This morning on Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy sought to answer a question that no one is really asking: Should people who don't pay taxes be allowed to vote?
The question is based on the (false) claim that 47 percent of Americans pay no taxes. The reality is that 47 percent owed no federal income tax in 2009, but were still on the hook for federal payroll taxes as well as state and local taxes. The unspoken implication is that the high tax burden on the nation's wealthy means that they are subsidizing the lazy do-nothings on the lower rungs the economic ladder.
But the question of forbidding people who allegedly pay no taxes from voting is intriguing. I mean, empirically it makes sense -- if you pay taxes that means you're rich, and if you're rich that means you work harder and are a member of the “productive class,” so clearly you should have preference when it comes to electing the representatives of the people.
Sure, minority groups are disproportionately represented in the lower economic classes, but this isn't discriminatory -- it's not their fault for being minorities, it's their fault for being poor. And besides, the president is African American, so there is no racism in the country anymore.
Actually, that gives me an idea. If all those 47 percent who don't pay taxes really are so keen on voting, then perhaps we can institute some sort of tax they can pay at the polling place that will allow them to vote. I think this idea could have legs -- I wonder if it's ever been tried before...