Former chairman and chief executive of American Express Harvey Golub took to the opinion pages of Monday’s Wall Street Journal in response to billionaire Warren Buffett’s “Stop Coddling the Super-Rich” New York Times op-ed.
He also addressed President Obama in the rebuttal, writing that he "deeply resent[s]" that Obama “has decided that I don't need all the money I've not paid in taxes over the years, or that I should leave less for my children and grandchildren and give more to him to spend as he thinks fit.”
Golub, 72, who currently serves on the executive committee of conservative nonpartisan think tank the American Enterprise Institute, took issue with Buffett’s assertion that those making over $1 million and $10 million per year should be taxed at higher rates.
“I also resent that Warren Buffett and others who have created massive wealth for themselves think I'm ‘coddled’ because they believe they should pay more in taxes,” he wrote. “I certainly don't feel ‘coddled’ because these various governments have not imposed a higher income tax. After all, I did earn it.”
Golub wrote that he expects to pay 80 to 90 percent of his current yearly income in federal and state income taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes, and federal and state estate taxes, asking: “Isn’t that enough?”
He also cited that 250,000 people who earn $1 million or more pay 20 percent of all income taxes and the 3 percent who earn more than $200,000 pay almost half, adding that almost half of all filers pay no income taxes at all.
He named the unfair and “extraordinarily complex” tax code and the government’s failure to “spend our tax money on programs that work” as more pertinent issues than a tax hike on the wealthy.
“Here's my message: Before you ‘ask’ for more tax money from me and others, raise the $2.2 trillion you already collect each year more fairly and spend it more wisely,” Golub concluded. “Then you'll need less of my money.”
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