16 August 2011

The Buffet Tax

Warren Buffet has a good idea for a new tax:

Job one for the 12 is to pare down some future promises that even a rich America can’t fulfill. Big money must be saved here. The 12 should then turn to the issue of revenues. I would leave rates for 99.7 percent of taxpayers unchanged and continue the current 2-percentage-point reduction in the employee contribution to the payroll tax. This cut helps the poor and the middle class, who need every break they can get.
But for those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate.
My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.

I think I can do Mr. Buffet one better.  How about a tax on all billionaires named Warren Buffet wherein all their assets are confiscated and liquidated and all future income is taxed at a rate of one hundred percent.  Furthermore, all billionaires named Warren Buffet will be prohibited from leaving the country at any point in the future, which ensures that any and all assets that they’ve socked away overseas will either be taxed eventually or left unused.  Finally, anyone who receives an inheritance from all billionaires named Warren Buffet will have their inheritance taxed at one hundred percent as well.  I think that this will ensure that all billionaires named Warren Buffet will certainly share in the sacrifice.

As an aside, I generally oppose tax increases, at least given the current tax rates.  However, if rich people want to pay more in taxes, I see no reason to say no.  It is difficult to find people willing to pay taxes.  And so, if there are people who are willing to do so, I see no reason to stop them.  After all, if a man thinks the government is better at managing money than he is, he’s more than likely correct.

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