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Keller @ Large: Making Rich Pay More Not The Solution

BOSTON (CBS) - Just because you're filthy rich, it doesn't mean you're not boring.

I've met a few multi-millionaires in my time, and believe me, they may be worth millions, but they're not always worth your time.

Listen to Jon's commentary:


Warren Buffett, however, is an exception to that rule.

A mega-rich investor whose biography includes moments of both capitalist excess and great philanthropy, Buffett is not shy about sharing his opinions.

And his latest offering just happens to mesh with the preferred political spin of his friend, President Obama.

"My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress," Buffett writes in the New York Times.

So he wants to see taxes raised immediately on the 236,000 or so millionaires and 8,274 folks who make more than ten million.

I don't know about you, but as someone who is definitely not now or ever going to be a millionaire, that seems like a fine idea to me.

Buffett claims most of his mega-rich friends won't mind, so I say, have at it.

But let's be clear that this will be, at best, a symbolic gesture.

By one set of calculations I saw, each of those millionaires would have to pony up $7.2 million in extra taxes each year to defray the current $1.7 trillion deficit.

And even if you extended these tax hikes to those making $200,000 or more per year, an idea the President has toyed with but Buffett rejects, you'd still need to grab more than $433,000 from each of them to make the nut.

In other words, making the rich pay more, while a commendable idea, is not a solution to our problems.

It's a rhetorical device designed to direct your anger and frustration toward an easy target and away from a system addicted to squandering tax dollars.

And some think the president's claim that defense and entitlement spending can't be cut much further is a joke.

"Job one is to pare down some future promises that even a rich America can't fulfill. Big money must be saved here," writes one observer.

Who said that?

Why, Warren Buffett did.

I guess soaking the rich isn't quite the panacea some would have you believe.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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