Former American Express CEO Harvey Golub gives a major rebuttal to calls from Warren Buffett and Barack Obama for more taxes on the rich.
Writing in the WSJ, Golub makes three points. First, it is absurd that half of the country pays no income taxes. Second, “the extraordinarily complex tax code is replete with favours to various interest groups and industries.” Third, the government is bloated by wasteful spending.
Until someone addresses these issues, he says he pays enough:
Over the years, I have paid a significant portion of my income to the various federal, state and local jurisdictions in which I have lived, and I deeply resent that President Obama has decided that I don’t need all the money I’ve not paid in taxes over the years, or that I should leave less for my children and grandchildren and give more to him to spend as he thinks fit. I also resent that Warren Buffett and others who have created massive wealth for themselves think I’m “coddled” because they believe they should pay more in taxes. I certainly don’t feel “coddled” because these various governments have not imposed a higher income tax. After all, I did earn it.
Now that I’m 72 years old, I can look forward to paying a significant portion of my accumulated wealth in estate taxes to the federal government and, depending on the state I live in at the time, to that state government as well. Of my current income this year, I expect to pay 80%-90% in federal income taxes, state income taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes, and federal and state estate taxes. Isn’t that enough?