In response to a request from a Kansas congressman, Warren Buffett disclosed in a recent letter that his tax rate last year was 17.4%. His reasons are noble:
“If you could get other ultra-rich Americans to publish their returns along with mine, that would be very useful to the tax dialogue and intelligent reform,” Mr. Buffett said. “I stand ready and willing — indeed eager — to participate in this exercise.”
But clearly Mr. Buffett is confused. Well-intentioned, to be sure, but confused all the same. This is not a debate seeking "intelligent reform." Far from it. When it comes to tax reform, intelligence often takes a back seat to ideology and partisan gain. Evidence such as the one Mr. Buffett adduces only serves to confuse things.