ANDREW PUZDER:: Democratic Myth No. 2: ‘All I’m saying is that those who have done well should pay their fair share’
By: Andrew Puzder —
Editor’s Note: This analysis the second in a five-part series on Democrats’ mythical sound bites by Andrew Puzder, an economic adviser to Mitt Romney and CEO of CKE Restaurants, which employs about 21,000 workers. The first installment was entitled, “Democratic Myth No. 1: GOP Is to Blame for Failure of Obama’s Job Policies.”
President Obama has repeatedly attempted to frame the debate over increasing federal revenue and reducing the deficit as a simple matter: Just raise taxes on people who have been successful. To use the President’s precise phrasing: “All I’m saying is that those who have done well, including me, should pay their fair share in taxes.”
This sound bite sounds so good that one is tempted to simply agree without ever questioning the president’s underlying assumption that the successful among us are not already paying their fair share. Or, that increasing tax rates on the successful is the same as increasing tax revenues. Neither assumption reflects reality. As is the case with every Democratic sound bite, the president is counting on it being so appealing that most Americans will accept what he says rather than see it for the myth that it is. In fact, he is counting on people believing the myth even when faced with facts to the contrary.
Dare we ask what share of federal income tax revenues “those who have done well” should pay as their “fair share” and then ask whether they are failing to do so? Should we expect a president who claims successful Americans are failing to pay their fair share to demonstrate why he believes this before repeating it relentlessly as if it were a fact? Perhaps not. In the wrong hands, an oft-repeated myth can become more effective than the truth.