“My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice,” – Warren Buffet
I sometimes feel bad about blogging so much about politics. It feels too divisive to me, especially in today’s toxic climate. Nonetheless, I think it is important for people not to ignore issues but to discuss them and to discuss them with facts in a rational manner. So, I’ll keep posting articles and quotes that interest me from the headlines. What tends to interest me, as you may have gathered, are issues of inequality, imbalances of power, and injustice. All of these are humanitarian concerns for me because they lead to suffering and exploitation.
Here’s more from the op-ed that Buffet wrote in the New York Times, Stop Coddling the Super-Rich:
“While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as ‘carried interest’…
“What I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income….”
This next bit of information is very key, I think:
“The mega-rich pay income taxes at a rate of 15 percent on most of their earnings but pay practically nothing in payroll taxes. It’s a different story for the middle class: typically, they fall into the 15 percent and 25 percent income tax brackets, and then are hit with heavy payroll taxes to boot.”
And, finally, a humanitarian appeal:
“I know well many of the mega-rich and, by and large, they are very decent people. They love America and appreciate the opportunity this country has given them. Many have joined the Giving Pledge, promising to give most of their wealth to philanthropy. Most wouldn’t mind being told to pay more in taxes as well, particularly when so many of their fellow citizens are truly suffering.”
I like the tone of Buffet. I feel like this is the kind of language that could bring people together toward recognizing their common objectives.