Sonny Fulks
Sonny Fulks
Managing Editor

Sonny Fulks is a graduate of Ohio State University and pitched four varsity seasons for the Buckeye baseball team from 1971 through 1974.  He furthered his baseball experience as a minor league league umpire for seven years, working in the Florida State League (A), the Southern League (AA), and the American Association (AAA).  He has written for numerous websites and outdoor publications, and for the past ten years has served as a regular columnist and photo editor for Gettysburg Magazine, published by the University of Nebraska Press.  Widely knowledgeable on that period of American History, Fulks is a frequent speaker on the Civil War at local roundtables throughout the Midwest. He and wife Mindy have two grown children and live in Covington, Ohio.


The President mentions it every day.  Your congressman and senator talk about it.  But no one has yet to answer my letters and emails asking to explain just how much “my fair share” really is.

Visiting my father’s gravesite over last weekend I was reminded of a statement he often made in the latter years of his life. 

Dad used to say, referring to the common phrase used by politicians, “Before I die I’d like one of them to explain to me face to face…just what my “fair share” is.  And how do they determine what it is.”

Of course, he was referring to the amount of taxes paid by Americans,  and presidents and members of congress have abused the phrase “fair share” for generations.  But none more assiduously as the current president, Barack Hussein Obama.

Assiduous, by the way, means to be diligent, unrelenting…and that’s what Obama is when he talks to what he calls the “middle class”,  assuring them that one day soon he’s going to make the “rich” pay more than they’re presently paying in federal income taxes, their “fair” share.

Like Dad, I’d like for someone to tell me what a “fair” share is, and who determines it.  I’ve asked countless elected officials over the years and I’ve sent countless correspondence to Washington asking for an answer.  No one’s ever given me a straight answer face to face, and I’ve never heard from any of my emails, either!   

As it is I paid 30% of my gross income in federal and state taxes last year.  And when you count what we all pay in the other taxes…sales tax, real estate taxes, estate taxes, etc…that figure can come close to claiming 70 cents on every dollar you earn.

Of course, the “rich” do pay a lesser rate on “capital gains”, that money earned through investments of one kind or another.  But you and I have the same opportunity, or privilege.  If I sell a piece of property or other investment holdings, I only pay 15% on the profits I make on that transaction.  That’s not only smart, it’s good.  It encourages people to save, invest, and build personal wealth…so as not to be a financial burden on the rest of us.

But as it is, the President would like to see the capital gains advantage abolished, so that investment profits can pay for…the financial burden on the rest of us.

There is a line in the premable of the U.S. Constitution that reads “…to promote the general welfare”.  I’ve read it countless times, and I’m sure the men who drew up that document didn’t mean to pay for the general “welfare” that now comprises the living of nearly 50% of the American public.

I don’t know about you but I get tired of that…tired of the entitlements, the food stamps, tired of propping up people and companies who made bad decisions along the way, believing that government will always be there to bail them out.  They’re right, of course.  Government is always there to bail them out.  But that isn’t what the Constitution had in mind.

Social security, medicare and medi-caid are broke, and after working 40 years and paying FICA taxes I have no assurance whatsoever that I’ll ever draw a dime of it in retirement.  What I wish is…that I could have invested personally all the money that I’ve contributed since 1972.  At an average of 8% return per year in the markets  I’d be sitting pretty right now…and no financial burden on the rest of us!

What all this talk about “fair share” has done…it’s driven countless individuals to the “underground” economy of doing business on a “cash” basis.  People who accept only cash for work and services rendered, and who pay no taxes whatsoever on it.  I know plenty of them and they all say, “I’ve paid my fair share over the years, and look what it’s gotten me.”

In fact, here’s the entire preamble.  We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. 

Did you read the part about paying a fair share?  No.

Do you believe that you’ll ever read about it in the Constitution?  At the rate we’re going…yes.  One more term and we’ll probably have it. 

But sadly, the line about the general welfare doesn’t hold much promise for those of us paying for “general welfare”.  And in a land where all we holler is give us what’s fair…really, what’s fair about that?

And by the way, if you don’t care, you should. Take it from a rank-and-file member of the middle class.   I’m tired of paying for you.