"Last week a group of millionaires, including the musician Moby, urged Barack Obama to raise taxes on the rich. Taxes on the rich should indeed be raised, though that alone would be far from sufficient to fix the national debt -- a combination higher middle-class taxes, Social Security reductions, defense-spending cuts and increased economic growth is required to fix the damage done by a decade of reckless spending by Democrats and Republicans alike.
Last week's group, and rich people such as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, who say they favor higher taxes on the wealthy, should bear in mind that they can tax themselves immediately. Right now the top rate for federal income taxes in 35 percent; Obama has proposed raising the number to 39.6 percent beginning in 2011. Nothing stops Gates, or Moby, or any other rich person from simply calculating an additional tax of 4.6 percent, and adding it to the check they send to the Treasury. If you're rich and say you believe the rich should be taxed more -- then tax yourself! Otherwise you're just patting yourself on the back for claiming to want to be taxed, but never actually parting with the money.
And if the president is sincere, why hasn't he already taxed himself to the same extent that he wants to tax others? Filing jointly in 2009, Barack and Michelle Obama had an adjusted gross income of $5,505,409, and paid $1,792,414 in federal taxes. Had the top-rate tax that Obama advocates been in effect they would have paid an additional $253,249. Why didn't the president set a leadership example and tax himself by sending an additional $253,249 to the Treasury?"
Well, why not indeed? I'm not persuaded that taxes need to go up on the rich. I am of the opinion that removing more capital from the private sector and dumping into a rathole the size of a galaxy, i.e., the Federal Treasury, is bad for the economy.
But it would be wonderful to see these "higher taxes" nabobs put their money where their mouth is. But I'm not going to hold my breath.