Friday, September 23, 2011

Fair Share

I suppose that if there is going to be class warfare, I would want to have the President on my side, whatever side that turns out to be. Currently, the big push is to get all those fat-cat billionaires to start paying their taxes, much to the dismay of those who seek to protect those fat-cat billionaires. Oddly enough, some of those fat-cat billionaires are anxious to pay their share. Whatever that is.
It takes me back to a time when I was walking around the streets of Oakland with another newly married young man who began to espouse his belief that there should be a personal salary cap of fifty thousand dollars a year. "Why would you need any more than that?" he asked as we walked through a neighborhood that would definitely support such an ideal. He was borrowing a concept that he became familiar with by watching professional sports. At the time we were all living in our comfortable newlywed nests that held our limited possessions and we were driving used cars. Why would anyone need more than fifty thousand dollars a year to live on?
That was almost twenty years ago, and I imagine that inflation might have pushed that number somewhere north of sixty thousand dollars, but I'm pretty sure that this egalitarian view has fallen by the wayside.
We bought houses. We had kids. We started making retirement plans. We put money aside for one thing and another, and suddenly we find that the money we used to need is not enough. We need more. Lots more. My guess is that we might all be looking at that minimum for the National Football League of a little more than three hundred thousand dollars a year. Of course those guys don't generally play more than seven years, and then they're tossed back in that less forgiving pool of used car salesmen and TV sports analysts.
Then again, maybe it would be easier just to ask all those fat-cat billionaires to write a bigger check to the IRS this year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Percentage of income taxed is not a valid measure of "fairness" anyway. Taking 10% from my paycheck versus 10% from David Letterman's paycheck equates to a much bigger proportionate bite out of my disposable income.