Sounds familiar. But this is not just an Anglo-American debate. The crusade to tax the rich is playing out across Europe, including France, Greece, Spain, Italy and just about every other country with budget problems. France is considering a 75 percent tax on the wealthy. Greece and Italy are both cracking down on wealthy tax dodgers.
The tax-the-wealthy movement is also finding an audience in Asia.
In Korea, a form of the Buffett rule passed Congress late last year and boosts the tax rate to 35 percent from 28 percent for those who earn more than 300 million won (or about $258,000) a year. China is also planning a higher tax on high-earners.
Many say tax evasion is rooted in complex tax codes, which allow the wealthy to use loopholes and legal dodges to get around tax laws. The wealthy have always and will always employ very smart and expensive accountants to minimize their tax bills. The solution, according to some, is to impose a flat tax that would set one, minimum mandatory rate for the wealthy. That's what the Buffett rule would impose.
The idea has plenty of appeal. And it echoes one of the recommendation of Bowles-Simpson. But the plan depends in large part setting the top rate — which would likely create political impasse in both the U.S. and Britain, given the rancor over the rich. Even as some in Britain are calling for more taxes on the wealthy, others are calling for a repeal of the 50 percent top rate.Page 2 of 3 | Prev Page | Next Page