Wednesday marks Tax Day in the United States, the day when Americans are obligated to turn in their taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. Normally, you’d expect those who actually, you know, pay taxes to complain about the government robbing them of their livelihood to pay for programs and projects from which they will never benefit. But not anymore.
On Tax Day, according to the media and the left, the real villains are not the shakedown artists from the government who will throw you in prison for failing to appropriately retain your dinner receipt from February 2014. The real villains are businessowners, who must be forced to pay more money to their low-level employees.
That’s why, according to USA Today, low-wage workers are organizing “the largest-ever mobilization of US workers seeking higher pay,” beginning on Tax Day. McDonald’s workers in New York City began protesting this morning at 6 a.m., blocking traffic near the Brooklyn Bridge. Protesters yelled and chanted and held banners championing a $15 minimum wage. Overall, the Tax Day protests are designed to “evolve … into a 230-city protest and strike, not only by fast-food workers, but also by everything from adjunct professors to home care employees to child care workers to Walmart workers.”
It’s a classic misdirection play from the left. To distract from the fact that those who actually pay taxes in America foot all the bills, and that the government unfairly extracts disproportionate earnings from them, the left has decided to protest against private business – even though it’s truly the government that ensures low wages stay low. After all, were food stamps to disappear overnight, businesses would be forced to pay higher wages to workers, or workers won’t take those low-wage jobs. It’s a lot easier to take a job paying $7.25 per hour when you’re receiving food stamps than when you don’t.
That’s precisely what The Wall Street Journal found when it examined the recipients of welfare: most already have a job, and 52% of them worked in fast-food. Overall, according to a study from University of California, Berkeley, 56% of federal and state dollars “spent between 2009 and 2011 on welfare programs – including Medicaid, food stamps and the Earned Income Tax Credit – flowed to working families and individuals with jobs.” Want to know why wages are so low in the fast-food industry? Because welfare is essentially a corporate subsidy to the fast-food industry.
The victims in America on Tax Day are not the people who are net tax beneficiaries. They are the people who pay income they could use to enrich the lives of their children to a government that redistributes to whining welfare recipients. The much-maligned top 1 percent of earners in America pay 45.7 percent of all federal income tax, according to the Tax Policy Center; that’s a massive increase from 2012, when that number was 40 percent. The top 1 percent earn, by contrast, approximately 17 percent of all income in the country.
The bottom 80 percent combined pay just 15 percent of federal income tax, and the bottom 60 percent pay a grand total of 2 percent of federal income tax. If anybody’s going to complain on Wealth Confiscation Day, it should be the people who spend a third of their lives working for the government just to be able to earn for their families, and who will see no return on those dollars.
But the left sees Tax Day as a day of celebration of government. They’re not protesting government, after all: they’re preventing people from getting to work so that they can yell about how they deserve to be paid more money to work. It’s the same foolish and ignorant premise as that of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and it’s being enacted by the same Marxist rabble-rousers. And the only people who pay, as usual, will be those who pay the taxes.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.