Patriotism or Just a Guilty Conscience?


Billionaire investor Warren Buffet is reported to have urged the administration and Congress to raise his taxes, since he calculates that he pays only about 17-1/2% of his income to the government, which is a far lower rate than those that work in his office, he said.

OK, maybe he should pay more taxes if he feels guilty about it.  Perhaps the fact that he is such a phenomenally successful investor has absolutely nothing to do with his skills and abilities, and his wealth is not really earned, but more like the result of winning a lottery.

Of course he’d have to win an awful lot of lotteries.

Hollywood intellectuals, such as Leonardo DiCaprio have also called for the government to increase taxes.  Some of the Left Coast glitterati may in fact be prompted by patriotic fervor, such as the paragon of patriotism, Jane Fonda.  But perhaps Warren Buffet and the denizens that frequent Rodeo Drive are suffering from a guilty conscience rather than an overactive patriotism gland.

Yes, yes, the Progressive catechism denies the existence of a conscience, but not all these people were Progressives from birth.  Many were raised in relatively conservative households (although measuring any household relative to a Progressive one provides a very wide definition of what qualifies as conservative).

Nonetheless, it is possible that the early education these people may have received (or, in Progressive terms, their early indoctrination) might have introduced the idea that wealth, or any benefit regardless of whether it takes the form of cash, is something to be earned.

The question then becomes, do these people who are calling for higher taxes to allow the government to continue spending recklessly feel some tinge of guilt because they don’t feel that they have actually “earned” the wealth that has dropped upon them?

In the case of the Hollywood aristocracy, I could see how a sense of guilt, a sense that their healthy, and in some cases phenomenal, fortune was perhaps not really earned.  At least not in the same way a coal miner earns a living for his family.

How difficult it must be for them to go home after a hard day where they have been forced to look good, sit in a folding chair with their name embroidered across the back, occasionally endure the bright lights of a sound stage and have to memorize (as opposed to read from a teleprompter) the words that someone else has written.

It must be agonizing for them to have to change into a tuxedo or a full-length, custom-made gown, pretending to have a great time at a gala party and being forced to speak to fawning reporters on a red carpet in front of cameras.  Yes, it’s tragic.  Yet they will go home and tell their families about the tough day they had.  Tell them how the studio’s manicurist left a rough edge on their left pinkie.  Or how the director raised his or her voice just because they didn’t remember a line, or a stage direction.  The will be forced to whine that they just aren’t paid enough to have to endure that kind of treatment.

It’s a rough life for these poor folks.  Yet they are so darned patriotic that they insist that they should pay more in taxes. They are so patriotic that they are spreading their patriotism around for all of us and think that we should pay higher taxes, too.  After all, the rest of us only have to bear burdens that are insignificant compared to the hell-on-earth that they themselves must endure every day in return for their totally inadequate multi-million dollar incomes.

Perhaps the rest of us should do our part to help these American patriots.  Not in agreeing to pay more taxes, but in relieving their guilt by reducing their incomes.  If we all stopped going to films or watching television shows that featured these suffering über-rich Hollywood aristocrats, their salaries would be cut to the point that they wouldn’t feel at all guilty about the tiny proportion of tax that they send to Washington.

See, Americans can come up with creative ways to ease the burdens of others.

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About Jim Yardley

Retired after 30 years as a financial controller for a variety of manufacturing firms, a two-tour Vietnam veteran, and independent voter.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Economy, Government Spending, Political Doubletalk, Taxes, Tea_Parties. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Patriotism or Just a Guilty Conscience?

  1. I simply mentioned that a couple of days in the past!!!

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