April 15, 2011

While it’s true the top 1% “€œtake”€ a disproportionate amount of the wealth, it’s also true they “€œgive”€ an even higher proportion of the taxes. 2006 IRS data tell us that the top percent of taxpayers pay two-fifths of all income taxes, while the bottom half pay less than three percent. So the top percentile “€œtakes”€ 25 percent of the wealth and “€œgives”€ 40 percent of the taxes, and this is unfair to whom?

As Mark Steyn points out, “€œWhat’s about to hit America is not a “€˜shock.”€™ It’s not an earthquake, it’s not a tsunami, it’s what Paul Ryan calls “€˜the most predictable crisis in the history of our country.”€™”€ Steyn explains there is only one cause for this dead end and it’s the government’s spending habits, not those of the wealthy.

Why does anyone think giving bureaucrats money is going to do any good? Government is terrible at doing anything properly, especially distributing wealth. When they get money, they don”€™t train migrant workers to become astronauts. They tell people what they can and cannot feed their kids. Then they take away the kid’s basketball hoop. They look in a six-year-old girl’s pants for bombs and then tell her she can”€™t be cheered up with a Happy Meal. You want to pay these people to make us smart? They can”€™t even pave the roads. I pay about $40 in tolls a week here in New York and I still hit at least one pothole per trip. With the money New Yorkers pay in tolls the roads should be paved with gold, but they”€™re not even in the same universe as America’s beautifully kept private roads such as Virginia’s Dulles Greenway.

People complain about our country’s schools and say the government needs more money to fix them, but the government created this mess in the first place. While Wisconsin teachers tell us of their inalienable right to receive an indexed pension, my generation asks, “€œWhat’s a pension?”€ Stiglitz keeps talking about how the rich “€œtake”€ America’s money, but they never took anything from me. The only entity that has ever taken anything from me has been the government. At this point, I”€™d rather Bill Gates throw $10 million in a fire than blow it on one of Obama’s cockamamie plans. It would probably be better for the economy and would definitely help inflation.

Is it wrong that CEOs are rewarded for failure while their workers are laid off? Of course it is. But the $20 billion or so in annual bonuses that Wall Street’s bad apples make can”€™t hold a candle to the $480 billion in bonuses civil servants make every year. Is it wrong that the top 1% has so much political influence? Yep, but look how many dozens of unions and blue donkeys you have to scroll past before you reach Koch Industries at #83. If our new population isn”€™t getting educated and rich, it’s not the government’s job to punish the educated and rich for it.

I grew up middle class and my father could have easily afforded to pay for my education and my rent after I moved out. I never asked because it would have felt absurd and his answer would have been, “€œUh, why? Are you OK?”€ I”€™m not entitled to the money he makes because I”€™m not a child anymore.

It’s entirely reasonable to suggest that many people are poor because they”€™re not that sharp or ambitious. It’s also rational to assume that the majority of this country’s rich people are brilliant and motivated. If you want Tommy’s blocks, go get your own. You”€™re not a child and this country is not a nursery.



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