National Review has an editorial up on President Obama's "Buffett tax" gambit. As they note it won't generate much income for the government, and most people with $1 million or more in income already pay a roughly 30% tax rate.
If the President really wants to tax Buffett, and if Buffett really thinks he's undertaxed, there's a much better way to go. Mr. Buffett claims roughly $40 million in income. He has a net worth of roughly $50 billion. That means his return on investment is less than 1%, for officially purposes at least. Why so low? Buffett pays no dividend in his holding company, and does not take the kind of salary that most people who run large companies take.
If we really want to raise taxes on Mr. Buffett, we should pay attention to the reason why his income is so low. Mr. Buffett's refusal to pay a dividend deprives we the people of a greater share of his true income. And if the failure to buy an item can be taxable--the argument that he supporters of Obamacare make--surely it is also reasonable to force Buffett to pay an "idle capital" penalty. So long as he conspires against the people, and deprives us of tax revenue, by refusing to pay a dividend, he should pay a penalty.