Finding your 'fair share'

Finding your 'fair share'

April 25th, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

You're a parent of a middle school-age child who has been disciplined and diligent in her efforts to complete an assignment. You've watched your child make sacrifices and invest energy into the tri-fold poster board of stencils, border and a tabletop display that accompanies her 5-page, double-spaced report.

You make arrangements to be a few minutes late to work to help set up the project at school. Maybe the volcano needs just a little more red Play-Doh at the top, the Grecian columns had to be repositioned, or your sweet student needs last-minute assistance with an outfit that puts her in character.

Whew! A smiling child and a proud parent deliver a project that just has to be a success.

Now, imagine that you're at the dinner table that night. You can't wait to hear the details of the presentation, the teacher's response and the comments from classmates. Along with your meal, you'll savor your precious one's success.

Instead, your child tells you that the project was noted as one of the best in the class, but that full credit will not be awarded her. With wide eyes and shrugging shoulders, your efficient student explains that, "because some of the other kids didn't have a poster or drawing, I had to give five points from my score to give to others."

Your middle-schooler adds that another five points was taken from her grade because a few presenters didn't type their reports, and another handful didn't quite make the 5-page requirement.

As a parent, you want to explain, but really can't. You watched your child's effort and focus. You saw the preparation and consistent pace at which she plugged away. Yet the scoring seems to penalize those characteristics.

Push the timeline forward with your child, now an adult. Instead of school, she's working in the business community. She pays her bills on time, saves some money each year, and faithfully volunteers in her church and her favorite charity.

While her salary is not one of excess, it exceeds most people's due to her commitment to studying and nailing down details all the way through college. She chose to work during summers rather than hanging out with friends, and she pursued work-study opportunities to expand her resume.

Your daughter now is told by politicians that she's not "paying her fair share," despite the fact that she isn't doing any creative accounting or tax avoidance.

Are you ready to explain how much of what one earns is a "fair share?"

There is no disagreement that we need good government and that the revenue is necessary to fund that government. However, a malignantly overreaching government that spends excessively outside its constitutional bounds should trim its budget severely before asking for more.

Our government now penalizes producers and those who play by the rules. This same government is infested with the political class that fans the flame of envy about one's earnings to hide the stealth mismanagement and redistribution of wealth.

Now, explain why the consent of the governed permits such.

This is not what made America great, but it surely will lead to her continued economic downfall.