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Ben Stein on Taxing the Rich2 min read

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Ben Stein has written an interesting article in the NYT called In Class Warfare, Guess Which Class Is Winning.  In it, he argues, based solely on the comments of Warren Buffet, that we should more heavily tax the rich, because they actually pay proportionately less of their income than the middle class.  Stein echoes Buffet even more by saying that the rich don’t invest more if you let them keep their taxes.

I am, in principle, against the graduated tax.  However, I do think that just instituting a flat tax (with an exception from taxes for those below the poverty line) needs some clarification, and I want to propose the following ideas for discussion:

  • Who are the "rich"?  Perhaps Buffet’s comments only apply to the SUPER rich, of which he is one.
  • Can we "tax the rich" while not penalizing midsized businesses?  (NOTE:  What is ‘mid’ sized?  My company is a $4B/yr company, and we are considered midsized)
  • Do we need to get rid of tax deductions to make sure that the rich pay taxes?
  • Are there any other rich people that make this argument besides the super-rich Buffet and the Gates family?  I would mention the Kennedy’s, but as pointed out in Do As I Say (Not As I Do), the Kennedy’s may preach this, but they hide all of their assets in tax shelters.