Thursday, January 12, 2012

Buffet's got balls

Warren Buffet, one of the wealthiest, most successful men in modern times, has become a voice of reason when it comes to taxing the rich. Worth $45 Billion himself, he's been challenging Congress to raise his taxes, something the GOP has refused to do. Instead, they decided to come up with a way for people to contribute money above and beyond their tax obligation to the government to help with the deficit and debt. It was meant to be a jab at Buffet, but Buffet has jabbed right back.

Buffet has said in a recent interview that he agreed to match the contributions made by all of congress. In fact, he said, he would pay 3:1 for anything Mitch McConnell, one of Buffet's primary detractors, agreed to donate. Buffet, who said that he isn't all that worried about his challenge, has been one of the greatest advocates for increasing taxes on the wealthy.

What I like about Buffet is that, aside from being down-to-earth and a great philanthropist, he's willing to tell it like it is, put his money where his mouth is, and do what he knows is best for the country. He also knows that, no matter what he contributes, it won't mean a thing if it's just him. That's why he was advocating for the change in the tax policy.

One of the other interesting things about Buffet is how he has treated his children. His son was interested in farming, and has a farm that he runs himself. But Buffet hasn't given him a penny. In fact, almost none of Warren Buffet's money is slated to go to his children; it will mostly be donated to Buffet's charities or business. Warren Buffet, it seems, believes his children should make their own way, do what they wish to do, and should earn themselves the kind of success that their father did. In a way, it's the complete opposite of many other wealthy families, who simply take advantage of the incredibly low estate tax and hand their money off to their children.

I hope that Warren Buffet can get more people to follow his example and demand an increase in their taxes. I hope that more people from the top 1% will challenge their children to succeed instead of just handing them a fortune and calling it good. Those who can afford to pay more should, and when that happens, maybe we won't have to worry so much about deficits and debts anymore. Maybe.

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