Not surprisingly, Steve Forbes thinks President Obama's proposed "Buffett Tax" is a lousy idea--and not just because it's targeted at millionaires.
Forbes, the Chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes, Inc. and a former Republican candidate for President, has long advocated a radical simplification of the U.S. tax code, centered around a "flat tax" in which all Americans pay the same percentage of their incomes in taxes.
Although President Obama's proposal is designed to make sure that those making $1 million a year and more pay the same percentage of their incomes in taxes as middle-class folks, Forbes still thinks it's wrongheaded. Like many Republicans, he views it as taking money away from the most productive Americans and giving it to an already bloated government bureaucracy.
"It is not as if [millionaires] are not paying taxes. If you take the millionaires in this country, or the top 1 percent, they pay about 40 percent of the income tax anyway," he tells The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task and Henry Blodget in the accompanying video. "When you take money from productive people and put it in the hands of government bureaucracy — this is to pay for the government's binge spending, Obama's binge spending — that's going to hurt the economy."
But doesn't America need to focus on reducing the deficit?
Yes, says Forbes, but the way to reduce the deficit is to grow our way out of the deficit. And to grow we need to put more cash in Americans' pockets, not take it away from them.