Mr. Edwards’ remarks have been characterized as a display of sacrifice and virtue. But here’s another fact: Mr. Edwards does not need his government to take more of his wealth away. As an American Edwards is quite free to do what he wishes with his money, and he has the power to part with more of his money all on his own.
“Please raise my taxes” may sound righteous, until you consider that the government doesn’t set tax rates for individuals, but rather, for groups. With a call for higher tax rates, Mr. Edwards is actually calling for the government to confiscate more money from millions of other people as well as himself. If he was serious about more of his money, alone, going to fund the government, he could simply make extra “contributions” to the IRS, and choose to not itemize his tax deductions.
But then there’s Actor/Director Ron Howard. Last week he noted that “I remember on the ‘Andy Griffith Show’ ( a show he starred in as a child during the early 1960’s) when income taxes for the upper levels were as much as 90 percent, and that’s the era that we often look back to with great nostalgia and it was a time of tremendous growth. So you know, I’m not averse to paying some taxes to try to help the country grow...”
If Mr. Howard were to check-in with his accountant, he would likely find that he is already paying “some taxes.” He would also do well to note the fact that America has changed since the 1960’s: whereas back in the day most Americans were either employed by a large corporation or a government agency, today most of us work for small businesses that were started by private individuals and investors. He also may recall the fact that during that early 60’s “nostalgia” era, President John F Kennedy cut taxes for all Americans, instead of raising them.
Buffett, Howard, Edwards – and anybody else who believes that higher taxes will pave our pathway to prosperity - should consider another fact: government wastes our money at staggering rates. Buffett has already declared that the $813 billion stimulus bill of 2009 was largely a waste (why do you want to fund more, Mr. Buffett?). And we don’t know yet how many hundreds of millions of our dollars went down the tubes with the President’s Solyndra/”green energy” fiasco.
Americans must continue to embrace economic facts and abandon the Obama fiction – no matter what the rich and famous may say.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.