If I had a dime for every time I heard a politician say the rich should pay their fair share in taxes, I'd not only have a lot of dimes, I'd have enough dimes to pay off the entire debt right now.
But alas, that "fair share" is a moving target. Because it seems no matter what the rich are paying, it's never enough.
I thought the rich were finally back to paying their fair share when the president hiked the top tax rate back to 39.6 percent. But I was wrong. The rich still weren't paying their fair share. Not when there was a massive health care law to pay for. So guess who paid for it? The rich, who were hit with new Medicare surtaxes and investment taxes to cover it, bringing their top rate closer to 44 percent.
And I thought, maybe now they're finally paying their fair share. But I was wrong. Nowhere close. Because liberals were nowhere near done, changing the tax code itself and limiting just how much the rich could write off. That squeezed another couple of percentage points out of them, bringing the real top rate closer to 47 percent.
Still not enough. Still not fair. Even after throwing in state taxes and real estate taxes bringing that top rate well north of 55 percent, not north enough. Still not fair enough. Not when there's still so much spending to do.
Enter Bernie Sanders today and his new proposed "Robin Hood" tax. At least Sanders is calling it for what it is: Taking from the rich to provide free college for all, paid courtesy of a 50-cent tax on every $100 worth of stock trades. That'll teach those Wall Street fat cats. Fifty cents on every $100? You're talking trillions of dollars in trades. Do the math: not exactly chump change. But Sanders figures, for these chumps, pay dirt even if it's a dirty way to do it.
Yet I suspect it still won't be enough. Because I also suspect the rich still won't be paying their fair share. Not when nearly half of Americans aren't paying any taxes, at all. Someone's got to pay for all this government.
No wonder Robin Hood had his merry men. You'd be merry too if it wasn't your money you were stealing. Or should I say sharing? After all, fair is fair, as long as you need only share in the bounty and not in paying for the bounty.
Because when Bernie Sanders is invoking Robin Hood and Hillary Clinton is again talking about cards stacked against folks, I think you can see the Sherwood Forest for the trees. Although I sure would like to know when you've just about stolen enough.