Don Brunell’s Jan. 14 business column, “Nobody starts at the top,” makes the usual Republican/conservative argument that the rich pay their “fair share” of taxes. They do not! Brunell uses the usual argument, “the rich pay most of the taxes.” Well, why not? Those with most of the money will pay most of the taxes.
The “unfair” part has to do not with ” most taxes” but with the percentage of income. Brunell’s disingenuous argument leaves off fairness. Is it fair for the Romneys to pay 13.3 percent taxes on dividends, his only “income,” while the worker pays 28 percent of his income? Of course not. That is the real argument, fairness of taxation, not income inequality. The inequality of wealth has increased because of these unfair tax rules.
And about the “charity” argument, Brunell says “most successful companies give back to their communities.” Did Boeing give back to its machinists? No, they took their pensions while enjoying record profits. If corporations and the rich paid their fair share in taxes and wages, charity would be less necessary. Brunell lectures us, “being successful takes hard work,” as if most of us don’t work hard. His measure of “success,” like most of his ilk, is a big bank account bloated by years of unfair taxation and exploitation of the working.