Today, noted businessman Warren Buffett declared that the government should raise taxes on the wealthy. Some responded, Michelle Bachmann for example, with a call to put up or shut up. I find this rather odd. What good can a single billionaire do to our deficit and economy in general. Buffett's net worth is around 50 billion. Pretty similar to Bill Gates. When our deficit is in the trillions, what can he do alone that will help?
It seems odd to attack someone saying that he is not paying his fair share for this country. No one donates to the United States. Really, why would they? America sells bonds that, while low in return, are far better than simply giving away money.
Perhaps Buffett isn't espousing this view for the good of the country or any degree of altruism. So what? He recognises that the country is spiraling out of control in debt. At the very worst, he knows that his fortune is gone if the dollar becomes worthless. An organized effort to raise taxes on the super rich might be the only thing that prevents total collapse in the future.
The danger that some people see is that these people are the job creators. Raising taxes might push them elsewhere. But the problem is that companies are sitting on record profits and not hiring. The economic times cause them to clamp down their bank accounts. It perpetuates the problem.
The debt ceiling debacle highlighted some very real problems in this country. We are borrowing too much. Very difficult cuts need to be made in spending to go hand in hand with tax increases. Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world, realizes that in order to stabilize the country, taxes need to rise because the pattern of lowering taxes to increase employment is not working.
What do you think? How would you balance this budget?