THE FAIRNESS FALLACY

Christopher MarkowskiArticle, Research & The Economy0 Comments

APRIL 2012

The President of the United States has decided to take his traveling circus of illusion on the road to pitch his version of a Brave Fair World and the magic of his Buffet Tax that will make this all possible.  Every millionaire would be subject to the new rule and according to all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, “it will help us close our deficit.”  When the rule was first floated, President Obama stated that the tax “could raise enough money so that we could stabilize our debt and deficits for the next decade.  This is not politics; this is math.”  Now, I wasn’t particularly a very good Mathematics student, but I was most certainly not this bad.  However, on a different day in front of a different audience the President stated, “There are others who are saying: well this is just a gimmick.  Just taxing millionaires and billionaires, just imposing the Buffet Rule, won’t do enough to close the deficit.  Well, I agree.”

Meanwhile, back in the real world…according to the Congressional Budget Office the Buffet Tax will raise $3.2 billion per year.  We currently borrow that amount every seventeen hours.  So if we balance our budget tomorrow (insert laugh here) and implement the Buffet Tax we can pay off our federal deficit in only 514 years!!  To put this in perspective 514 years ago the toothbrush was invented, Columbus discovered Trinidad and Michelangelo was commissioned to carve the Pieta. 

“Mr. Markowski, you idiot, it’s about fairness!  Don’t you know that the rich need to pay their fair share!”

I would like to remind everyone that the President is at least consistent.  Back in 2008, in a debate against Hillary Clinton, moderated by Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, then Senator Obama was pressed on what he would do with the capital gains tax.  At the time Obama was considering bringing it up to 30%.  Gibson explained to Obama during the debate that every time the capital gains tax was reduced, revenue to the treasury increased.  Senator Obama could not be persuaded, he insisted that he would raise the tax because of fairness.

I decided to conduct a fairness test on my kids to see what the politically indisposed felt about fairness.  I started with my youngest child, Nicholas who is six years old. 

“Nicholas, if you and your friends wanted to buy a new toy, would it be fair if you had to pay for the entire thing and they had to pay nothing?”  His answer, “No.”

Aspasia, my daughter, is seven years old and I asked her, “Aspasia, If you work really hard in school and get really good grades, would it be fair if the teacher took some of your grade away and gave it to kids in your class that did not do so well?”  Her answer, “No.”

Stephen is my oldest at nine years old, I asked him, “Stephen, you try out for an elite lacrosse team and the coach comes up to you after the tryouts and tells you that you played better than anyone else, but you could not be on the team because we need more kids with a different skin color, is that fair?”  His reply coupled with a completely perplexed look on his face, “No.”

Thomas Jefferson in our Declaration of Independence stated, “All men are created equal.”  It was Jefferson’s rebuttal to the divine right of kings, which it turn means that nobody should be above the law.  We now write laws under the idea of creating fairness, or leveling the playing field.  This is patently absurd.  I will never be able to dunk a basketball like LeBron James, should he be forced to wear concrete Nikes to level the playing field so I too can play in the NBA?

What our vote-buying politicians do with their ridiculous laws and rhetoric is to further balkanize the country, which serves their interests, not ours.  Laws need to be simple and fair.  A tax-code of some 70,000 pages is neither; nor is health-care legislation of 2700 pages.  I could go on, but I think you get the point.  The idea that these politicians can create some sort of fairness utopia is illogical and dangerous.  The Fairness Doctrine being preached from the church of unintended consequences in Washington D.C. is a fallacy. 

 

Milbank Dana Rebuffing Obama’s Gimmicky Buffet Rule Washington Post 4/11/12

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *