The Right’s Anti-Buffet Fervor

President Obama has spent much of the past couple of years talking about billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has publicly lamented the fact that he pays taxes at a lower rate than his secretary. Democrats use this anecdote as an example of why the wealthy need to pay more taxes. And now, writes E.J. Dionne in The Washington Post, conservatives are trying desperately to silence him. Dionne points in particular to a recent Wall Street Journal editorial that called on Buffett to release his tax returns in order to “let everyone else in on his secrets of tax avoidance.” But this just distracts from the real issue, which is that low capital gains taxes enable investors to get away with much lower tax rates than the middle class. “It is common sense, not class jealousy, to ask the most fortunate to pay taxes at higher rates than other people do,” Dionne writes. “It is for this heresy that Buffett is being harassed.”