Mr. Buffett Has Many Good Options for Paying More (Wall Street Journal Editorial)
Regarding your editorial "Warren Buffett's Tax Dodge" (Aug. 17): You suggest that Warren Buffett could "write a big check to Uncle Sam" if he is worried about being undertaxed. Great news for Mr. Buffett—the offer still stands. He doesn't have to wait for the federal tax code to change. "Gifts to the United States" are always accepted by the Treasury, and the Bureau of Public Debt also receives, with welcome arms, contributions to reduce the country's red ink. I would hope that the high-powered account and investment executives he pays to shelter his income have already told him about these two options. As a middle-class American, I thank Mr. Buffett in advance for his donation.
In the Aug. 15 column that sparked this debate in the New York Times, Mr. Buffett mentions how he and his "mega-rich" friends have pledged to give "most of their wealth to philanthropy." For this, I applaud Mr. Buffett. I know he is a savvy investor; he knows that these private organizations are likely to do more and better things with the money than would the federal government. But this seems to contradict his desire to have the federal government take more money from him. After all, pledging his wealth to private organizations shows a lack of confidence and trust in the effectiveness of the federal government's ability to help those most in need.
With his business prowess, I would presume he knows that Washington is often an excellent case study in mismanagement, fiscal irresponsibility and unaccountability. There is always a dearth of positive results from Washington, but also always an abundance of disappointed taxpayer-investors. Not until Washington shows it is a responsible and worthy steward of taxpayer dollars will I endorse any plan that takes more money out of Americans' pockets and puts it in Washington's coffers.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R., Kan.)