He's at it again.
On Tuesday's edition of The O'Reilly Factor it was revealed that billionaire businessman Warren Buffet has written an op/ed piece once again calling for rich Americans to be taxed more. It's been asked before and I'll ask it again. If Warren Buffet wants Uncle Sam to have more of his money, why doesn't he just give it to him? There's nothing preventing Buffet from giving the government as much of his personal wealth as he chooses. So why does he persist in his campaign for more governmental confiscation of private income?
I think Mr. Buffet wants people to think his campaign is about a patriotic desire to bring America back to fiscal solvency. Yes, the US has an ASTRONOMICAL debt problem, but taxing the rich more won't solve it. There simply aren't enough of them and they don't have the amount of money needed to put even a dent in America's deficit. Warren Buffet is smart enough to know that and that brings us to what I believe is the second reason for Buffet's tax-the-rich campaign: "social justice".
The Left's economic creed is that the rich are avoiding income taxes and the government must rectify this injustice by seizing the rich's assets and redistributing them to the less fortunate. Sounds nice, but it's just not true. Wealthy Americans not only pay income taxes, they bear the brunt of the federal tax burden, with the top 1% paying about 40% of federal income taxes. The rich are paying they're fair share, contrary to the class warfare rhetoric of the Left. If Buffet and others like him really want to increase revenue for the federal government while also promoting tax "fairness", they should go after the 47% of Americans who pay no federal income taxes. It's those people, NOT the rich, who are the real federal income tax freeloaders.
Imagine the revenue that would pour into Uncle Sam's coffers if the freeloading half of Americans was made to pay up. And wouldn't it be the height of fairness to make millions of people who take from the system contribute to the system? Warren Buffet would do his country a better service by supporting legislation taking away the lucky ones' free ride. After all, why should I, a lower-income person, have my money taken from me in order to support those who add nothing to the pot? Where's the social justice in that?
I think Warren Buffet suffers from "embarrassment of riches" syndrome. I believe he feels tremendous guilt not only for being successful but for enjoying his success. The mere thought of government confiscating his money assuages that guilt. Furthermore, I believe Buffet has projected his guilt onto his fellow rich, which is why he's pushing so hard for higher taxes on all the wealthy rather than simply asking for more charitable giving. Freely giving one's money away doesn't stigmatize it the way having it seized like contraband does. And being stigmatized is part of the rich's punishment for being rich.
So why doesn't Warren Buffet just give the government more, maybe even all, of his money in order to help the country? Because helping the country isn't really the endgame here. The endgame is to convince himself that he really is a good person in spite of enjoying all the perks his filthy lucre can buy. And I think that's a very sad goal, indeed.