Terry Barr, millionaire president of Samson Oil recently held a little party in Denver to raise money for Republicans. No surprise there, but when it was over, he told a New York Times reporter that the government should raise his taxes.
Republicans in Congress deride the proposal for a so-called millionaires’ tax as class warfare. But in an interview, Mr. Barr said, “Wealthy people in the U.S. should be paying more tax, and I’m one of them.”
Mr. Barr, a petroleum geologist who said he made $1.2 million a year, described himself as a staunch conservative, and said his views of tax policy reflected his fiscal conservatism.
“The United States needs a tax increase for the sake of its fiscal health,” Mr. Barr said. “If you fight two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, you have to pay for them. China owns a trillion dollars of U.S. government debt. That’s not a healthy position for us to be in. We have to suck it up and pay more tax to help get rid of the deficit. I would pay more tax. I can afford to.”
The Times story comes on the heels of other stories showing how the wealthy often pay less taxes than normal people.
In fact, it was just a week ago that the Times published a piece detailing the facts behind Occupy Wall Street claims that the rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer with this startling conclusion: It’s true.
From that story:
The top 1 percent of earners more than doubled their share of the nation’s income over the last three decades, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday, in a new report likely to figure prominently in the escalating political fight over how to revive the economy, create jobs and lower the federal debt.
In addition, the report said, government policy has become less redistributive since the late 1970s, doing less to reduce the concentration of income.
“The equalizing effect of federal taxes was smaller” in 2007 than in 1979, as “the composition of federal revenues shifted away from progressive income taxes to less-progressive payroll taxes,” the budget office said.
No word on whether Barr is joining with Stephen King and Warren Buffett’s Patriotic Millionaires.