The Financial Times has a shrewd editorial on Warren Buffett's call for higher income taxes:
Mr Buffett specifies neither rates nor what kinds of income to apply them to. "People invest to make money and potential taxes have never scared them off," he says – a self-contradictory observation that suggests no ceiling. For guidance, there is the principle of "shared sacrifice". But this is vague too. What would it require in his case?
Mr Buffett's taxable income of $40m is impressively small for a man with a reported $50bn fortune. He pays next to no tax because he accumulates wealth as unrealised capital gains, which escape tax altogether. In his case, shared sacrifice probably requires a wealth tax. Set at a modest 2 per cent, he would owe about $1bn a year, or 25 times his current taxable income.
The US should do as Mr Buffett asks, and tax him till he notices.