Toward Fairer Taxes

Toward Fairer Taxes

On November 28, billionaire Warren Buffett will tell the world on ABC television that rich people should pay more in taxes. “I think that people at the high end – people like me – should be paying a lot more in taxes. We have it better than we’ve ever had it.”

Buffett supports House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plans to increase income taxes for those couples with $250,000 gross income – and so do I. And this may be the right time to endorse Pelosi for her effective and dignified leadership as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Capable and honorable, trapped in a situation of terrible unemployment, she can’t be held personally responsible for the political annihilation of the Democrats. Allowing the bankers to precipitate the crisis, was a national flaw.

President Obama’s deficit commission proposes raising the age at which one can receive Social Security benefits to 69 by 2075. A great many people in their 60s have lost or are about to lose their jobs and have little hope of finding another. Raising the retirement age would extend the period of receiving no income for many people approaching 70. The commission would end deductibility of health benefits and mortgage interest while raising the gasoline tax, levying tax increases on the middle class while giving tax cuts to the wealthy.

Americans should not be stampeded into cutting increasingly critical Social Security protections. It’s time to ask those who have reaped the benefits of runaway tax cuts and growing income inequality to pay their fair share, not cut Social Security. It’s time to require income taxes on all earnings above $106,800. Doing so would fully address the projected shortfall for 75 years.

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