Here's a thought on taxes: Perhaps it receive greater attention that the statutory IRS tax rates at any given time are not legally-binding, maximum tax rates, it's more the case that the IRS rates are the legally-required minimum tax rates enforced by the IRS. Advocates of higher tax rates like Warren Buffett seem to feel constrained by the current tax code, as if the current tax rates are legally-binding maximum rates, when that is not the case. Maybe the IRS should clarify that it only enforces legally-required minimum tax rates, but these rates are not binding and can be adjusted upward by any taxpayer who voluntarily chooses to pay taxes a higher rate?
Update: Another thought... I think Warren Buffett distorted and misrepresented the tax issue by using himself as an example, implying that his case as a CEO paying a lower tax rate (17.4%) than his secretary was typical, when that is not the case. Buffett’s case is an extreme outlier and not at all typical of a CEO because: a) Buffett takes only a $100,000 salary, and b) gets about $40 million of income annually from dividends and capital gains taxed at 15%.
That’s how Buffett reports a 17.4% tax rate, but he never explained in his NY Times article (or elsewhere) that his case is NOT typical for salaried CEOs. The typical CEO reporting ordinary income of $1 million or more would be paying taxes at a rate of something like 29%, including payroll taxes. The typical secretary reporting $50,000 of income would be paying something like 11% for income tax, and something like 14% including payroll taxes.