Follow Natalie on Twitter
Yesterday in the New York Times investor Warren Buffett weighed in on the escalating debate over the US tax system, blatantly backing President Obama's latest plans for tax increases on higher earning Americans.
But while the Nebraska-born billionaire seemingly pleaded for Congress to raise his current rate, a growing number of conservatives have quickly countered his calls, citing a number of key points coincidently left out of Buffet's latest op-ed offering.
From political bloggers to presidential hopefuls, here's a look at the conservative response to Warren Buffett's column-based claims:
Pat Buchanan, Morning Joe:
I’m a little fed up with these people who come on, you know, their big op-eds, all these admonitions. Why doesn’t he set an example and send a check for $5 billion to the federal government? He’s got about $40 billion. You know, you had a plan up there, I talked to Howie Carr at Boston where the super-rich could contribute an extra amount. It was something like one-tenth of one percent did it. You get all this noise from these big rich folks. Let them send checks and set an example instead of writing op-eds.
Editorial, International Business Daily
If Buffett were as smart about tax policy as he is about investing, he'd be calling for tax reform that cuts rates and eliminates loopholes, instead of playing up the class warfare rhetoric. Until then, we'd all be well advised to ignore Buffett's tax rants.
Samuel Gregg, NRO's The Corner:
As a businessman, Warren Buffett is a great American success story. As a contributor to public debate about America’s economic future, however, he would be better off channeling a little less Barack Obama and reading a little more Adam Smith: the same Smith who pointed out that sometimes the worst enemies of free markets and wealth-creation overall are businessmen.
Mike Brownfield, Heritage.org
Apart from misstating his tax burden, Buffett fails to call for significant reforms in Social Security and Medicare that could reduce federal spending, and he downplays the role of taxation plays in investment decisions…Then there’s the fact that a shortage of tax revenue isn’t even the root of Washington’s problem—too much spending is. While revenue will surpass its historical average of 18.0 percent of GDP by 2021, spending will shoot past its historical average of 20.3 percent, reaching 26.4 percent in the same year....A billionaire calling for more taxes might make great political theater, but there’s more to the story than Buffett—and Obama—would have you believe.
Joseph Lawler, American Spectator:
[I]t seems that Buffett doesn't fully understand why it is that he pays relatively little in income taxes. As David Indiviglio explains, there is more to the story of taxes on investment income than Buffett appreciates. Also, as others have pointed out a number of times in response to Buffett's pleas to increase his taxes, anyone can simply write a check to the Treasury if they want.
Senator John Cornyn, Twitter:
For tax raising advocates like Warren Buffett, I am sure Treasury would take a voluntary payment for deficit reduction
Governor Rick Perry, Dallas Morning News interview:
I just think new taxes are not the answer right now...Taking money away from Warren Buffett is not going to affect anything...[it would be] the small businesses that's getting devastated...Warren Buffett, I would suggest to you, is a nice man. And God bless him, he's lived in American and had a free-market system to make a lot of money, but I disagree with his idea to raise taxes...We need to be cutting spending.
Jeffrey Miron, CNN:
Focusing on the super-rich also fosters a counterproductive attitude toward material success. The way to promote a hard-working, entrepreneurial and innovative society is to celebrate great wealth so long as it has been earned by legitimate means. When this is not the case, policy should target the wrongdoing directly, not demonize everyone who hits it big. Most importantly, singling out the super-rich distracts from the real problem: the myriad policies that make no sense in the first place because they inhibit economic growth and that simultaneously redistribute from low-income households to the middle and upper classes.