(Corrects story originally published March 2 to delete references to actor Nicolas Cage, who didn't file for bankruptcy. TheStreet and writer Chris Markowski regret the error.)
NEW YORK (
) -- What do Hollywood actors, the seemingly unbridled passion of law school coeds and Warren Buffett have to do with one another? Quite a bit. Let me explain.
The presidential election is grinding away on a single issue: What constitutes a fair tax burden for the support of our great country and way of life. The Democrats say the wealthy should pay more. To wit, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's comment that the most fortunate should pay more for the privilege of being an American. Predictably, the Republicans say this is tantamount to wringing the neck of the Golden Goose.
The conflict has an ugly veneer, fresh off the Occupy Wall Street movement where the 99% were pitted against the 1%.
I can't enter the ring on class warfare, because I can't win. In fact, when it comes to making taxes fair and equitable, none of us can win. And this brings me to Hollywood celebrities, some of whom live beyond their means after years of scraping by as waiters. Do you think they have a revenue problem or a spending problem?
It's the same with our government. With 2011 revenue of $2.3 trillion, we don't have a revenue problem. We've got a lot citizens and activists whose first word wasn't "mama." It was "entitlement."
Let's see. We're mollifying human rights activists with a $750,000 soccer field for Guantanamo detainees; we've got law school coeds -- on "public interest scholarships," no less -- arguing for insurance coverage of contraception (as ObamaCare is phased in); we've got schools serving breakfast, lunch and dinner following the enactment of the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.
Milton Friedman nailed it when he said: In the long run, government will spend whatever the tax system will raise, plus as much as it can get away with. Thus, in my mind, at this point, "tax fairness" is all about giving the government more that it can get away with. That's why it's unfair to all, because in the long run, it hurts us all.
So New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was spot on when he told Warren Buffett to shut up and write a check. Hey, if he's got the money to let the government spend what it can get away with, have at it. But for the rest of us, please, no more about tax fairness. Things are unfair enough already.
Chris Markowski is a radio show host and founder of the financial-planning firm Markowski Investments. A former sales professional in the brokerage industry, Markowski has dedicated himself to exposing the corruption he saw there. His radio show, "Watchdog on Wall Street," is now in its 10th year of syndication.