By Tom Flake
I announced about a month ago on Brutally Honest that I was running for President on Votocracy and I could still use your support but before deciding on whether to support me, I think you need to know how I would propose fixing the various problems that currently face America.
Recently, much has been said by President Obama about making Millionaires and Billionaires "pay their fair share". In trying to make the case, he points to statements by Warren Buffet about how his secretary pays a higher percentage tax rate than he does. President Obama uses this example to explain why this is unfair and why therefore taxes should be raised on the wealthiest among us.
This doesn't pass the smell test for several reasons:
1) On an all in basis (social security, income, sales tax) Warren pays far more in taxes that the typical person. I would go so far as to say he pays more in taxes than many people make, including his secretary.
2) President Obama and Warren Buffet are both focused on an income tax rather than a wealth tax. In business we would say that they are focused on the Profit and Loss Statement rather than the Balance Sheet. Why don't we ever float the idea of a wealth tax, say 1%, of everyone's assets? Because that would affect the wealthy. Warren Buffet is nothing if not shrewd. He isn't so much interested in making the system "fair" as he is in keeping the great unwashed masses out of the country club. By taxing income (P&L) rather than wealth (Balance Sheet) the government is keeping you from accumulating wealth rather than taking a small fraction of the wealth you have accumulated.
This is particularly hypocritical given that Warren Buffet is by extension (through Berkshire Hathaway) in a long running (since at least 2002) fight to NOT pay taxes that they admit they owe. So here is my suggestion to Warren Buffet and it goes rather like the argument on Illegal Immigration. Rather than passing new tax code which we won't enforce, why don't we enforce the tax code that is already on the books?
Why does Berkshire Hathaway not pay the taxes they have owed for at least six years? Since Warren Buffet says that he is so keen to pay more taxes, what's stopping you him? Pay the taxes that Berkshire Hathaway owes, Mr. Buffet.
The hhypocrisy doesn't stop with Warren Buffet. Tim Geithner, the convicted tax cheat who serves as Secretary of the Treasury (you couldn't write that as fiction and get it published) is also out there saying that the rich should pay their fair share. Yet Tim Geithner is one of the rich and didn't pay his when he had the opportunity. I have one question, why do so many people on the left want to pass laws for you and me, laws which they have no intention of being a party to? The answer is fairly self evident, they view themselves as the elite. The superiors of the proletariats who they have a right and obligation to rule, but no right or obligation to participate with.
I do think however that President Obama is right in one area. In order to balance the budget, taxes will need to be raised. If you've read my plan on balancing the budget, you know that I advocate removing the income cap from the Social Security tax and making it applicable to all income. From Mr. Geithner and Mr. Buffet's point of view this has a problem, it comes out of your check before you see it and there are no deductions or loopholes. It is fair, it is flat and tax lawyers can't create shelters for you. Ever wonder why they don't advocate fixing part of the budget that way? And frankly, the left is right in another way. Have you ever wondered why everything over about $95,000 per year is exempt from Social Security tax? It is truly regressive with folks in the lower income brackets paying a higher percentage than those in the higher income brackets. We should fix that.
If you agree, I am running for President on Votocracy and I would appreciate your support.