“Both approaches would be good starts toward making the rich pay a fairer share and reduce the mounting cuts to government programmes that benefit the less fortunate” (The “Buffett Rule”, International Herald Tribune Editorial).
The editorial piece “The ‘Buffett Rule’” (February 3, 2012): wholesale, pedantic opposition to the proposition of having the country’s wealthiest individuals pay a fairer share of taxation – astutely pointed out in the article – without constructive proposals for positive legislative change is not, and will not be, acceptable. Rich taxpayers, particularly those who have gotten most of their income from “investments or hedge-fund partnerships”, should be increasingly cognisant of their special commitment and social responsibility to the country and community that has groomed or nurtured them.
That perspective epitomises the spirit of the “Buffett Rule”: that Americans who have made it in life – those who have achieved tremendous success, scaled the corporate ladder, or amassed numerous accomplishments – give back, and grant other ground-breakers the chances and opportunities to do the same in the future.
The “Buffett Rule”
Higher rates of taxation should not be perceived negatively as impediments or disincentives in the pursuit of financial success; instead, it could begin to raise awareness of an assortment of philanthropic undertakings, corporate responsibility efforts, and triple bottom-line initiatives implemented by a multitude of wealthy Americans and their corresponding corporations or foundations. In Warren Buffett’s own words, in his Giving Pledge, “we have been blessed with good fortune beyond our wildest expectations … but just as these gifts are great, so we feel a great responsibility to use them well”.
There are definitely specific areas for refinement and improvement in the proposal bill, so it must be the contents of the bill – and not the intent per se – that should be discussed.
Change appears to be the new constant; and if politicians choose not to acknowledge the fervent perspectives expressed by on-the-ground citizens who are often struggling to make ends meet, the ramifications may be too dear to bear.