WASHINGTON, December 27, 2011 – DC metro area residents have now settled into that luxurious time of year when both Congress and the denizens of the White House have fled the nation’s capital for the hinterlands, bringing some semblance of peace and quiet to this holiday season.
But national issues—particularly involving money and taxes—still remain an active topic of discussion here, there, and everywhere. Chief among popular leftist memes in passionate circulation is the notion that Congress should pass some kind of law taxing the bejeebers out of “the rich.”
From the president, to the reconstituted Journolistas, to the ragtag goofballs who constitute the ground troops of the nearly comical Occupy Wall Street silliness, the nation’s takers assure us that squeezing every last dollar out of “the rich” by making them pay their “fair share” of taxes would virtually assure us a lasting freedom from our vexing national tax revenue-deficit dilemma.
As we noted in this column a few months back, Warren Buffett arguably started the current propaganda round by backing the Obama Administration’s continuing desire to impose some kind of special “millionaire’s tax,” blissfully ignoring the fact that in practice, such a tax would extend down to couples making $250K or more a year. We—and others—have continually challenged Buffett and his mega-rich pals to get off their collective high horses and donate money to the Feds if they’re that worried about our deficit. The question is always deflected.
Recently, a representative of The Daily Caller offered a few of the mega-rich an instant opportunity to send the Feds an instant donation. Young and old, the tycoons were in DC earlier this month to lobby Congress for increased taxes on “millionaires,” presumably including them. Check out the video below for their reaction to The Daily Caller’s proposal.
The YouTube site posting this video has already attracted a number of notably thoughtful comments on this exchange. Here’s a particularly informed response:
“Why do they want their taxes raised but don’t want to donate? Because the taxes don’t affect them as much. They already own most of their wealth, not in the form of income, but in the form of assets like houses, land, cars, etc. A small bump in the income tax doesn’t affect them. But how does it affect someone working up toward becoming the 1%? It destroys their opportunity to do so. This tax hike is class warfare AGAINST (not for) the 99%.”
Indeed, in the money paragraph—which we’ve italicized—this commentator recognizes that the taxes “don’t affect” these millionaires much. It’s because the bulk of their wealth is contained in hard assets, rather than in cash and other more liquid investments. Such holdings are either not taxed at all, taxed at lower rates, or, in the case of real estate, actually can be depreciated against other earnings, thus lowering the owner’s tax bill.
Another commentator points out the obvious hypocrisy of these wealthy faux socialists, all of whom, it can be inferred, religiously support left-wing Democrats, perhaps as a way of appearing to acknowledge their collective guilt for owning too much of the American pie:
“Pathetic….socialism for the people, not the socialists. A bunch of hypocrites. I pay enough in taxes, leave me alone. If I want to pay more I will…..These people make me sick.”
Continuing in this vein, another commenter observes that it’s “funny how wealthy liberals are so generous when they’re talking about every one else’s money. But when it comes to their own money, not so much.” Another continues, “You cant [sic] teach what you don’t know and can’t lead where you won’t go.” Yet another: “Unwilling to lead by example, and unwilling to sacrifice voluntarily. So much for patriotism, which does not require being forced to act on behalf of one’s country.”
We’ll give the last word to yet another informed observer who says, “But of course it would be cynical to think that [the wealthy] might have a fancy tax attorney that will loophole them out of the higher rates, leaving others to pay the higher taxes. Especially since they won’t put their money where their mouth is. Like John Kerry docking his yacht out of state to avoid higher taxes on the rich he champions.”
Read more of Terry’s news and reviews at Curtain Up! in the Entertain Us neighborhood of theWashington Times Communities. For Terry’s investing insights, visit his WT Communitiescolumn,The Prudent Man in Politics.
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