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Published: Saturday, December 15, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Guest commentary / Federal budget


Declaring tax 'fair' doesn't make it so

Rick Larsen's recent Viewpoints commentary, "What's at risk if we go over the fiscal cliff," offered up some disturbing thoughts. Just where does he think America is headed in the next few years or decades and beyond? In my middle class opinion, he, the Democrats, and like-thinking independents are pushing us into a mediocrity never before experienced in this country. Half the population is supporting the other half. Many, who could pay something in income tax, do not simply because political leaders have decided that it is not "fair." This set of Americans is rapidly becoming the entitlement set, the majority of the voting public.
Their "dog in the fight" is the continuation of various benefits created by the U.S. government. Democrats have redefined the meaning of fair to match their demographic game of class warfare. Equal seems to have disappeared from their lexicon. Our Constitution does not talk about fair; rather it embraces the concept of equal. Equal in taxation, equal in employment and equal in human rights are all elements of our constitutional government.
For Larsen and Democrats in general, to say that imposing higher tax rates on individuals simply because they earn at a higher rate simply destroys any resemblance to equal as set forth in the Constitution. Larsen seems to abandon his fairness doctrine when he advocates removing the income level for payroll taxes and taxing all at the same rate. What a concept! He needs to make up his mind as do the Democrats. If you answer these few selected questions, maybe one can see where they are taking us in the years ahead:
•When you make a purchase, we all pay the same sales tax rate. Is that equal or fair?
When you buy a gallon of gas, we all pay the same rate. Is that equal of fair?
When you pay your property tax, we all pay the same rate. Is that equal or fair?
When you pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, we all pay the same rate. Is that equal or fair?
So one might ask, is it not fair tax income at an equal rate for everyone? When it comes time to pay income tax, we pay on a sliding scale graduated upwards from zero. In other words, the less you make the less you pay. Or to say it another way, the more you make the more you pay. Is this equal or fair? Is the day coming when the IRS will issue a government card that identifies your financial "class" based on your income level?
Rick Larsen and the Democrats are by extension, disingenuous in their use of the term 'fair." To use Obama's word "insulting", it is insulting to Americans to classify us as either fair or not fair. That is class warfare by any definition. Larsen's commentary also confirmed that Democrats are committed to continued spending at record levels for there was not a single reference to spending cuts or even holding the line. How preposterous is that? One idea for reductions is: remove (vote 'em out) Rick Larsen and many of his ilk, so he cannot add to our debt and transfer responsibility for repayment to our children.
Ed Pearson lives in Lynnwood.

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Herald Editorial Board

Peter Jackson, Opinion Editor: pjackson@heraldnet.com (@PeterJHerald)

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

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