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Buffett: Tax increases on the rich would be a morale booster for the middle class

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By Doug Powers  •  November 28, 2012 09:22 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

Goodbye “Buffett Rule,” hello “Schadenfreude Plan.”

Transcript from Real Clear Politics:

MATT LAUER, TODAY: So bottom line, would raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans have a chilling effect on hiring in this country?

WARREN BUFFETT: No, and I think would have a great effect in terms of the morale of the middle class, who have seen themselves paying high payroll taxes, income taxes. And then they watch guys like me end up paying a rate that’s below that, you know, paid by the people in my office.

Ol’ Warren must have a heck of an opinion of the middle class if he thinks seeing higher taxes imposed on somebody else while their burden remains the same (or is most likely increased) will boost their morale. Using the class warfare approach to lifting spirits, I can only assume that Berkshire Hathaway’s mid-level employee bonus program consists of being handed a check for $0 and given the opportunity to take turns giving atomic wedgies to the company’s highest paid executives who hog all the best parking spots.

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Does anybody really believe that even if taxes were raised on the super-rich that Buffett wouldn’t aggressively sniff out any and all loopholes (as he does now), which would still be plentiful?

Besides, the entire “tax the rich” argument is a pathetic attempt to avoid the real problem, which is out of control government spending:

According to Forbes, the 400 wealthiest individuals in the U.S. are worth a combined $1.37 trillion. Confiscating all their wealth (not just annual earnings) would buy us another 4.5 months.

And it wouldn’t even cover another 4.5 months, because politicians would say “hey, we just got $1.37 trillion in unexpected revenue — what are we gonna buy?

When anybody supports the government’s trillion-dollar per year deficit spending levels (and rising) by calling for higher taxes in a futile attempt to cover it, the morale that gets boosted the most is among those doing the spending.

Related story: The Obama administration is asking supporters to send in videos of themselves talking about the importance of raising taxes on the rich. Warren Buffett’s already done his part.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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