Sunday, April 15, 2012

Buffett rule is new 'trickle-down' theory

While it is true that taxing millionaires at a higher rate will have a minuscule effect on our federal deficit, critics of the so-called Warren "Buffett Rule" miss the most important element of the rule.

It is this: Once the 99 percenters see that the 1 percenters are paying their fair share, commensurate with their wealth, then the rest of us become less resistant to paying our fair share.

It's called leadership.

If you want everyone to pay taxes for the greater good then those with the most should pay more than those who have far less.

And most Americans believe this to be true.

One of the great travesties of the "Reagan Doctrine" is that it promoted the idea that the collective good is someone else's problem, not mine.

We've had more than 30 years of this paradigm, which promotes the fallacy that we can have it all and not have to pay for it.

The "Buffett Rule" is a way to smash that fallacy and to force the filthy rich to invest, through higher taxes, in the country that protected them, through military might and legal means, while they achieved those riches.

American corporations and the uber-rich, such as Mitt Romney, have an estimated 1 trillion in off-shore accounts because they don't want to pay more taxes to their country, for whom young men and women die everyday to protect these elites.

Even former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said that the Bush tax cuts, which he supported, should expire.

"I am in favor, for the first time in my memory, of raising taxes," Greenspan told an audience last week at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Communities are coming apart across the country because shared interests are not supported by shared sacrifice.

The poor and the middle class are asked to subsidize the rich when it should be the other way around.

Consequently, the income gap is so wide that not even Donald Trump's hairpiece can cover it.

No one said that being rich meant you were somehow an automatic leader.

But being wealthy demands that 1 percent show more leadership by investing in the country that made those riches possible. That attitude will "trickle down" far more than their charity ever would.

The 1 percent need to step up to the plate and drive home, by example, the idea that we're all in this together.

One nation. Rich and poor.


  1. A friend of mine who married into massive "trust-funder" oil wealth shared with me that they paid less than $500 in Federal income taxes this year. Embarrassed, the friend went on to say that they paid substantially more than that to the Chicago Law and Tax Specialty firm that prepared their tax returns using extraction tax credit loopholes. I asked if the Buffet Rule would be a problem. The answer was no, "we've got plenty of money".

  2. "One of the great travesties of the "Reagan Doctrine" is that it promoted the idea that the collective good is someone else's problem, not mine."

    In fact, according to Ayn Rand / libertarian dogma, there is NO SUCH THING as "the collective good" at all -- only individual good, which each individual pursues with total selfishness and blind disregard for the good of anyone else.

    BTW I love your blog.