Friday, April 13, 2012

Illogical Arguments Against The Buffett Rule

Gotta love Yahoo!. And I do love Yahoo!; I like the page layout and the easy access to all the top news stories.

What I'm less of a fan of, however, are the comment sections on the articles. Don't get me wrong, I think people should be allowed to comment about things and speak their minds. But I have to question what is actually going on in the minds of many of the Yahoo! users. More often than not, the comment section has far more than its fair share of Obama hatred (even on articles not anywhere near concerning him), and (even though I'm very careful about throwing around this accusation, as it gets used far too often) even overt racism. You need look no further than any article mentioning the Williams sisters (or any tennis article... it will get brought up eventually) to see what I mean.

This article contains a discussion of the Buffett Rule, but the article itself contains nothing particularly interesting. The comments, as usual, are another story. My favorite argument against the Rule:
 "If he or anybody else thinks they aren't taxed enough, why do they utilize the so-called 'loopholes' to lower their taxes? Why don't they just pay the higher rate? Why don't they simply send a check to the government?"
Ah, the sweet smell of ignorance (well, maybe the sweet smell is the smell of my cookies baking... I think ignorance smells like something else entirely). The point isn't for one person to pay more taxes, it's that it simply makes no sense for people with more money to pay a smaller share than someone with less money. (Whether or not there should be a flat tax is another discussion, but for the richer person to actually pay less makes no sense.)

This whole "well if you think you should pay more, then send the government a check" argument is ridiculous. If our tax system was voluntary, this country would never have survived two months, much less 200+ years. No person should have to send the government a check to make up for an obvious imbalance in the way taxes are collected. What is even sadder is that this same argument has even been used by Republican congressmen to shoot down the Rule.

Is the Buffett Rule the way to go? Maybe, maybe not. But if you want to say no, come up with a reason that actually halfway makes it look like you even considered the question at all, and aren't just saying what Fox News tells you to.

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