Right rejects Buffett’s good advice

Over the weekend, Warren Buffett, the chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, made a powerful case to raise taxes on himself and those like him who enjoy enormous wealth. He noted, among other things, that he has a lower tax burden, as a percentage of his income, than anyone in his office. Millionaires and billionaires, Buffett said, “have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.”

President Obama twice cited Buffett’s op-ed yesterday to bolster the White House line. The right, apparently, was less impressed. Here’s Fox News’ Eric Bolling on the air yesterday:

“Warren Buffett wrote an op-ed in the New York Times today, he said we should be, I think you mentioned it earlier, we should be taxed more. What is this? Is he completely a socialist and he’s playing into Mr. Obama’s hands of, you know, tax anyone who makes money, give it to people who don’t work?”

Got that? Asking millionaires and billionaires to pay just a little more — going back to, say, the same rates they paid in the 1990s, when the economy soared — is evidence of being “completely a socialist.” Indeed, as Bolling sees it, asking the wealthy to sacrifice is necessarily part of an agenda to give money “to people who don’t work.”

Also remember, Buffett is one of America’s wealthiest people, and is the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.”Completely a socialist”?

Why do Fox News viewers seem so terribly confused? In part because they rely on guys like Bolling to help them make sense of current events.

Mitt Romney also rejected the Buffett line, arguing yesterday, Look, “I know there are some who say “let’s just tax the rich.” Let’s raise the taxes on the rich…. If we raise taxes on wealthy people, that means businesses see their taxes go up. I don’t want to raise taxes on employers.”

Pat Garofalo explained how very wrong this.

As we’ve noted over and over again, during both the 2008 and 2010 tax debates, raising taxes on the rich will have little effect on small businesses. Fewer than 2 percent of small businesses owners make more than $250,000, never mind the $1 million level, at which Buffett is advocating a tax increase. Far more small businesses (14 percent) claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is only available to low-income workers.

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