In Need of Repair

It’s unfortunate that many wealthy Americans today feel any higher taxes are sort of a punitive measure against their successes, because it’s not a punitive measure, it’s about  sharing a burden fairly.

That burden stems from entitlement programs, two unfunded wars, tax cuts, and then compounded by woes from overzealous  financial deregulation.

Also, it’s not about being a Republican or a Democrat but about being an American.

Over the past few days, some top Republican lawmakers said they’d be willing to discuss  increasing revenues for the government, it’s an effort to consider America’s well-being as a higher priority than a Republican agenda.

Here’re some timely highlights from a Warren Buffett op-ed piece for the NYT the other day:

“All of America is waiting for Congress to offer a realistic and concrete plan for getting back to this fiscally sound path… Correcting our course will require major concessions by both Republicans and Democrats…

Our government’s goal should be to bring in revenues of 18.5 percent of GDP and spend about 21 percent of GDP – levels that have been attained over extended periods in the past and can clearly be reached again… this ratio of revenue to spending will keep America’s debt stable in relation to the country’s economic output.

Never did anyone mention taxes as a reason to forgo an investment opportunity that I offered (when capital gains and marginal taxes were highest, 1951 – 1969)…  both employment and the GDP increased at a rapid clip. The middle class and the rich alike gained ground (during 1951 – 1969).

(if you) run into someone with a terrific investment idea, who won’t go forward with it because of the tax he’d owe when it succeeds. Send him my way. Let me unburden him.

The ultra-rich, including me, will forever pursue investment opportunities.”

Buffett’s piece is called “A Minimum Tax For The Wealthy.” Give it a read. It’s a refreshing take on money from one of the richest persons in the world.