WASHINGTON, March 17, 2017 — MSNBC’s perpetual smirk, Rachel Maddow, was sure she had President Donald Trump over a barrel. After all, she had two whole pages from his 2005 tax returns.
From those pages some were shocked to learn that Trump paid $38 million in federal taxes on an income of $153 million.
That’s a 24 percent tax bite. Which is a “fair share”, a higher rate than Obama, Sanders or even MSNBC parent company Comcast, has paid.
Meanwhile, the left’s favorite self-deprecating billionaire, Warren Buffett, rendered to Caesar a mere 16 percent of his income as recently as 2015. Back in 2011, Buffett wrote an op-ed for the New York Times decrying the fact that his secretary paid more in taxes (34 percent) than he did.
The bean-counters at Forbes magazine later estimated that secretary’s income at between $200,000 and $500,000.
Hardly your average American wage-earner.
The secretary in question, Debbie Bosanek, served as a dutiful prop for President Obama during one of his long and forgettable State of the Union Addresses.
“My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress,” wrote Buffett in the Times, “It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.”
To that end, Buffett insisted Congress enact legislation requiring every American with an annual income over $1 million to surrender 35 percent of it to Washington’s wasteful tax and spenders.
Congress, to its credit, rejected what became known as “The Buffett Rule.”
For his noble efforts, Obama awarded Buffett Washington’s Useful Idiot Award, a.k.a., the Medal of Freedom.
In 2015, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center reported that 45.3 percent of American households, 77.5 million, paid no federal income tax.
Buffett and Obama’s concept of “shared sacrifice” clearly does not apply to nearly half the nation.
These folks have no skin in the game, but they clearly vote. Last November, however, they lost.
They may not contribute to the national treasury, but they are tripping over one another to organize a so-called “resistance” designed to get their hands on more of your and Trump’s tax dollars.
Like MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, the “resistance” has contradictory notions concerning money: On the one hand, they say it’s the root of all evil. On the other hand, they say money’s evil taint evaporates the moment a corrupt elected official uses it to grease their palms to buy their votes.
“Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce.”
So says Francisco d’Anconia in Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged.”
If Republicans in Congress are serious about tax reform, they should forget about the Buffett Rule and instead bring the 45.3 percent of Americans that pay no federal income tax back into the fold.
Whether you earn a single dollar a year or $153 million, everyone should pay their “fair share” whether that number is 15%, 18% or Trump’s 25%.
Only then will the nation be able to have a serious dialogue on entitlement spending and the taxes needed to pay for them.