Warren Buffett is making sure no one ever gets as rich as he became — or as ridiculous.
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Analysis of the Bush tax cuts offers similar conclusions, namely that they did not reduce revenues in any substantial way, and that they increased economic growth. Perhaps the most straight-forward discussion of the Bush tax cuts and the myth that they were the primary cause today’s deficits comes from a Tax Foundation note which shows that even using static modeling, the Bush tax cuts are only responsible for 16% of the swing from surplus to deficit which occurred between 2001 and 2011. Forty-four percent was caused by increased spending and another 28% by “technical corrections,” which means that prior guesses about economic growth were too high. Again, even that 16% number is too high because it ignores economic growth caused by the cuts. And, “the Bush-era tax cuts have been declining as a contributing factor to the swing to deficits.… [I]n 2011, the Bush-era tax cuts account for only 6 percent of the current swing to deficits.”
But data and common sense be damned. This is, despite Buffett’s posturing, not about economics. It’s about ideology. After all, President Obama, who frequently seeks Buffett’s economic advice, famously said that even if raising capital gains taxes would decrease federal revenue, he would still “look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.”
Buffett attributes low recent job growth to low tax rates following the Bush tax cuts, but nobody with a shred of data or common sense could believe such an argument. Poor job creation in recent years is due to many factors, most of them caused by government, such as bubble-producing multi-year periods during which the Fed held interest rates too low, out-of-control government spending, and the massive economic turmoil and recession caused by the collapse in the mortgage market (a collapse that was far more a failure of government than of markets, but that’s another story).
The supercilious Buffett, feeling good about giving away his own fortune, is suggesting that government prevent the rest of us from ever earning one.
There’s one more point to make here: As Milton Friedman told us, the proper measure of the burden of government is spending, not taxes and certainly not the deficit. Even if raising tax rates did raise revenue, which it doesn’t, supporting tax hikes is just another way of supporting an ever-growing government. No, Mr. Buffett, the American people are sick of big-spending government and its enablers among the supercilious left-wing “millionaires and billionaires” who are oh-so-generous with other people’s money.
Warren, please go back to what you’re supposed to be good at. Perhaps if you spend more time working and less time encouraging the government to loot the rest of us, you can get your stock price back to outperforming the S&P 500, something it hasn’t done since you started palling around with Barack Obama. Coincidence? I think not.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online