Monday, August 15, 2011

Dreams of the Investor, and I Do Mean Dreams

I am sure that there will be buzz around Warren Buffet's op-ed in the New York Times calling for our political leaders in Washington to increase taxes (both income and capital gains) on those at the very top of the income ladder, in an effort to ensure that there is a sense of shared sacrifice during this time of economic woe.  I am also sure that the buzz will produce nothing remotely close to actual legislation.  When you have a political party so completely determined in it's essentially religious belief that taxes never should be raised, under any circumstance, there is nothing anyone could say from Buffet's economic class that will ever get that lot to consider what he has said.  And there are times when the cynic in me wonders if Buffet is comfortable saying these things now, because he knows that there is no way it will ever happen.

However, assuming that Buffet is being sincere, I find it fascinating that Republicans on the Hill, not exactly job creators themselves, will ignore out of hat Buffet's suggestions.  I also find it fascinating that many supporters of the GOP who won't ever make even 1% of what Buffet earns in a year (those poor, working and middle class GOP supporters) will also dismiss Buffet's suggestions, and will cheer the GOP for doing so.  I've never believed the line about "job creators" having "uncertainty" in the economy and on taxation.  I long accepted that these "job creators" have every intention of assisting the GOP in re-taking the White House in '12, by ensuring that they not begin expanding or growing or hiring. 

As far as I know, I do not have any family or close friends who net more than a million a year annually.  I do have family and friends who are close to or just over that magical $250K line that everyone talks about as the income line for increased taxes.  I wonder how many of them, regardless of political persuasion, agree with Buffet's suggestions, and if not, why not?  How does it help our economy when Buffet's employees are taxed at a higher rate than he is?  How does it help our economy when we ensure that those who don't even make a wage pay significantly less in overall taxes, because their earnings are all investment earnings? 

Why am I even asking these questions?  Nothing close to what Buffet has suggested will come to pass in the near future.  Perhaps future generations will be able to look at these issues reasonably. 

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