The above chart shows tax rates by income category. As you can see, except for outliers like Warren Buffett, most high-income individuals pay higher tax rates than low income individuals. You can see that there is a cluster of sub-$100,000 earners who pay higher taxes rates (cluster A) than do “millionaires & billionaires” that pay around 24% effective rate (cluster B). But, in raw numbers, that is not a lot of folks. The chart excludes the 10% of each category that are outliers (e.g. 90% of the people who make an income of between $250k & $350k pay an effective tax rate of between ~23% & ~34%. 10% of those earners either pay higher or lower tax rates.). Warren Buffett, as mentioned before, is a fairly extreme outlier even in his category’s 10% of outliers.
So, I recommend that for folks like Warren Buffett, who 1) refuse to pay their assistants a decent wage relative to their own; 2) who structure billion dollar deals that guarantee their low tax rate; & 3) who then ask to be taxed more, we should create a higher tax rate for them. We could call it the Buffett tax. The Feds could place a little check box on the 1040 IRS form where this group of outliers can put their mark and pay some reasonably confiscatory rate. 110% comes to mind.
I only make this recommendation because Mr. Buffett has asked to be taxed more despite the fact that he could structure his deals so that he would be subject to higher taxes. Of course, I find it odd that he complains about his tax rates after he has set them through his own actions. For a pretty smart guy, he seems a bit muddled on this point.