Speaking in Minnesota yesterday, President Obama endorsed Buffett's call and argued the wealthiest Americans have an advantage when it comes to tax rates. "You don't get those tax breaks. You're paying more than that. Now I may be wrong, but I think you're a little less wealthy than Warren Buffett. Now that's just a guess."
In a Financial Times articleon how Buffett's remarks are "energizing" the tax debate, a representative of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Centersays the rich do pay higher taxes than the poor, "particularly if the impact of corporate taxes, estate taxes and investment taxes are counted in the mix."
In a New York Times article taking a Closer Look at Taxes on the Rich, a TPC economist says Buffett's proposal isn't "going to solve the long-term budget shortfall all by itself. The only way to do that is to have broader tax increases or reduce entitlements. But it could be an important part of the puzzle."
Tech Crunch's Michael Arrington writes inScrew the Rich (Here's How)that Buffett's op-ed is a "huge pile of manipulative garbage." He says the super-rich don't mind higher tax rates, because there are no taxes on the wealth they've accumulated, only on the additional money they bring in each year:
"Buffett is just fine with big new taxes on the rich because those taxes never touch all the under-taxed wealth he’s accumulated over the decades. He talks about how he’s benefited for decades by being under taxed, but is only willing to pay more in the future. That’s like a steroids-ridden baseball player declaring that steroids are bad and from now on no one gets to take them. But paying for past sins? Shhh."
Arrington argues that Buffett wouldn't be as enthusiastic about a "wealth tax."
It's not all negative. Writing on the Huffington Post, Chuck Collins says, "We need more wealthy folks like him to speak up for taxing the wealthy." He links to Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength.
And in a light-hearted Washington Post blog post headlined Warren Buffett Strikes Gold, Alexandra Petri (who puts the 'pun' in punditry) writes, "If the overwhelming (positive) social response to Warren Buffett’s piece in the Times ... has showed us anything, it is that we agree with Warren Buffett that Warren Buffett has too much money, and that we don’t know how to spell his name." (Spelling link added)
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