The Shocking Tax Rate Disparity

Cal Thomas

The Shocking Tax Rate Disparity

Are you ready to be shocked? I mean really shocked?

I paid more of what I earned last year as a percentage of income than the super-wealthy Mitt Romney. You heard it right. Romney paid only 15 percent of his income in federal taxes. I paid a higher percentage. Of course, since Romney is probably a billionaire and I am not, he paid more in dollars to the government than I did, but the left says it's not fair that Romney paid a smaller percentage than people with income smaller than his.

None of this is Romney's fault. Most of his income is from investments and the tax code taxes investment income at a lower rate than earned income. If you want to blame someone for this supposed inequality, blame Congress, which writes the tax laws of this country in ways that even highly-educated people cannot possibly understand. That's why they hire tax preparers, often at great expense.

If this disparity in tax rates is something that concerns you, then you should pressure your elected members of Congress to change the tax code; say, to a flat tax or a consumption tax -- but not both. That's the answer, but the politicians like the current system because it helps them with contributions for their re-election.

I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.

Publication date: January 23, 2012