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View Diary: Warren Buffett's latest op-ed will bring mutters of 'class traitor.' But he doesn't go far enough (117 comments)

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  •  As you might expect, I don't agree... (4+ / 0-)

    ...with your view that taxes are solely for the purpose of raising revenue. That certainly wasn't the sole purpose of tariffs from the beginning of the nation until 1913, when they became much less of a revenue source for the federal government. One of their key purposes, as outlined by Alexander Hamilton, was to spur industrialization by imposing high rates on foreign goods investors wanted to make domestically. Beginning in 1933, and ever since, the income tax has been partially but deliberately used to redistribute income, however imperfectly.

    Even at a 70% marginal rate, the rich wouldn't be hurting. And, as Buffett says, they will not stop investing in economic arenas where there is a return to be made just because taxes are high.

    As for palatability, the U.S. had an effective tax rate of 51% to 60% on top incomes in the 1950s, a period of significant prosperity.

    Germany, one of the most prosperous nations in the world, has a personal top income tax rate of 45% plus 5.5% "solidarity" tax to reintegrate the two Germanys. That top rate kicks in at €250,731 for an individual.

    Capital gains taxes on shares of stock sold in Germany run from 25% to 60% depending on how big a portion of an investment they are. The effective corporate tax rate in Germany, by the way, is 30%-33% compared with 12.1% in the U.S. in 2012.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:10:10 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

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