Bay State millionaires welcomed President Obama’s plan to force many of them to pay more in taxes, saying they’re willing to help the country cut its soaring budget deficit.Of course, like Buffett, these same hypocrites never voluntarily pay their so-called fair share.
“It’s a matter of simple fairness,” said George Howell, who sold the Boston-based Coffee Connection to Starbucks in 1994. “It doesn’t make me happier to spend more, but if that’s what it is, that’s what it is. ... I had my company in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s and taxes were far higher ... and it did very well.”
“I think it’s a great idea, actually,” said Alan McKim, CEO of Clean Harbors. “I just think if people who are doing well can pay more, then we should, but it’s got to be put to use the right away. That’s the only thing I’d ask.”
President Obama is expected to propose today that those earning more than $1 million a year pay at least the same tax rate as the middle class. Obama is calling the plan the “Buffett Rule” after billionaire investor Warren E. Buffett, a supporter of his who recently called the tax system unfair, claiming it lets him pay a lower rate than his secretary. Republicans argue the struggling economy cannot recover if Washington takes more money from people they have dubbed “job creators,” and critics accuse the president of engaging in class warfare.
But several of Massachusetts’ more-fortunate residents said they could spare a little more.
McKim suggested, however, that a tax hike for the wealthy could deter many in the highest income bracket from donating to charity if it ended tax credits.
Well, they've had the opportunity to pay more taxes for a decade, yet never seem to take advantage of the opportunity.
With that easy step, congressional liberals and residents of Malibu and Martha’s Vineyard no longer would have to keep the tax cuts conservatives keep throwing their way. Instead, they could send 50, 75, or even 99 percent of their incomes to Washington, so the GOP, Congress, and President Bush can spend it even better than they can.This is why Obama is coming after your wallet. His rich friends won't voluntarily pay higher taxes, so he's coming after you.
While this reform would increase taxpayer choice, it might generate little revenue. Arkansas, Massachusetts, and Virginia taxpayers already may pay above and beyond their usual top rates, though few do this. When Massachusetts cut its top tax rate to 5.3 percent in 2001, it let guilty liberals pay the old 5.85 percent rate if they wished. According to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, as of June 15, only 930 taxpayers opted to do so on their 2004 returns generating an extra $246,505. In 2002, 2,215 taxpayers paid the higher rate, yielding $341,829. Among 3,218,572 returns filed in 2003, only 1,488 (or 0.046 percent) paid the voluntary higher rate, adding $209,216 to state coffers.