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Nation’s rich already pay their fair share

Published 12:05am Sunday, January 5, 2014

I have heard much ado lately about inequality. They are referring to the hiatus between the “haves” and the “have-nots.” I hear it from the goofballs in Washington to the “Daffy Duck Dynasty” of Sharpton and Jackson.

All propose to steal from the “haves” and give to the “have-nots” — the old Robin Hood scam.

With his Marxist Revolution, Mao Zedong achieved an equality that was unrivaled anywhere. However, there were no private cars on the streets, nearly nothing on the shelves and all the Chinese seemed to be dressed in the same blue Mao jackets.

Today, there are millionaires in China, progressive cities, a huge growing middle class and, yes, millions of peasants still living on a few dollars a day.

There is far greater inequality in China today, but it is a far better place than the Communist suppression by Mao. Freedom produces equality, not guaranteed benefits. Yet for many people, from N.Y. Mayor Bill de Blasio to President Obama, income inequality is a curse in need of a cure.

An American family of four with an income of $25,550 qualified as living in poverty in 2013. The top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 40 percent of the taxes. The top 10 percent paid 70 percent of the taxes, and the top 50 percent of taxpayers paid 97 percent of the taxes.

The poor pay nothing. In fact, many get “tax credits,” which in effect are payments for not having to pay taxes at all.

Fifteen percent of American families qualify as poor on the basis of their earned income. This does not take into account the vast number of benefits they receive. Their children get free education from K-12 and many start college with Pell grants that do not require repayment.

Their medical needs are taken care of through Medicaid, they receive food stamps to feed their family and the kids get free meals at school for 12 months a year.

Housing too is paid for or subsidized. The poor also receive welfare checks. Eighty percent have free cell phones. There are 79 federal programs that provide cash, food, housing, medical care, social services, training and education to poor and low-income Americans. When the benefits are added to the earned income, their yearly income jumps to approximately $44,000 per year for a family of four. The price tag for all of this: $927 billion per year.

Then there are contributions of churches, charities and foundations. Where in history have poor people been treated so lavishly?

The only way to make people who are unequal in talents equal in rewards is to use government power to dispossess some and favor others (affirmative action).

Politicians pretend to love equality in their effort to campaign on an emotional principle. Get the people to believe you are seeking equality for all and there is no limit to the power you can attain.

Look for Hillary Clinton to pick up this mantra in her rush to the White House in 2016.

 

Ed Field

Natchez