Wealthy billionaire, and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett is continuing on his “tax the rich” tour. He penned an editorial in the New York Times titled “Stop Coddling the Rich” extolling the virtue of more progressive tax rates and denouncing what he believes are attempts by Congress to protect wealthy Americans such as himself “as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species.”
In his Op-Ed, Buffett mainly relied on left-wing clichés that sounded like they were spliced out of the most recent speech by President Obama. He said that what the nation needs is more “shared sacrifice” and less coddling from the “billionaire-friendly congress.”
According to Buffett, when the United States switched to lower tax policies in the last decade it actually lowered job creation. He doesn’t mention how or why these two trends are related, just that jobs were created in the 1980’s and 1990’s at a faster rate and those eras also had higher taxes on the wealthy.
He fails to mention the slow growth, high-inflation, high-tax 1970’s and how the country floundered for a decade until President Ronald Reagan passed major tax reforms in 1981 and 1986, which lowered the rates and broadened the base of tax payers.
Interspersed between a liberal dose of pejoratives for wealthy American’s and classic class warfare buzzwords, are a few of Buffett’s policy prescriptions.
First, Buffett thinks that the deficit problem the country currently faces is with revenues and not expenditures. He downplays and only gives brief mention to the spending problem, only saying that the United States must, “pare down some future promises that even a rich America can’t fulfill.”
Like Obama, Buffett always throws a bone to the other side so as to appear reasonable and “moderate”. In fact Obama quoted Buffett on his Midwest bus tour, saying that a “balanced” approach to debt reduction is what is needed.
To raise revenue Buffett would immediately raise taxes for those making income over $1 million. He would also raise their capital gains and dividends tax. And he would make those same taxes even higher for people making over $10 million.
Of course, families making $1 million dollars a year seem to fall quite far from what Buffett continually calls “mega-rich”.
In fact a major increase in taxes for people making $1 million seems to be more of an assault on his most likely competitors and the people who drive the American economy. They are certainly a far cry from the “billionaires being coddled by congress.”