To begin with, I am not an economist, a vote-seeking politician, a Tea party supporter or a penthouse one-percenter. When I pay my taxes I thank God for this country and my being part of it. (Please note: I did not say I thank God for taxes.) What I get for what I pay is worth every penny, even though I realize that not every penny I pay provides the kind of government our Constitution envisions. Never has that been clearer than in present times.
Please note as well that I am not talking only about the present administration. The roots of the current – and continuing – economic crisis trace back through other administrations, feeding on greed and good times and fabricated dreams the poor among us could ill afford. The illusions and collusions of big business (read: “big money”) and government lawmakers and agencies inflated a balloon of a bubble destined to burst big time, which it did.
The Great Recession continues to spawn, to this day, every variety of finger-pointing as to its causes, while the country struggles to recover. And the rich seem to merit the biggest finger (you know the one) of all. Somehow, as in the years following the Great Depression, the country will find growth in today’s disaster. In the meantime, the unfortunate rhetoric currently against the rich needs confrontation.
The wealthy among us need to be appreciated. After all, money is power and government is, like it or not, big business. The most powerful nation on earth is what it is, for the most part, because of those innovative, industrial and financial giants whose names made and are making history. Unfortunately, “power corrupts,” and greed can be part of that. Still, many of the wealthy among us need to be appreciated, with the hope they can and will realize what they owe their country.
Warren Buffett seems to “get it,” as do many other rich folks, I am sure. But there are “gamers” – too many of them – who abuse the system to get all they can to inflate their own ego-balloons, missing the point by measuring what this country gives them by the balances in their bank accounts and “show and tell” lifestyles.
Warren Buffett, like most Americans, knows the system needs serious revamping. More importantly, he knows what is ludicrous – and what is reasonable, as, I want to believe, most one-percenters do. That is why the Buffett Rule does not need to become law. Washington needs to find a positive rhetoric to court and encourage the wealthy to pay, if not their “fair share,” what might reasonably recognize their debt to this country.
Taxation is a burden on every one, a fact of life that should be an investment in responsible governance as well as future well-being. If money is power, the rich, more than the rest of us, can make that so.