Volitional Buffett

An article on The Ticket has revealed that, per the White House’s report, President Obama’s secretary paid taxes at a higher rate than he did for 2011. Also, his gross income for the year was nearly $800,000.

He can be rich if he wants. But I won’t have him being rich and complaining about it. Here’s what I mean.

He is complaining that his secretary paid taxes at a higher rate than he did – an anecdote he is using to support his proposed tax-hiking “Buffett Rule.” The rule is named after Warren Buffett, who is also complaining about being rich. “It’s not fair,” they wail, “that I should pay taxes at a lower rate than the poor!” (or…in the case of his secretary who made $95,000 last year…the upper-middle class) “We should change the tax code so that people like us have to pay more taxes!” they conclude.

I have a better idea.

Well, first, we ought to simply drop the “poor” people’s tax rate to match the rich people’s. Problem solved. (We’ll have to cut federal spending, but that’s nothing new, and it’s not going to happen anyways…)

But that won’t happen. So here’s another idea: let’s allow Barack Obama, Warren Buffett, and the apparently-many other guilt-ridden millionaires who are jonesing to pay more taxes to…well…pay more taxes. But instead of having their hard-earned money taken from them by the iron fist of the IRS, I would suggest we allow these sensitive souls to assuage their consciences by giving – out of the goodness of their hearts, the depths of their pocketbooks, and their obvious love for their country – as much money as they want to the government. We could even have a handy website where you could put in your gross income, and it would tell you how much you should donate if you want to “feel the pain” of those poor non-millionaires. The great thing about this option is that you can give the money to any specific government agency you want, instead of being forced to add it to the general pot.

With this – my brilliant solution – everyone will be happy. No one’s taxes increase, millionaires feel better about themselves, and Obama’s secretary will pay the same tax rate he does. Everything will be right in the world.

Problem: SOLVED

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7 Responses to Volitional Buffett

  1. Matt says:

    I’ve always found it easier to respect someone that is trying to make a change that would affect him personally. For example, it’s easier for me to accept a proposed increased tax rate on the rich by a rich person, than that same rich person proposing that the tax cuts get renewed. I like the Buffett Rule. So my question to you is, where do we cut spending? I’ve talked with several people on this before and the answers given always seem to be really partisan. As you are not a good God-fearing Republican, I’d like to know where you propose that we could make cuts that would have a large enough effect as to be noticed; as far as I’m concerned cutting fill-in-the-blank trillion dollars in spending over the next however many years does nothing to solve our debt problem. Sure, it might make the amount of debt grow at a smaller rate, but is that what we’re really after? It doesn’t seem, to me at least, that either side is willing to do what it takes to actually solve the problem. The politicians seem like school nurses putting band aids on boo-boo’s. So, Congressman Bechtold, what is your plan?

    • I like Ron Paul’s plan – I’d LOVE to see it implemented. And that’s partly because I like Ron Paul, but also because I think it would be a needed foray into a less-regulated economy.
      The highlights:
      1) Eliminate 5 cabinet departments (Energy, HUD, Interior, Commerce, and Education) & the TSA.
      2) Abolish corporate subsidies
      3) Zero out foreign aid. All foreign aid does is steals from the poor in this country to give to the rich in other countries.
      4) End foreign wars immediately and zero out war funding.
      Additionally, I’d like to take a hard look at baseline budgeting. Shouldn’t a government that’s truly efficient not need to expand its spending automatically every year at a rate higher than inflation (or at least higher than what Ben Bernanke promises the inflation rate is)? What if we gave line item increases at HALF the rate of inflation? Talk about incentive to maximize efficiency!

      • Also, concerning Medicaid and other welfare programs, Cong. Paul suggests we provide block grants to the states and let the states parse out the money as they see fit.
        All that stuff just really makes sense to me. And it doesn’t pull the rug out from under American citizens who have learned to depend on the government. But it DOES pull the rug out from under businesses who get government handouts, and it DOES pull the rug out from under foreign nations who have come to expect annual billion-dollar checks signed by Uncle Sam. I think it’s fair, non-partisan (in that it steps on EVERYBODY’S toes – Republican and Democrat), and an actual solution that would actually make significant steps in resolving our major fiscal issues.

      • Finally, I just think that taxing millionaires more is an extremely disingenuous thing Obama is doing…acting as though it’s going to help resolve our crisis. Our crisis isn’t that the people aren’t giving the government enough money – it’s that the government just spends too much! Oh, sure, the government could always take some more…but that won’t really plug very many holes and – just as you pointed out that cutting x-trillion over x-amount-of-years is a fake solution – it doesn’t actually solve the current problem.

      • ALSO, from what I’ve read, Obama’s “Buffett Rule” that’s working its way through Congress (and apparently is DOA in the House) only affects people making $1 million a year or more. So Obama will STILL be paying a lower tax rate than his secretary!
        = Disingenuous.

  2. friendmouse says:

    I like your answers, Congressman Bechtold. I wish I could give you my vote, but you’re not a resident of my state. But I do plan to vote for Dr. Paul for President.

  3. UPDATE:
    I read today that the Senate has blocked the progress of this bill, as they did not have the 60 votes needed to advance it past a filibuster.
    Also, I heard a piece on NPR today that actually talked about how the US Treasury accepts donations from citizens to help pay for the debt. The reporter acknowledged that the money is all fungible…so when those people “donate” to help “pay for the debt”…they really just gave the government a bit more spending money. I’m gonna say that, while those people probably have good hearts…they must really be naive.

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