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New York City, New York, United States
41 year old African-American Male. I like to think of myself as a jack of all trades and a master of none...I rely on reasoned common sense, rationality and what my gut tells me is right/wrong (combined with the well reasoned opinions of others!). I don't consider myself an expert on anything in particular, but I have lots of opinions.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Why We Need to Increase Government Revenue

Attached is an op-ed piece that appears in the New York Times and is written by none other than Warren Buffett, one of the wealthiest men in the WORLD, on the problem with the "no revenue increases" mantra that is being touted by a certain vocal segment in Congress.  In very plain language, Mr. Buffett outlines the absurdity of this position in a time of alleged "shared sacrifice".  I have yet to understand how this crazed minority (if you believe public opinion polls) has been able to convince the America public that raising taxes on the "super rich" will be bad for the economy.  WE ALL benefit for services provided by the government, from defense of the country to maintaining the safety of air travel (when its not being held hostage to political wrangling) to research conducted by various federal agencies.  Yet, WE ALL don't pay for these benefits equally.  Personally, I don't have an income or investment portfolio that comes close to approximating that of Mr. Buffett and his super rich friends (and, in fact, he pays more in taxes that I can probably expect to earn over the course of my life). Yet, I earn considerably more than the average American.  I would have no problem paying more in taxes if it means that those less fortunate are able to retain more of their income---those  the people most likely to spend and quite frankly, they are the ones most in need.  And, its the right thing to do.

There is this narrative that prevails in this country about hard work and self reliance.  Quite frankly, its a lie.  In fact most of those who are "self made" are anything but, whether its through connections, education or through  the maintenance of a system that tolerates such gross inequalities in wealth distribution, no one has ever really made it 100% on his/her own.  But, people believe in that tired story because it makes them feel good.  I wish that the President would just be frank and honest about why tax increases are both important and necessary.  Its not about patriotism (another lie in itself) or notions of altruism.  Its the price we pay to live in this society and each of us to should be forced to pay according to our resources (this is a bit simplistic, but I think that the point still applies).


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