Friday, July 25, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Hart: The moral question behind high taxes

By
From page A2 | October 02, 2012 |

The White House website says this in explaining the “Buffett Rule,” an initiative that would obligate anyone making at least $1 million a year to an effective tax rate of at least 30 percent:

“Anyone who does well for themselves should do their fair share in return, so that more people have the opportunity to get ahead — not just a few.”

But in 2009, the top 10 percent of income earners paid 71 percent of all federal income taxes paid, even though they earned 43 percent of all the income earned. The bottom half paid 2 percent of all federal income taxes, even though they earned 13 percent of all the income. (This according to the Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington.)

That all sounds more than a little unfair to the folks whose wealth is driving our economy and creating jobs and income. But it’s not just that the Buffet Rule itself is unfair, or even that it wouldn’t work. The wealthy aren’t wealthy because they are stupid, they will figure out ways to avoid the higher tax rates, and thank goodness: Historically, lower tax rates lead to more federal revenues and higher tax rates to less.

Most of the arguments around progressive tax plans tend to focus on such things — who really pays the most taxes, would they really work to bring in more money, what would they do to the economy and so on. These are important questions, but not the most important ones.

There is another question that is not routinely asked, and I wish Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and others would start asking it: Why is it that many so-called progressive folks denounce the right of people to spend their own money as they see fit, but think it’s OK to take that money from its owners and spend it as they — the progressives — see fit?

Isn’t that really at the core of so much of our political debates today? Think about it. The same people who clamor for ever higher and more “fair” tax rates on the so-called wealthy are demanding that these folks pay more taxes because it’s somehow morally wrong for them to keep a significant percentage of their own money. But those very same progressives somehow think it’s “moral” to take the money of the wealthy to spend as they — the progressives — see fit on their own government projects.

How can that be?

I’m not against people being obligated to pay taxes. (Though I’d prefer a flat income tax or consumption-based tax.) I think that one can make the case that we, as a free people, have to support the government we hire.

But that’s the point. Such an orientation recognizes that wealth actually belongs to those who create it. Within that moral framework, we can then argue about the most productive and, I would suggest, the lowest tax rates possible.

Look, I served on the Reagan White House staff, and for a long time I was passionate about politics. But as regular readers may know, in recent years my focus has become less about politics and more about family and culture and community.

Well, it seems to me that is exactly how this tax issue should be understood.

It’s not just an election-year issue. These days, it seems that government is understood as having first dibs on our productivity. It’s a profoundly moral question to ask: Why?

(Betsy Hart’s latest book is “From The Hart: A Collection of Favorite Columns on Love, Loss, Marriage (and Other Extreme Sports).” Reach her through hartmailbox-mycolumn@yahoo.com. For more stories, visit scrippsnews.com.)

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
CSP Solano inmates make music for rehabilitation

By Krissi Khokhobashvili | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Big Chuckllz, fellow comics want to keep Fairfield laughing

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Holly Stell ready for new adventure, plans Sunday concert

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Solano actors join forces for new single, ‘Groove Me’

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Organizers seek riders, volunteers for Ride to Defeat Diabetes

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Friday concerts begin Aug. 1 at Solano Town Center

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B3

 
Bay Stage filled with entertainment at Solano County Fair

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B3

 
 
Bay Area’s air district issues Spare the Air alert

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Assembly candidate Henthorn to appear at GOP dinner

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

 
Daily Republic seeks good news for column

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A12, 22 Comments

Fairfield police log: July 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

California removes lane splitting guidelines

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

 
Execution offers evidence against lethal injection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Judge argues for return of firing squad executions

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

 
Outcry saves rare redwood from being chopped down

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

California man gets 4 years in counterfeit case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
SF professor charged with taping students in bathroom

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California wine collector set for sentencing on fraud charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
 
Obama wants limits on US company mergers abroad

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Toxic algae closes Oakland’s Lake Temescal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
House panel clears way for vote on Obama lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Feds cap fines for not buying health insurance

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
House, Senate chairs offer competing bills on VA

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 2 Comments

Doctor fired back at gunman in hospital attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
Social Security’s $300M IT project doesn’t work

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

More US girls now getting cervical cancer vaccine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Storm slams Virginia campground; 2 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

UN school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Air Algerie jet with 116 on board crashes in Mali

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Very bad week: Airline disasters come in a cluster

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Islamic militants seize part of Syrian army base

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Iraq elects new president as attacks kill dozens

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Ukrainian prime minister announces resignation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

As inmate died, lawyers debated if he was in pain

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
.

Opinion

 
Is parenting being criminalized in America?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

Coyote epidemic in Fairfield

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 8 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoons for July 25, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

Call for tech diversity misplaced

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History for July 25, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes for July 25, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
My siblings want friends to handle sale of our father’s house

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview July 25-31, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Robert Downey Jr. open to returning for ‘Iron Man 4’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Will Ferrell and Adam McKay to go wild with ‘Manimal’ movie

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B2

Review: Allen casts a limp spell in ‘Magic’

By Jake Coyle | From Page: B2

 
Review: ‘Lucy’ won’t stretch your brain capacity

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Pop star Azalea talking fashion on MTV

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Jon Bon Jovi to be honored for humanitarian work

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Malkovich, Cumberbatch make Comic-Con premieres

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Kiss, Usher, J.Lo to perform at Fashion Rocks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment calendar July 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
Stonestreet: Acceptance will grow for gay athletes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Moss powers A’s past Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Eagles soar past Expos in Area 1 tourney

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7

Hudson solid, Hammels better in Giants’ loss to Phillies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Indians win 14-8 over Mudcats

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B7

49ers’ Smith plans to meet soon with Commissioner Goodell

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Pucker up! NASCAR returns to Brickyard

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Manning getting used to new faces on Broncos

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Raiders CB Hayden to start camp on PUP

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Nibali wins Stage 18, closes in on Tour victory

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Ravens RB Rice receives 2-game suspension from NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Lynch expected to hold out from Seahawks camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Putnam, Petrovic share Canadian Open lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

AP source: Gordon to meet with league Aug. 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Langer leads British Senior by 2 after 1st round

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

A’s Johnson designated for assignment

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Taiwan sweeps US in 1st day of International Crown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

AP Source: NFL stadium sites explored in Toronto

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
2 Texas football players charged with sexual assault

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Cavs sign Wiggins, who can’t be traded for 30 days

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Suspended WR Blackmon arrested on drug complaint

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Signups for Friday, July 25, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
This date in sports history for Friday, July 25, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, July 25, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

 
Weather for July 25, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

.

Business

LR4 is updated for fuel efficiency

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Ford’s green push

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: C2

Varying health premium subsidies worry consumers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

US new-home sales plummet in June

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Across US job market, layoffs are becoming rare

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

US unemployment aid applications drop to 284,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Dunkin’ pushing cashiers to ‘upsell’ in afternoons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Court throws out Chiquita terror payment claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Bombardier restructuring cuts 1,800 jobs globally

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

Shirley T. ‘Mac’ McFadden

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 5 Comments

 
Mary Bell Scrivner Sanders

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Arturo Montenegro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Mary Spingola Stagnaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Nelson Max Allen

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
.

Solano County Fair 2014

Cultural exhibits, entertainment are fair highlights

By Solano County Fair | From Page: SCF2 | Gallery

Bay Stage talent competitions, nightly karaoke party

By Solano County Fair | From Page: SCF3

Jack & Bernice Newell Junior Livestock Auction returns to fair

By Solano County Fair | From Page: SCF4 | Gallery

Big names, big sounds grace fair stage

By Solano County Fair | From Page: SCF4 | Gallery

Bay Stage welcomes wide array of entertainers

By Solano County Fair | From Page: SCF15 | Gallery

Solano shines at fair’s County and Cities Expo

By Solano County Fair | From Page: SCF16