The response to Warren Buffet’s argument that the rich should pay more is that he should send a check. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is only the latest to present this argument. First, no one knows how much Warren Buffet really pays. He may be paying more than the law requires or not. Either way, that is not the point. McConnell and others are simply trying to deflect a possible tax increase on those making over one million a year.
Generous billionaires are not going to solve the country’s deficit problems and to suggest that higher taxes should only be paid by those who want to pay it is flippant.
When it comes to same-sex marriage, McConnell does not say “if they want to, then let them do it.” In that case, he has supported laws to define marriage as between a man and a woman. When it comes to the drug wars, McConnell has been an unabashed supporter, including restrictions on the non-stimulant hemp. He doesn’t say that “it is their business what they do in private.” He has been against abortion, not suggesting that “it is an individual choice.”
In each of these three social issues, McConnell wants direct government involvement so that the entire country operates under one set of moral guidelines. On tax policy, it is a totally different set of principles. In taxes, McConnell argues for individual choice, even though many of the benefits of government spending are spread throughout society. For moral issues, the argument can be made that it is a personal choice.
With McConnell’s argument, he may as may propose abolishing taxes altogether and letting people pay by their goodwill. If McConnell’s argument is to be that people who propose tax increases should instead pay more and drop the issue, then we are never going to get to a significant debate for and against changing the taxes.