RE: No, No, Johnny! - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
RE: No, No, Johnny!

I’m coming late to this, but let me put in my two or three cents worth.

First, there is an easy way to get back to surpluses. Just hold spending increases to growth in inflation for about three or four years, and we’ll get there.

Second, Ben Stein needs to be a lot more skeptical about whom he takes tax advice from. Warren Buffett pays less in taxes as a percentage of his income than his secretaries because he gets his income from capital gains and dividends. Why didn’t Ben ask Buffett why Buffett doesn’t start taking a salary and paying his secretaries with capital gains and dividends? It would be one way for Buffett to show how committed he is to his belief in “fairness”.

But I wouldn’t hold my breath. Buffett likes taxes, especially the estate tax. His life insurance company, Safeco, sells special policies that help heirs pay the estate tax. For more on how Buffett makes out like a bandit on the estate tax, read this article by my friend John Berlau.

Finally, let’s acknoledge that a fundamental unfairness lies at the root of all taxes. In essence, all taxes take money from someone who has earned it, and gives it to someone who has not. The only way to justify this transfer is with (1) a need that can’t be fulfilled by the market, such as defense, or (2) by the truly needy, such as the disabled or perhaps victims of Katrina.

But you can’t really justify tax increases when so much government spending goes to things that can be provided by the private sector and/or go to those who are anything but needy. Examples include corporate welfare, farm payments to big corporate farms, not to mention delectable little pork items like the Bridge to Nowhere. Those are not things that can justify a tax increase.

And until they are removed from the budget, any tax increase is fundamentally unfair.

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