As I quietly sat down and wrote a check to the Internal Revenue Service this week, I wondered about the 45 percent of Americans who pay no taxes. And I wondered about General Electric who paid no taxes on their $38 billion profits this past year.
Sadly, I am not among the super-rich who get blamed for hoarding their riches and who, according to the Democrats, shelter way too much and unfairly avoid their "fair share" of taxes.
Nor am I among the 45 percent who pay nothing. I also am not among those low-wage earners who qualify for the ever-popular Earned Income Credit. Come to think of it, I am also not among those whose children are disruptive and qualify for SSI. And I fall a tad above the line for housing subsidies, utility expenses, food stamps, Medicaid and more assistance than I can possibly name. All paid with taxes from the 55 percent who actually pay taxes.
Equally, I am not a farmer who qualifies for subsidies for my crops.
But alas, I do qualify for home mortgage and charitable deductions. Those small concessions may soon evaporate, too.
The bottom line - I am a taxpayer. Not a big one perhaps in relation to many others and most certainly not a small one by similar comparisons.
I said last week that I could and would reluctantly agree with the current administration and support a higher tax rate for the rich - though we have yet to agree on the definition of rich. Or poor, for that matter.
But for that support, all I ask is some reduced spending. What this President offered last week was fuzzy accounting tricks that counted phantom money as a spending cut.
To quote our President: Do you think we are stupid?
And now the buzz words are "shared responsibilities," as if some portions of our population will ever share in this belt-tightening.
The administration talks of Medicaid reductions as if someone will actually see a change in that ultra-expensive program. If Medicaid costs are cut, medical providers will be forced to recoup those reductions from some other source. Same goes for Medicare. Would you like to venture a guess on who will actually pay those higher costs?
Look in the mirror stupid!
I talk far too much about the lack of leadership these days. But I point the finger of blame equally on both sides of the political spectrum. Yet until someone is willing to address the fundamental issues that created this mess, we'll just stall a little longer.
Here's the fundamental problem. Too few people are being required to support far too many others.
The President's dead-on-arrival debt commission recommended phasing out many of the current deductions that amount to a hefty $1.1 trillion every year.
This "shared responsibility" would impact those who work and pay taxes. It would not be shared by those who don't work and don't pay taxes.
Don't call it "shared" when the burden still falls to the producers to provide for the needs of the non-producers.