Equivocation is a logical fallacy. To equivocate is to give “equal voice” — the same meaning — to a word when it is being used in two different ways.
“The sign said ‘Fine for Parking Here.’ Since the sign said it was fine for parking, I parked there.
In the first case, “fine” refers to punishing someone financially for an infraction of the law, while in the second case “fine” means it’s OK to do something.
An ad put out by the Obama campaign equivocates when it addresses the issue of taxation by arguing that Mitt Romney pays a lower rate than a majority of Americans. The ad uses “tax rate” to mean the same thing when there are different rates based on how people are paid: capital gains tax rate and salary tax rate. In reality, Romney and everybody else are subject to the same tax rate if both of them derive income from capital gains.
If you or I invest in stocks that pay a dividend, then we are paying the same rate as Mitt Romney – 15 percent. If we get paid a salary, we still pay the same rate as Mitt Romney if he derives any income from a salary. In fact, if Romney was paid a salary on all his income, he would pay a higher rate than most people because the tax rate on salaries is progressive. The more you make the higher percentage you pay.
There’s one more thing to consider. The following is from Forbes online magazine and is in reference to a similar story that was promoted by Obama’s people about Warren Buffett and his secretary:
“They show that taxpayers earning an adjusted gross income between $100,000 and $200,000 pay an average rate of twelve percent. This is below Buffet’s rate; so she must earn more than that. Taxpayers earning adjusted gross incomes of $200,000 to $500,000, pay an average tax rate of nineteen percent. Therefore Buffet must pay Debbie Bosanke a salary above two hundred thousand.”
This would put her in the top one percent of all wage earners. Paul Roderick Gregory writes: “I have nothing against Debbie Bosanke earning a half million or even more. Buffet is a major player in the world economy. His secretary deserves good compensation. At her income, however, she is scarcely the symbol of injustice that Obama wishes her to project.”
Here’s something from “The Smoking Gun” site.
“Despite a heavy tax burden, Warren Buffett’s secretary last year was able to purchase a second home in Arizona, a residence complete with a swimming pool and a ‘professional PGA putting green,’ according to real estate records.”
Poor thing. She’s destitute!
In a word, President Obama is lying. He used Warren Buffett and his secretary, and now Mitt Romney, as props to support his continued class warfare rhetoric. Everybody pays the same tax rate if they make the same amount of money and are paid the same way.
The ad also lies because it does not reveal that nearly 47 percent of Americans don’t pay any income tax. Most of these people will vote for Obama.