The Buffet Rule

September 19th, 2011

Inspired by Obama outlines new millionaires’ tax rate (Washington Post9/18/11).


These aren’t millionaires by the definition from before

Of people who have net worth of a million or more.


These are people making more than a million dollars per year.

Do they pay the 35% top rate? Sorry–nowhere near.

Most of these folks pay lower rates than their hired help

(Using tax loopholes and earning lots of capital gains help).


The biggest loophole is called capital gains treatment,

A key factor in our national revenue depletement.

Instead of 35%, you pay 15% and save 20.

If you make money off money, that saves you plenty.


So unless you thinkWarrenBuffet should be taxed less than his maid,

Or that today’s multi-million-dollar earners are woefully underpaid,

Then you should support  the rule proposed by Buffet:

Let the super-rich pay their fair share, and learn how to rough it.


The standard Republican response to Warren Buffet’s suggestion that millionaires and billionaires should pay higher taxes is that if some millionaires (or in Buffet’s case, billionaires) are willing to pay higher taxes, they’re free to make voluntary contributions to the Treasury. In other words, let’s have a big tax break for anti-government freeloading millionaire misanthropes, who wouldn’t pay but would still benefit from the payments of those “suckers” who did.

But that’s not how our government and tax system work. If it were, we’d finance our wars by voluntary contribution. If not enough money was raised, we wouldn’t go to war. Or, we’d go to war and lose. So if Republicans are such big fans of small and voluntarily-funded government, why don’t that support it for national defense?


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