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Forum Post: killed by the employees of koch & alex

Posted 9 years ago on April 20, 2012, 5:27 p.m. EST by bensdad (8977)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I don't know what Founding Father and President Thomas Jefferson would have thought about TV, cars, spaceships, cellphones, skyscrapers, computers or nuclear weapons. But I do know what Jefferson would have thought about the Buffett Rule. He would have liked it.

The Buffett Rule is the Obama Administration's proposal to adopt a 30% minimum tax rate on personal income above $1 million a year. It would promote one of the central tenets of progressivism: that the burden of taxes should fall on the rich, not the poor.

In 1811, two years after Jefferson left the Presidency, Jefferson wrote a letter to General Thaddeus Kosciuszko, a hero of the American Revolution. Jefferson said that he supported taxes (then tariffs, since there was no income tax yet) falling entirely on the wealthy. As Jefferson explained: "The farmer will see his government supported, his children educated, and the face of this country made a paradise by the contributions of the rich alone, without his being called on to spend a cent from his earnings."

Here is someone else who was an outspoken proponent of progressive taxation: Adam Smith, who literally "wrote the book" on capitalism. In 1776, in The Wealth of Nations, Smith wrote:

"The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

(I wonder: When Adam Smith wrote about the "luxuries and vanities" of the rich, was he contemplating Mitt Romney's elevator for Romney's car? Or is that simply beyond contemplation?)

Two hundred years ago, when America was founded, progressive taxation was viewed as just common sense. We still have common sense, don't we?

First, let's see the Buffett Rule for individuals. Then the Buffett Rule for corporations. That would be progressive. And that would be progress.




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[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8708) 9 years ago

I agree, it would've been progress, but not gone nearly far enough, in my opinion. Didn't it already get struck down by the Repubs? I haven't heard the latest.

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 9 years ago

yes it did - killed by alex + koch

[-] 1 points by TheMisfit (48) 9 years ago

In Jefferson's time, the government was limited by the Constitution and an income tax wasn't even necessary. It wasn't until Teddy Roosevelt's great expansion of government that there was a need for an income tax other than in the absolute worst of times and shortly after his time as President, the 16th Amendment was enacted to cover the bill of the government.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8287) from Phoenix, AZ 9 years ago

Only that amount above what is needed for shelter, food and education should be taxed, with healthcare provided to all that require it. Reasonable allowances for these items would be easy to determine and would be helpful in determining a minimum wage as well.


[-] -2 points by almostThere (-1) 9 years ago

The Buffett Rule hahahha what a joke and Warren does not even want it

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 9 years ago

"The farmer (should) see his government supported, his children educated, and the face of this country made a paradise by the (tax) contributions of the rich alone, without his being called on to spend a cent from his earnings."

--Thomas Jefferson

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 9 years ago



only 37% of Americans don't want the Buffet rule legalized.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8708) 9 years ago

Thanks, but it was obvious. LOL!