28th June 2011
Good to see somebody else picking up on what I’ve been saying for years.
What commonality binds Haim Saban, Penny Pritzker, and Warren Buffett, aside from membership in the billionaire’s club? Guilt, and not the quotidian variety — unfulfilled potential, disappointing behavior, lost love — that afflicts most of us. Theirs is a guilt that only afflicts the very rich — a guilt that arises from wanting more equitable outcomes coupled with an unwillingness to pay the requisite taxes to achieve those outcomes. It’s the same guilt that has plagued Rockefeller, Kennedy, and Mott progeny for decades.
That special kind of guilt that doesn’t manifest itself in behavior modification, but rather self-righteous attempts to interfere with how others live their lives. White liberal guilt.
Most income earners — salary and wage earners, in particular — are stuck with their onerous tax burden (which, by the way, is why they rarely bitch about paying too little tax). The very rich, in contrast, enjoy the economy of scale to defer and avoid taxes through trusts, off-shore accounts, property exchanges that resemble barters, and myriad manipulations of the tax code. Their tax-importuning subset are like the chatty members of a group dinner who convince everyone to order the foie gras, caviar, and truffles but skip out before the bill arrives.
And even if they stuck around, they would take comfort in the fact that after the bill is paid, they’d still have folding money in their pockets while the rest of the party had pockets full of change. Small change.
There are solutions to this vexing tax problem. There is the obvious: The whiny woeful rich could simply write an additional tax check each year. But that solution doesn’t allow the rich to step down from their pedestals when the mood strikes to commiserate with the lesser rich, nor does it allow them to join idiotic self-congratulatory Web sites like Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength. As for the psychosis, it is really a fear of being the lone patsy writing addition checks to the government.
Couldn’t have put it better myself.
But let’s be honest: The very rich don’t want to pay more tax, they want you to pay more taxes. … These rich tax agitators know that the real cost of any tax freight is borne by the comfortable and very comfortable, the almost rich and nearly rich income earners.
Exactly so. They want to impoverish the up-and-comers who are breathing down their necks, financially. They want to prevent competition from Those People for the luxury goods on which they’ve become so psychologically dependent.