Taxing the rich

Like many of you, I’ve read Warren Buffets NYT op-ed.

I’ve also read Arringtons, Screw the Rich post.

To be clear I am not a macro economics expert. I loved the class in undergrad but that was a few years ago :)

I have a very simple way of looking at this

1. I would like to see the country do more with less waste. Everyone does. When I hear people say we shouldn’t have a national health plan unless we can guarantee it won’t have any waste, I throw up a little. Having some waste is unfortunately the cost of goods sold. If no waste was truly a requirement for government programs, we wouldn’t have a military (count the pork projects) or public education. I’m glad we have both.

Id like to remove as much waste as possible. But there will always be some.

2. In a troubled economy like ours, there is a massive and growing population that needs help. They need better education and they need jobs. And yes, they need healthcare. What happens if the government funds a new bridge and the worker gets hurt and doesn’t have healthcare. A simple example but a real one. Healthcare costs are bringing many families down

3. There are two reasons why we as a nation need to help the growing population here that is suffering.

-because we should care about those less fortunate. Forget tax breaks, tax deductions. Forget how or why the less fortunate got there for a moment. The point is that a huge population (add up unemployment + underemployment and you get a number at or over 20%). That’s an insane percentage of our nation that live in crisis. We should take care of them. It’s the right thing to do.

-if you don’t agree with the above reason there is another reason that is self serving to wealthy people. If there isn’t a change, and gets worse , and the percentage grows from 20% of our country to 25% and then goes up again. What happens next? It wont be pretty. See London for recent examples.

4. Preserving bush tax cuts for the rich don’t make sense in the world we live in. Trickle down economics don’t work. If they did work we wouldn’t see a the accelerated spread between the rich and poor.

5. If VCs and entrepreneurs have to pay an increase on taxes, it won’t have an impact on my love for my work. I wouldn’t give it up. And I don’t know any founders that wouldnt have started their company if there was a different tax code.

6. I’m sure I’m gonna get a lot of heat for this post to many. There are clearly many that see red when they hear that we as a society should take care of each others.

People will suggest, the way to help those on need is to give them jobs not raise taxes on the wealthy. Of course I violently agree that job creation is a must. I see startup land and innovation as a critical path forward. But it will take time and what should we do I’m the interim?

Now there will be others that will just say, hey dude you are free to pay as much as you want in taxes. Just send the government more money. I get the reaction. But snark aside, we need a thoughtful and complete plan to get our country going. Not an ad hoc move by a few.

That’s all I got on the subject for now.

Update: a few folks have pointed out that our needless wars should stop to help with our cost control. I agree completely. Bring our troops home now.

(please excuse the typos and poor writing. Wrote this quickly on my iPhone)