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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Patriotic Millionaires Support Higher Taxes, But Won't Donate to Treasury

(Hat Tip: Dan Mitchell, Glenn Reynolds.)

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2011/12/patriotic-millionaires-.html

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A hypocritical but entirely predictable response by wealthy advocates of higher taxes. They should consider the example set by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. When he passed away in 1935, Mr. Justice Holmes left an estate of about $568,000, of which he bequeathed about $290,000 (roughly $2.5 million in today's dollars) to the United States government. That wealthy men today view such gifts as inconsequential and unworthy of their attention illustrates their puny stature in comparison to a great American like Holmes.

Posted by: Jake | Dec 27, 2011 3:11:22 PM

What about all the conservatives who favor high defense spending? Under the "send a check" argument trotted out anytime someone argues for higher taxes, they should be donating to the Treasury as well any time the defense budget is trimmed. Apparently, they're happy spending other people's money. And, according to Jake, hypocritical.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 27, 2011 4:45:40 PM

It's called the free rider problem, which any so-called journalist should have learned in Econ 101.

Posted by: Matt | Dec 27, 2011 6:28:10 PM

I think it would be a different story if someone could donate directly to an agency....versus just going to the general fund. If you are worth $___million and really believe in the mission of the Dept of ____ -- or ___Agency, then you should be able to do it. But to the extent the budget is downwardly adjusted by the contribution.....then its all...good/bad/ugly....then its a WTF scenario - all too common for Washington.

Posted by: Tax Professional Extraordinaire | Dec 27, 2011 7:36:17 PM

Those calling for higher defense spending are just arguing for a reallocation of our current spending levels so that more of the current spending is spent on defense and less on other things

Posted by: m fox | Dec 28, 2011 12:06:50 AM

Here's another list of people who could be giving more of their "fair share," but don't. They generally think that giving to left-wing causes and the arts constitutes the same thing as supporting the operations of our country.

99 Percent? Top 25 Occupy Wall Street Backers Worth Over $4 Billion

Here is a list of the 25 richest celebrities supporting the Occupy Movement (Source: Celebrity Net Worth)

1. Yoko Ono - $500 million
2. Jay-Z - $450 million
3. David Letterman - $400 million
(tie) Stephen King - $400 million
5. Russell Simmons - $325 million
6. Sean Lennon - $200 million
7. Mike Myers - $175 million
8. George Clooney - $160 million
9. Brad Pitt - $150 million
(tie) Don King - $150 million
11. Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) - $145 million
12. Jane Fonda - $120 million
(tie) Miley Cyrus - 120 million
14. Al Gore - $100 million
15. Roseanne Barr - $80 million
(tie) Deepak Chopra - $80 million
17. Kanye West - $70 million
(tie) Dan Rather - $70 million
19. Alec Baldwin - $65 million
(tie) Matt Damon - $65 million
21. Tom Morello - $60 million
(tie) Mia Farrow - $60 million
23. Katy Perry - $55 million
24. Michael Moore - $50 million
(tie) Susan Sarandon - $50 million
Total: $4.1 billion

Posted by: Woody | Dec 28, 2011 9:24:12 AM

If you taxed the income of the "1%" at 100%, it would still make no effective dent in the national debt. It's the spending, stupid.

Posted by: TexEcon | Dec 28, 2011 11:12:17 AM

I just wish the bottom half would contribute at least a percentage or 2 since they pay zero and half no skin in the game in order to get spending under control. If you look at the budget the majority goes to social programs and not defense. Those that are getting the social program money are the bottom 50% which contribute zero to the game and so of course they will continue to ask for more and more from those that earn it. I would to.

Posted by: Gary | Dec 28, 2011 11:28:36 AM

How about going after the tax dodges, cheats and deadbeats who evade taxes and make the rest of us pay more to take up the slack. Free Lunch Republicans have been spending money they have not earned for 30 years, lets stop the spigot.

Posted by: George W | Dec 28, 2011 12:15:07 PM

George W, can you name all those Republican tax cheats? I can name some tax cheats, and they were appointed by Obama.

Posted by: Woody | Dec 28, 2011 1:41:39 PM