Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Here comes Fox News, the propaganda wing of the Republican Party, trying to stymie any compromise on the deficit.
Fox wants us to drive off the fiscal cliff, so they are attempting to yank the wheel. They are doing so by saying that closing loopholes will mean cuts to:
"-- Medicare benefits for senior
-- Capital gains rates
-- Earned income tax credit
-- Charitable contributions"
Of course this is not the only approach to tax reform. This is just the most difficult way which is why Fox News, Mitch McConnel, John Boehner, and Oregon's own Republican flack Rep. Greg Walden are so focused on it. If they put "charitable contributions" in the mix, they get churches to bring pressure on the Democrats. Medicare gets seniors riled, mortgage deductions gets every Realtor in the country on the phone.
Walden, recently elevated in the House for lockstep advocacy of the rights of corporations over the rights of consumers said on Nov. 20: "Part of the way to (avoid the fiscal cliff) is by reforming our tax code to close loopholes, lower rates, and spur economic growth." Lower rates and close loopholes. Yeah, okay, Mr. Walden, that should only take about what, 4 years or so if you had your way? It's time you took that plush job ATT has waiting for you.
But wait a minute. What about the ideas of Warren Buffet, one of the country's most savvy investors and one of the wealthiest men in America. What does he have to say?
On November 25 in the New York Times, Buffet wrote that there is another way. Read it here. After explaining how the rich—like himself—have accumulated more wealth and paid less taxes than at any time in generations, Buffet advocates a minimum tax for the wealthy.
He said it so well that I quote him here:
"Additionally, we need Congress, right now, to enact a minimum tax on high incomes. I would suggest 30 percent of taxable income between $1 million and $10 million, and 35 percent on amounts above that. A plain and simple rule like that will block the efforts of lobbyists, lawyers and contribution-hungry legislators to keep the ultrarich paying rates well below those incurred by people with income just a tiny fraction of ours. Only a minimum tax on very high incomes will prevent the stated tax rate from being eviscerated by these warriors for the wealthy."
Othere things need to be done, Buffet says, but "We can’t let those who want to protect the privileged get away with insisting that we do nothing until we can do everything."
So, before we let Republicans like Oregon's Rep. Greg Walden attempt to make tax reform too difficult, or drive us off the fiscal cliff so they can then blame Obama, or take away contributions to churches (after all, they just help the poor, so who cares?), we need to look at other alternatives.
Warren Buffet is one of the smartest investors the world has ever seen. And he invests in America instead of putting his money in banks in the Cayman Islands, like some in the Republican Party. I think we need to listen to what he says.