bush/Cheney laid down.”

    Huh? Bush stated Bin Laden wasn’t a priority, and in 2005 disbanded the unit charged with his capture ( Or am I wrong.

  19. I think this could be a very strong issue for Obama if he frames it correctly.

    Maybe I’m wrong but it looks as though the administration has put together a bill that raises taxes on upper incomes but disguises it as a “jobs bill”. It’s no secret that the majority of Americans favor increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans to at least partially offset budget gaps so this bill should be favorably viewed by the majority of voters.

    You don’t really have a winning move if you’re a Republican in Congress do you? How do you slam a “Jobs Bill”, given the current state of the economy and not look like you’re either in obstructionist who’s playing party politics for the 2012 election, or a staunch supporter of the wealthiest Americans rather than middle class constituents? The only other option is for Republicans to support the bill but we all know that’s not going to happen.

    Seems to me that Obama just has to sit back and let this thing play out and he wins politically. The more Republicans in Congress denounce this bill, the more the President can peg the GOP as obstructionists to job creation. I have a feeling the hardliner Repub’s in Congress are already catching flack from their constituents about the obstructionism surrounding the debt ceiling debate. I’m not sure they can play the same way this time without making at least some waves among moderate conservatives.

    Maybe I’m missing something but it looks like Obama actually did something right, politically, for a change.

  20. Dear leapin, first Hello! Glad to hear from you. Next, yes, there is such a thing as altruism. Some of us understand a rising tide lifts all boats, but at 67% I’d be tempted to toss a few folks overboard.

    I like Mr. Cain. Honestly, from the field right now I’m calling it Gringrich/Cain. And trust me, I’m no Gingrich fan.

    J. Strupp – I see a way around Obama’s play, and I’m pretty sure leadership does, too. I’m in a whimpy phase right now, so I’ll just sit on my hands and watch what plays out.

  21. Randy in Richmond says:

    Could you provide a link to where President “Bush stated Bin Laden wasn’t a priority” ?

    While not speaking for leapin, he may have meant by “infrastructure ” the enhanced interogation methods utilized during the Bush administation that ” were used to extract information that led to the mission’s success,” according to Obama’s Director of the C.I.A. , Leon Panetta, when speaking of Bin Laden’s killing.

  22. Mr. In Richmond, why would you ask such a thing? Is your Google finger broken, or were you hoping to somehow entrap me?

  23. Oh, jimspice, as one who claims to be a regular here, surely you know backup is pretty much mandatory. Link it or admit your defeat.

  24. Randy in Richmond says:

    I don’t use Google but your response answers my query.

  25. Have I claimed that? Hmm. I was planning on providing links, but I was just really curious as to RIR’s motives there.

    I’m assuming you’ll trust the sources — Fox News and Fred Barnes, editor of the Weekly Standard, THE go-to conservative source:

    If you say you require Bush on tape, I’ll go with “I really just don’t spend that much time on him, to be honest with you.”

  26. Randy in Richmond says:

    I missed the part where “Bush said Bin Laden wasn’t a priority”. “Personally not spending time on him” is something quite different.

  27. Yep, that’s the expected response I was referring to. I never said Bush said those exact words, though Mr. Barnes says he did. Nevertheless, I would suggest his laissez faire attitude is direct evidence of the level of importance he placed on Bin Laden. I wonder to what levels you would stoop to blindly support the bad actions of one of your icons.

  28. I think you are just trying to justify your original statement when you know you were wrong, jimspice. So tell me, other than watching it on a big screen, what did Obama do to personally interject himself into the bin Laden killing?

  29. Cindy, I promise you I said what I meant, and stand behind it (although I wouldn’t expect you to take the word of a liberal). I don’t think it’s wrong, and I really was expecting that exact response. I’ve seen the exact same one on other blogs. Although I admit I expected the response from you, and not Randy.

    I do, however, now fully expect both you and Randy to put Mr. Barnes and the Weekly Standard on your watch lists of untrustworthy sources.

    And wait a minute, who I should be addressing here? If it’s Randy, as evidenced by his description of a responsibly engaged Bush as “Personally not spending time on him,” I should be downplaying or completely discounting the role of a president in the operation. If it’s you, I should be up-playing it. Either way, I’m not in the national security loop, so I’m not privy to the itty-bitties of who knew and did what and when. But I do know I’m concurrently unsurprised, amused, and saddened by a certain element that unwaveringly disparages one president and blindly and unconditionaly defends another NO MATTER WHAT.

  30. You don’t “think it was wrong” which pretty much takes it to the original pushback on this: It’s your opinion, not anything you can document.

    My opinion continues to be that your opinion doesn’t mean much to me.

  31. Randy in Richmond says:

    “Bush stated ‘Bin Laden wasn’t a priority’ ”

    “I never said Bush said those exact words,”

    “I promise you I said what I meant, and stand behind it ”

    These are copies and paste of what jimspice said.

    He has made his point with me and thus I will downplay or ignore his comments because they are apparently made to receive some “expected response” rather than share facts or opinion, as such.

    The Bard’s ” The lady doth protest too much, methinks” strikes a chord here.

  32. Well, you both can think of me what you want, but I’m amazed, just amazed I tell you, that neither of you have uttered the name Fred Barnes. Gee, I wonder why.

    Bottom line, Bush missed ’em, Obama got ’em. Deal with it.

  33. Well, what’s a day without jimspice making an ass of himself. I tell you, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself otherwise. 🙂

    Not to be naive, but who is Fred Barnes?

  34. Cindy, I’ll assume your blog is having commenting issues again, otherwise I’d have to draw the conclusion that you do not read my comments and try to understand my points before criticizing them. Please reread comment #25 and visit the first link therein.

  35. Oh, I read them. I just have the memory of a gnat this week. Got it. Editor of something or other.

  36. Well, he’s important enough to be listed with Karl Rove as a key Obama critic in a post right here at Fairly Conservative:

    He must be lying.

  37. You know, jimspice, you’ve flat lost me. What are you trying to prove again?

  38. Ugh. In responding to Leapin reference to “…infrastructure that Bush/Cheney laid down” to capture Bin Laden, I suggested that Bush did not consider it a priority. I offered a link to a highly regarded conservative source, Fred Barnes, that quotes Bush as saying exactly that. But then RiR ignores that, and says Bush’s recorded comments mean no such thing.

    My last several comments were aimed to draw a response to the Barnes account; either Bush said it, or Barnes is a liar. Which is it?

  39. I think it’s time to wrap it up Jim. I have no idea where you’re at anymore.