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Step Up, Mr. Buffett!

This article first appeared on Aug 16, 2011.

In a recent Op-Ed article by Warren Buffett, he calls on Congress to raise taxes on himself and his “mega-rich friends” who (as he states) are not taxed highly enough.

The basis for his article can be summed in this quote:
“While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks.”

According to Mr. Buffett, his federal tax burden is calculated around 17% and he apparently feels guilt that he should be paying more. I suspect that he makes use of a number of tax shelters (that are legal) and pays taxes based on the breakdown of his earnings classifications (likely more capital gains).

Instead of demanding actions from Congress to increase tax rates and / or limiting deductions that serve as the foundation of his apparent guilt, I suggest the following two actions from Mr. Buffett that will IMMEDIATELY accomplish the same thing with no requirement of activity by Washington, D.C.:

  1. Immediately instruct your accountants and tax professions to suspend usage of the deductions that lower his taxable income. Since he opposes (and feels guilty about the existence of) these opportunities in the tax code, DON’T USE THEM!
  2. After suspending his usage of benefits in the tax code to lower his taxable income, Mr. Buffett has every right to view his earnings and his holdings and voluntarily surrender whatever percentage he deems “fair” to the federal government. The United States Treasury even has a WEBSITE whereby he can make direct donations to “pay down debt”.

Both of these options are available to Mr. Buffett requiring NO ACTION by Congress. He could perform them both before Congress returns from its recess and even before his pal, PrezBO, gets back from his Martha’s Vineyard vacation!

Frankly sir, I support your right to do what you wish with the money that your earn – as large a number as they is. I will thank you in advance for affording the same freedom of choice to myself and all your “mega-rich friends”!

Quit waiting on politicians to legislate or regulate what YOU as a free citizen can already do yourself!