December 5, 2010

A speech of exemplary clarity, with lots of passion – and data.


  1. Interesting. He uses the term greed several times in the speech and seems genuinely upset at the notion of a tax break for the top 1%. He provides data citing the top 1% earn 23% of the income. However, he conveniently left out the fact that the same top 1% pay 38% of the federal income tax bill. The bottom 50% makes about 13% of the income but only pays 2.7% of the federal income tax bill (IRS 2008 figures).

    He seems upset that we are "giving" the top 1% a tax break. First off, they are not being "given" anything. They are simply keeping money they earned. But, to passionately say, "we need to systematically take more for those who make more," somehow just doesn't sound as good. Why don't we hear the same pleas for Shaq to stop playing basketball so the 5'4" people of world can get a chance to play in the NBA?

    I am not in the top 1% and likely won't be. However, I earn what I make and make do with what I earn. For those so concerned with taxes, please stop trying to make it everyone's problem. If you want to give more to the IRS go for it - there is no law against giving more to the IRS. It's interesting that Warren Buffet, who likes to say he is for paying more taxes, when it came to sharing his wealth he decided to give it to the Gates Foundation (a private non-profit). Why? Why didn't he put his money where his mouth is and give it to the IRS?

    One of the major underlying assumptions is that if the rich are taxed more the government will do the right thing with that money. That has never, ever, in history turned out to be true.

    The speech is amazing! It's an amazing plea for what Frederic Bastait, in his 1850 book "The Law" called "Legalized Plunder."

  2. Dear Anonymous,

    You write:

    "But, to passionately say, 'we need to systematically take more for those who make more,' somehow just doesn't sound as good."

    I agree.



Blog Archive