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Buffett On Taxes.

  • Written by Syndicated Publisher 58 Comments58 Comments Comments
    August 18, 2011

    Music to my ears: Warren Buffett is willing to pay more taxes. He claims that his friends also support higher taxes for the rich. Yet, he argues in favour of higher tax rates only for the top 0.3% of households; those who are making more than 1 million dollars a year.

    I don’t know how much money such a limited tax increase would raise. I don’t even know if it would make Buffett work less hard, invest less and donate less of his money. But let’s take him up on his offer.

    Beyond the symbolic gesture, there would be an extra benefit from accepting his offer: The Tea Party could move on to some more productive issues. With so much to do to get out of this funk, ideologically getting hung up on this minor tax debate is counterproductive for the country. We lost precious time and resources with the healthcare debate when it was time to deal with the economy and jobs. Now, we are wasting more time and resources arguing about whether or not to raise the tax rate of the very rich.

    It is no longer a matter of principle. It has become a political issue that will come back to haunt Republicans as it will kill the chances of many good Republican candidates of getting elected or reelected in November 2012.

    I strongly suspect that Tea Partists are being manipulated into this agenda by some big wigs of the Republican Party who do not represent anyone’s interests but their own.

    I agree that some people may be against paying more taxes; this includes me. However, as much as I agree with the basic agenda and principles of the Republican Party, if it is manipulated from within to favour only the few, the objectives of Republican principles (making society more productive, as opposed to “more fair” according to the Democrats’ own principles) are not acheived.

    The idea of not increasing taxes for anyone only becomes a strawman to protect vested interests. Why would most middle-class Tea Partists be hung up on such an issue? I don’t beleive that they are. I will explain in a few days how they get manipulated into doing this dirty work.

    Click here to read Warren Buffet’s piece which was published this week-end in The New York Times

    Images: Flickr (licence/attribution)

    About The Author – Luc Vallée

    Currently President of The Independent Market Observer. Chief Economist and Vice-President at the Caisse de dépôt from 2001 to 2008. Chief Financial Officer and Vice-President, Corporate Strategy for Mediagrif Interactive Technologies from 1999 to 2001 – MDF.TO. Deputy Treasurer at Canadian National Railways, 1997-1999. Associate Professor of Applied Economics at l’École des Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC) in Montréal, 1989-96. Consultant for the World Bank, the Canadian government, the Quebec government and the City of Montreal. Deputy director of the Center for International Studies, 1993-1996. Adviser to the investment banking division of Société Générale in Canada, 1996. President of ASDEQ in 2005-06. Member of the National Statistics Council of Statistics Canada, 2008-now. Ph.D. (1989) in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.