The “Unfairness” Card
And so it goes.
Instead of looking for legitimate cuts to close the looming budget gap, the O’Malley administration is blowing smoke while devoting its efforts to increase taxes and spending and taxes and spending…
Now we find that the Maryland state income tax is unfair.
O’Malley called the structure “patently unfair” this week, saying at a
Democratic breakfast in Frederick that Peter Angelos, the wealthy trial lawyer who owns the Baltimore Orioles, should not pay the same rate as “the woman who
cleans his office.”
Anyone vaguely acquainted with liberalspeak knows there are few sins greater than unfairness.
(No fooling, there really is more below the fold, just click it.)
I’m not a big fan of taxes and have lived long enough to guffaw at that idea that fairness is desirable much less the goal of governmental policy (do you want you doctor to be someone who got into medical school because it was “fair?”). I personally don’t have an issue with the rich and the poor paying the same tax rate because we are all citizens, we should all help pay the freight, and ultimately Mr. Angelos will pay a boatload more money in taxes than the SEIU member who cleans his office.
What is enlightening about this contrived debate over the income tax is the perspective brought to it by the Democrats.
Progressive Maryland, a group that advocates for working-class families, is
pushing a “millionaire’s tax surcharge” that would add 3 percent to the top rate
for those making $500,000 a year or more. The group says the surcharge could
generate an additional $400 million a year.
“They’ve gotten a lot of tax breaks from George W. Bush, and we feel like they should give a portion of that back to Maryland,” Sean Dobson, the group’s acting director, said of those who would be affected by the measure.
This type of class warfare makes debate on the budget shortfall impossible. The fact is that the money earned by the people Mr. Dobson detests is their money. It is that simple. It is not the state’s money. It is not Mr. Dobson’s money to give to anyone.
The illogic of taking more from the most productive members of society on the off chance that the state will spend that money better than the owner of that money is simply silly on a number of levels. The most obvious of which should be that raising the Maryland rate 3% will make it about two points higher than either Virginia or Maryland. When one adds a higher income tax rate to the other fees, taxes, and general nannyism one finds in Maryland it is easy to see a lot of these golden geese fleeing before they are slain.
House Minority Leader O’Donnell has it spot on:
House Minority Leader Anthony J. O’Donnell (R-Calvert) said Republicans continue
to think that raising taxes of any kind is a bad idea: “Marylanders are not
undertaxed. . . . What we have is a spending problem.”
And if tax increases come to pass for crying out loud let’s not use “fairness” as a measure.