Why the “rich” want to pay more taxes

Why are Bill Gates and Warren Buffet saying they should pay higher taxes? It seems like a rational enough question.  After all, why should we be cramming a tax break down their throats?  If they want the tax cuts to go away, shouldn’t we honor their request?  After all, they are freakin’ rich.  When I say freakin’ rich, I mean that they could pay your income for the rest of your life with the cash they keep in their wallet for emergencies.

Meanwhile, you and I are breaking our backs and paying our taxes and…oh, calling for an extension of the Bush tax cuts?  If Buffet (who is apparently the smartest investor who ever lived) and Gates think they should be paying taxes at a higher rate, why don’t we just let them?

It’s a troubling question, until you think about it.  Obama and the Democrats aren’t looking to raise taxes on everyone who makes more than $250 million a year.  They are looking to raise taxes on everyone who makes more than $250,000 a year ($200,000 if you are single).    I think we are asking the wrong question.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet can pay higher taxes whenever they want.  All they have to do is sell some of their tax free municipal bonds (the city didn’t need those funds anyway) or lay off some workers and use the money to write a check to the government.  There is no limit to the extra taxes they can pay.  They don’t need Obama to tell them to pay more.  The question should be this: Why do billionaire businessmen, whose companies have grown so large that most competition can’t keep up with them, want people who make $250,000 a year to pay higher taxes?  For that matter, why do they want their fellow billionaires, and competitors, to pay higher taxes?

Small businesses create something invaluable to our country.  They are managed by people with incomes of $250,000 or more on paper and nothing to show for it except sweat, tears, and hope.    Hope that the equipment they just invested in, giving them a fraction of a deduction over the next 5 years, and the building they bought to house their business, with a deduction spread out over 39 years on land that is never expensed, will provide future profits in tangible cash that they can actually take home and reward their families with.  Those families, by the way, are the ones who see Mommy or Daddy go to the office for 80 hours a week creating goods and services and providing jobs.

On the other hand, small businesses provide fresh ideas.  Small businesses are where adopted college drop outs can help invent personal computers that turn into a franchise of computers, phones, personal devices and operating systems that provide stiff competition to Microsoft and IBM.  Steve Jobs wasn’t born a billionaire either.

Our heart strings will be tugged at as the Democrats call our attention to the starving Americans who can’t find a job, and then insist that we raise taxes on small business employers because Warren Buffet thinks rich people should get a tax hike.  But before you accept their premise, ask yourself why Warren Buffet wants that small business owner making $250,000 a year to pay higher taxes.

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