A True Test of Your Liberalism (Guest Blogger Dick Richards)

With federal spending at 25% of GDP, that means the average income earner is forking over 25 cents out of every dollar he or she earns to Uncle Sam. (Technically, only 17 cents; Sam is borrowing the other 8). The most equitable way of divvying up the carrying cost of this full-figured government would be for every person to pay 25% of his earnings in taxes.

If you believe we need the level of government we have then take this little test.
First, add up all of the federal taxes you paid in 2010. This is easy, just add the amounts in boxes 2, 4, and 6 from your W-2.

Then find your total income. Line 22 of you 1040 would be the best choice, but you can go with box 1 from your W-2 if your income is mostly wages.

The next step is to multiply your total income from step 2 by 25%. That’s the amount you should have paid if you were truly carrying your share of the burden.

And, here’s the true test of your liberalism. Take the value from step 3 (the federal taxes you should have paid) subtract the amount from step 1 (the federal taxes you actually paid), and write a check to the federal government for the difference.

Think this test is unfair? Well, we can adjust the number. Many people believe that those with the greater income should carry a greater share of the burden. The median income is $49,000. So, if your income is more than $49,000, you should write a bigger check; if it is less, you can write a smaller check.

My guess is that most liberals will not even do this math because they don’t want to be confronted with the brutal facts. But, if you aren’t willing to take even this small step, let alone the bigger step to write that check, then the liberalism you speak is nothing but empty words.

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About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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