Buffett’s sin is that he spoke a truth that [right-wingers] want to keep covered up: Taxing capital gains at 15 percent means that people who make their money from investments pay taxes at a much lower marginal rate than those who earn more than $34,500 a year from their labor…
Advocates of higher taxes on the wealthy do not want to “punish” the successful. Buffett and Doug Edwards, a millionaire who asked Obama at a recent town hall event in California to raise his taxes, are saying that none of us succeeds solely because of personal effort. We are all lucky to have been born in — or, for immigrants, admitted to — a country where the rule of law is strong, where property is safe, where a vast infrastructure has been built over generations, where our colleges and universities are the envy of the world, and where government protects our liberties.
Wealthy people, by definition, have done better within this system than other people have. They ought to be willing to join Buffett and Edwards in arguing that for this reason alone, it is common sense, not class jealousy, to ask the most fortunate to pay taxes at higher tax rates than other people do.
JPMorgan gave a massive gift of $4.6 million to the New York City Police Foundation in the form of money, patrol car laptops, “security monitoring software,” and other tech resources. But the donation was given starting late last year and was completed by spring 2011, so it was obviously not made in response to the Occupy Wall Street protests. At the time, Commissioner Ray Kelly sent JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon a note expressing his “profound gratitude” for the donation, and a company-written news item about the gift described it as “unprecedented” in size.
A consequence of cutting funds to services like the police is that private entities move in to fill the vacuum left by public funds. Now which would you rather have paying the salaries of the NYPD: taxpayers or JPMorgan?