Warren Buffett says we need a significantly higher income tax for the super-rich. But could that argument be a red herring? Partial Objects writes that the real conversation we need to be having is about taxing wealth — i.e., Buffett’s $45 billion fortune, not the paltry millions he made in 2010:
Warren Buffett wants us to stop coddling the super-rich. He argues for superlatively higher taxes on those with incomes greater than $1 million a year.
Let’s say we take Buffett’s advice, and we raise taxes so that those highest 400 income earners pay an additional 20% more in income taxes (i.e. 41.5 instead of 21.5). That would mean an additional $18 billion in revenue. Nice, right?
The US doesn’t tax wealth, but other countries do. If we did, at a modest 10%, it would mean an additional $140 billion in revenue every year. But we never talk about taxing wealth, only income. The class warfare lines are clearly drawn, the playbook is well-worn, and the media knows their lines by heart. Even the magnanimous super-rich, represented here by Buffett, know their part. Sure, tax us rich guys another dozen percent on our income. Don’t worry, we can take it.
Thanks, Warren. So I guess you won’t mind if we tax you on your net worth. Hello? Is thing on?