Billionaire Warren Buffett in an interview on ABC’s This Week With Christiane Amanpour that will air next Sunday:
“If anything, taxes for the lower and middle class and maybe even the upper middle class should even probably be cut further,but I think that people at the high end — people like myself — should be paying a lot more in taxes. We have it better than we’ve ever had it.”
How good has it been? Here are some statistics from a recent Nicholas Kristof column:
The Top 1% earners takes 24% of all US income earned.
The Top 1% took 80% of all increased income from 1980 to 2005.
In 1980 CEOs of largest American companies earned 42 times as much of the average worker. In 2001 they took 531 times.
And from Paul Krugman:
Between 1979 and 2005 the real income of the median household rose only 13 percent, but the income of the richest 0.1% of Americans rose 296 percent.
Next week there will be a battle in the House over whether or not to extend the Bush tax cuts to everyone or only to those earning less than $250,000. Obama has asked that the Bush tax cuts be extended only to those earning under $250,000. Obama’s plan would give the Top 0.1% a tax break of $61,000. The Republican plan would give the Top 0.1% a tax break of $370,000 and would cost the US Treasury somewhere between $700 to $800 billion dollars over the next decade.
The Republicans say that these huge tax cuts for the extremely wealthy will create jobs. Warren Buffett thinks otherwise:
“The rich are always going to say that, you know, just give us more money and we’ll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you, but that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on.”
You would think that after three decades of Republican tax cuts that have created huge deficits with unfunded wars and unfunded medicaid benefits while funneling trillions of dollars to the extremely wealthy that the American Public would catch on. You’d think they recognize that most of us haven’t seen any real gains in over 35 years. But you have to wonder. If the American public is catching on, why did they vote for more Republican congressmen that want to keep giving more money to the rich?
Wake up America! Tax cuts for the rich make you poorer. By granting them tax cuts we are essentially giving them money. That’s money that our country could use to pay for the wars, improve education, rebuild our infrastructure, and provide healthcare for our citizens.