Unlike Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential contender who asserted he paid every single cent of tax due and not a cent more (less than 15%) Buffet “…publicly stated in early 2011 that he disagreed with the rich paying less in federal taxes, as a portion of income, than the middle class”.
Robert de Niro expressed the sentiment on the Piers Morgan Show in April 2012 that he found the level of taxes paid by Mitt Romney "astounding" ... as in astoundingly low when pressed further by Piers!
The cynical would say that when someone is as wealthy as Buffet is, it is hardly any sacrifice to make such a statement.
Some might even say that perhaps he sees the writing on the wall, that in time the rich may end up paying a greater percentage of tax as a portion of income than the middle class.
Even so there is something far more convincing about a Warren Buffet than a Mitt Romney.
Conservative critics of the Buffet Rule argue “… that revenue from long-term capital gains is taxed at a maximum rate of 15 percent, in an attempt to encourage investment” and investment will thus be affected.
Also, that the extra tax gain relative to the national debt is small, about a fortieth only of the annual deficit of $1.5 trillion.
However, Sustainability is all encompassing, inter-connected, holistic.
The chickens of unsustainable behaviour will always come back home to roost, using one of Ayn Rand’s favourite expressions.
For example, the Occupy movements are a symptom of unsustainability.
Unsustainable environments, not only in the environmental dimension, but also in others as well, especially the economic one, are ripe for the Butterfly Effect.
Little did the policewoman who confiscated Mohamed Bouazizi's fruit and vegetable cart, and slapped him in the process, realize that the self-immolation of the humiliated young man would lead to the demise of the mighty Gaddafi of neighbouring Libya, lynched after the latter was found hiding in a sewer.
Perhaps that is what Warren Buffet understands, that the Butterfly Effect in an American electorate might bring about wealth taxes?
Perhaps Warren Buffet is urging both the Greening of corporates and what the 99% would see as a fairer tax system solely out of sheer self-interest?
It does not matter … he is probably on the right side of History.