Tax the rich: Readers respond

Last week's item and column on rich people who think they don't pay enough taxes brought dozens of posted comments. Plus a small flood of calls and emails; excerpts:

"If these rich guys don't think that they are being taxed enough, the Treasury accepts voluntary payments," writes Philadelphia lawyer Joseph A. Ferry. "Far better that they should use this money to invest in startups and create wealth" instead of funding more "profilgate spending" by the government.

"While Warren Buffett is indeed rich, the average household making $250,000 is surely not!," insists a shy Camden County professional, who happens to make just that much, he told me via his Droid phone. "A spreadsheet of my household income proves I'm not living lavishly. Increase those (minimum high-tax incomes) to $400,000 for individuals and $500,000 for households... I'll sign on... We need to cut spending, reform entitlements... stop the class warfare... get back to a meritocracy!"

"It is refreshing to learn that (some) bsuiness owners, professional people, yes, even billionaires like Warren Buffett, do not want the dopey tax cuts for the wealthiest, dishonorably rammed through Congress by former President Bush, made permanent!... Congress should not soak the wealthy, just make them pay their fair share," writes Bryn Mawr retiree George M. Peters.

"Of course these cuts should end," writes Eliane Hodges, a retired Ambler teacher. "That we can possibly talk about cuts to Social Security, but continue tax cuts for high-income earners, illustrates how influential the rich and powerful have become."

"The trouble with what Buffett says," writes Charles Stone of Wayne, "is that the Federal Government needs an extra $1.3 trillion per year. $700 billion over ten years [the gain estimated from letting the Bush tax cuts expire for high earners] is really $70 billion a year [not counting interest]. Trouble is, where does the government get that remaining $1.23 trillion a year?"

"Messers Buffett, Magid, Weinberg, et al. do not need higher statutory rates if they want to pay additional taxes," pharmaceutical consultant Mike Morris of Blue Bell wrote. "Have them make voluntary payments for what they think is 'fair'."