Mike Kueber's Blog

August 16, 2011

An open letter to Joe Nocera re: Buffett’s tax on the rich

Filed under: Issues,Media,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 4:32 pm
Tags: , ,

Joe,

I was disappointed with your column in support of a boycott on campaign contributions.  Although the idea is getting lots of publicity (I just saw Scott Pelley on the CBS Evening News interview the Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz), I haven’t heard anyone, other than Schultz, who thinks the idea will work.  As Pelley indicated, if the good-government types withdraw to the sidelines, they will be leaving an uncontested field to the bad-government types.  That would be analogous to violating the physician’s oath by providing treatment that makes the patient worse.  Most people agree that campaign contributions corrupt the political process, but instead of tilting against windmills by idealistically urging an ineffective boycott of contributions, you should be exposing the corruption.

An excellent example of the corruption appeared this weekend in a NY Times op-ed piece by Warren Buffett in favor of raising taxes on the rich.  As part of his argument, Buffett described two tax loopholes that unfairly benefit the rich – specifically, preferred tax treatment for the income earned by fund managers and day traders.

My suggestion is that you or the NY Times should investigate how such loopholes came to exist.  It is hard to imagine any Congressman or Senator would work in favor of such loopholes unless they had prostituted themselves to the fund managers or traders.  Perhaps by revealing this sordid symbiotic relationship, the voters will be motivated to punish legislators who prostitute themselves to special interests.

Sincerely,

Mike Kueber

 

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