The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Warren Buffett's taxes

President Obama thinks he has been given a boost by a remark that Warren Buffett made about the tax laws allowing him to get away with paying a smaller effective tax rate than his secretary. The President now speaks of the "Buffett Rule" which would make everyone whose income was over a certain threshold pay at least as much of a percentage of their income as Buffett's secretary.

Of course, let us analyze this. First of all, even if the Buffett Rule were to go into effect, the additional revenue would not be more than a drop in the bucket as compared to the Federal deficit. All it would do is certify President Obama as a modern-day Robin Hood, stealing from the rich to give to the poor, and since there are more poor people than rich ones, he figures he gains votes by this scheme. Second of all, it gives Warren Buffett a good reputation — here he is, volunteering to pay more taxes! But, of course, he could do that more quietly and anonymously — simply by refusing to take all the deductions rhat tax law allows — the tax laws permit him to take these deductions; they do not require him to do so. So Buffett is simply doing this to give himself the image of generosity. Truly generous people are willing to do it without the fanfare.

I would say to Mr. Buffett: If you want to be generous, be generous with your own money — leave the other millionaires alone. It would be better to find ways of reducing the Government's need for funds, so that Mr. Buffett's secretary's tax bill could be reduced. After all, every dollar that the government takes from a citizen is $1 less that the citizen can control what it is spent on.

No comments: