Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lead the way Mr. Buffett

So I see Warren Buffett wrote an Op Ed suggesting the super rich pay more in taxes. He apparently feels congress "coddles" billionaires like himself.  Political commentator Pat Buchanan suggested he lead the way by donating 5 billion of his more than 20 billion estate to the Federal Government.  I disagree.  He should donate all but 10 million of it.  And if he does not?  I urge congress to seize all of his property and holdings, here and abroad, and put them towards the deficit.  After all, Warren has shown an aptitude for making money and I'm sure in no time at all he will be back on top.  In fact, he would probably make several million the first year in speaking fees alone without doing any actual business, and you know what?  He should.

I'm not rich, nor am I poor.  I work very hard, often in service to those who don't work at all and expect miracles to be performed on their behalf.  I listen to class warfare all the time and am always astonished when otherwise intelligent people say something completely disingenuous about the rich "shouldering more of the burden."  Warren Buffett is not a young man.  He could easily give away most, if not all of his current wealth and live out his days in a simple fashion.  I'm sure he gives generously to charity, probably for the same reason I do...tax breaks.  And it's not just Buffett on my list.

I remember a country music star opining in a trade magazine that we don't pay enough in taxes as a people.  He also openly supported numerous democrats for office including, I believe, the current President.  Here is my dilemma.  This man came from nowhere and made a success of himself.  He works very hard, as far as I can tell, and deserves his just reward.  He is deeply involved in charitable giving, going so far as to show up at random clubs where he will play any song requested for a cash donation, and then donate all of the money raised to a worthy cause.

That is leadership, right?  He is giving his valuable time and talents to raise money for charity. But, if he really feels there is too little giving (via the government's taxation powers), and supports me paying more of my hard earned income in the form of taxes to support those "less fortunate," (read on public assistance) he should REALLY lead the way.  My suggestion?

He should sell ALL of his properties, including a recently completed private island compound, and send all the money raised to the IRS.  He is allowed to keep one house free and clear with a value of no more than $450,000.  He is allowed to keep, for himself and his family, $100,000 per year of his (and his equally talented wife's) earnings, which is more than most of the country lives on each year.  I will make a concession to his employees and say that he can pay for his touring, recording and performing from his gross earnings, then pay himself his annual salary.  Everything he earns over and above the cost of touring and his annual salary, including the proceeds from the sale of his properties, excess on recording/performing, acting and the change left in his couch, are to be sent to the Federal government each year for the rest of his life.  If he will do that I will pay attention to what he has to say.  Rapt attention I might add.

Think it will happen?  Me neither.  And in case you think I'm bitter, I'm not.  To the contrary. I respect the man and his talents very much.  I've listened to and enjoyed his music for what seems like more than 20 years, and might be, now that I think of it.  I'm simply tired of rich liberal elites proposing that some other rich guy give more in taxes without stepping up to the plate themselves. 

Oh, and in case you are curious, or simply not a fan of country music, the performers I refer to are Tim McGraw and his wife, Faith Hill. 

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