Fair Share

By Dr. Jim Ferguson

Last week was April 15, Tax Day, but to paraphrase the 1960-80s public service announcement, “Do you know where your [dollars] are?”

Americans are sending trillions of dollars to Washington, but the government is spending money faster than we can earn it. As a result, we are more than $34 trillion in debt, and it gets worse every day. But wait, there’s even more. The dysfunctional Congress is trying to pass a bill to send $48 billion to Ukraine, $14 billion to Israel, but nothing for Brandon’s wide open southern border. Meanwhile, the Democrats are doing their damnedest to put President Trump in jail for manufactured crimes in order to re-elect the worst president in modern times. I was so disgusted that I turned off all the news and went to the garden.

A longtime friend of mine is an expert gardener. By comparison, I am just a rank amateur, so I listen when he gives advice. But it goes both ways. Before I retired I was his doctor and he took my medical advice. As the apostle Paul said, we all have different gifts.

Gardener-friend lives in Knoxville and recommends never planting prior to Tax Day. (Seeds are an exception.) I have to admit that I have cheated and planted earlier than April 15. But I have paid the price when surveying the damage of a late spring frost. Sometimes failures are better lessons than success. I now preach the garden wisdom of April 15 planting.

Becky and I believe that farming is the hardest vocation. Some don’t appreciate farmers like they should. Even with modern horticultural techniques, hard work and long hours, fertilizer and occasional insecticides, a good crop is dependent upon the weather and, consequently, a certain degree of luck.

I am certainly no farmer or expert gardener, but I do a big garden each year and tend my small orchard and vineyard as well as the flowers around our home. We enjoy the flowers, produce and fruit, and I make wine from the grapes I harvest in late summer. We are already enjoying the springtime asparagus from the rootstock I planted years ago.

Gardening is good work, and I now have the time, but I have no illusion that I could feed my family with my efforts. Real farmers feed us, and truckers bring their bounty to market. Last week Becky and I labored mightily planting our summer garden. And while recuperating on the porch with Becky’s world famous margaritas, we voiced thanks to farmers, truckers and producers everywhere.

Last week we sent a sizable check to Washington, D.C., as did almost 50% of other Americans who pay income tax. You realize that 47% of Americans do not pay income tax. And I’m sure that few illegals are filing a 1040. Like just about every aspect of our government, the tax system is a colossal mess despite continual manipulations of tax law driven by politics. What could possibly go wrong? Like most institutions in our government, I believe reform is impossible and a lot of agencies just need to be done away with or, perhaps, redone. I offer the FBI and the Department of Education as examples ripe for cancellation or do-overs.

Repeatedly, we hear the cry that everyone should “pay their fair share.” Some even observe that rich people like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos or billionaire Mark Cuban have too much while others don’t have  “enough.” In fact, a recent poll (I&I/TIPP) found that 56% of Americans think they pay too much in taxes, whereas 26% say they pay too little.

But what do those phrases actually mean and who gets to make those determinations? I can decide what is enough for me, but what gives someone the right to say what is right for me? The terms are subjective. I’m no fan of Mark Cuban who reportedly sent a huge check to Washington, saying he “paid what he owed.” He certainly didn’t offer to pay more than tax laws require.

I’m not an economy or tax wonk, just an ordinary citizen. A real expert like Harold Black should perhaps be writing this essay. According to the latest data from 2021, the “richest 1% earn 26% of all income, but pay more than 45% of all taxes. The bottom 75% of Americans earn 28% of all income, but pay just under 11% of all taxes.” Since the Trump-era 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the wealthy are actually paying more taxes. You should be skeptical of what Democrats and their media mouthpieces tell you.

And if you think it can’t get worse, I recommend you look up Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s statements regarding the Wealth Tax which Democrats plan to push if Dark Brandon is reelected. Instead of being taxed on capital gains, the Progressive Democrats are licking their chops to tax the equity you have in your house, your 401(k) or any other property they define as your fair share.

As an example, say you bought a house for $200,000 ten years ago and it is now valued at $400,000. Even though you have not sold your house, how would you like to get a yearly tax bill on the gain of $200,000 in value? Can’t pay the tax? Well then, you’d just have to sell your house to pay the tax. And Biden is going to increase that gain in capital (equity) tax from 21% to 44%. This will collapse the stock and real estate markets.

You say they would never do this. But who would have thought a president and a party would destroy our borders? But don’t trust me, research the wealth tax proposals yourself.

It may seem naïve, but I never thought the progressive Democrats would be able to destroy America in my lifetime. But then Obama was elected and vowed to “transform” America. America’s destruction is now underway in BHO’s “third term.”

I’ve lived long and well, but my days are about done. Dark Brandon’s plan to increase taxes by 5 trillion dollars is just another of his apocalyptic policies. I may be preaching to the choir, but it’s all I can do aside from voting. We’ve got one last chance to change America’s course or we are done.