Thursday, January 12, 2012

Buffett Challenges McConnell, Republicans on Tax Policy | Swampland |

Buffett Challenges McConnell, Republicans on Tax Policy | Swampland | "Sen. McConnell says that Washington should be smaller, rather than taxes getting bigger. And since some, like President Obama and Mr. Buffett, want to pay higher taxes, Congress made it possible for them to call their own bluff and send in a check. So I look forward to Mr. Buffett matching a healthy batch of checks from those who actually want to pay higher taxes, including Congressional Democrats, the President and the DNC."

Exactly the right response.

'via Blog this'


Brett said...

I've always wondered about those saying they're willing to pay higher taxes. Why don't they? Seems what they really mean is that they want others to pay higher taxes. I guess they're willing to pay higher taxes as long as everyone else in their situation does too.

Ryan said...

They never explain themselves, do they?

I think that's the only good argument they have for not paying voluntarily: that I'm only willing to do it if everyone else is willing, too.

Here's Mankiw on the topic, in a slightly different context:

What about transfer payments to the poor? These can be justified along similar lines. As long as people care about others to some degree, antipoverty programs are a type of public good. [Thurow 1971] That is, under this view, the government provides for the poor not simply because their marginal utility is high but because we have interdependent utility functions. Put differently, we would all like to alleviate poverty. But because we would prefer to have someone else pick up the tab, private charity can’t do the job. Government-run antipoverty programs solve the free-rider problem among the altruistic well-to-do.

But maybe that isn't on topic because we all wouldn't want bigger government--only Buffet does. So, maybe we do not have a community action problem at all.