The Washington Post

Millionaires for class warfare

This Wall Street Journal story on a new poll finding that 68 percent of millionaires support higher taxes on millionaires is getting a lot of attention today. As Steve Benen joked: “Can the rich wage class warfare on themselves?”

What’s particularly interesting about this survey, however, is what it found about millionaire attitudes towards Warren Buffett. As you’ll recall, his “Buffett Rule” crusade against millionaires paying lower taxes than the middle class triggered an outpouring of rage on the right. Millionaires, however, don’t seem to mind what Buffett is up to:

Rich people’s opinions of Buffett remain fairly positive in the wake of his tax-me-more crusade. More than a third of millionaires and ultra-high-net-worths said they have a more positive opinion of Buffett after his tax proposal. Only 19% of millionaires and 22% of the $5 million -plus group said they had a more negative opinion of him after the proposal.

More than 40% of both groups said their opinion hadn’t changed.

In other words, Buffett’s proposal had more supporters than detractors among the rich — though that support declines slightly as you move up the wealth ladder.

There’s more if you click through to the actual survey. More than 60 percent of millionaires favor increased investment in alternative energy and infrastructure projects to create jobs. It’s true that a majority of them also favors substantial cuts to social programs, but in the end, these folks are the “jobs creators.” Why are they supporting all these policies favored by the Kenyan Muslim Marxist in the White House?

And as for their support for the “Buffett Rule,” that puts me in mind of something Paul Ryan said in his speech yesterday that didn’t get nearly enough attention:

Obama quotes Reagan as saying that bus drivers shouldn’t pay a higher effective tax rate than millionaires. Well, that’s a no-brainer. Nobody disagrees with that.

Congressional Republicans support the Buffett principle. Millionaires support it. Democrats support it. Large majorities of the American people support it. So what are we waiting for?

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.


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