I ask your forgiveness for linking to a Dana Milbank piece, but it offers a teachable moment. Yesterday, an officious House Committee hauled a few hedge fund managers up before them to put them on the griddle about many things, mostly how much money they make and the horror of the fact that their compensation comes at a rate substantially below some in the middle class (the benefit of taking one's compensation largely in capital gains rather than regular income--or what we know here as the "Warren Buffet Plan").
Just once...just once I tell ya, I'd like to see one of these guys say to the self-important preeners attempting to belittle them, the following:
"Yes, I make a lot of money. No--to say it is a lot of money is probably an understatement. I make a whole lot of money. I make a lot of money because the decisions I make in the open market create wealth for those who trust me with their investments. When they win, I win. I don't do this for free, so yes, I even win a little when they lose. I do so, however, within the laws of this nation as properly understood, laws that are created and modified within this room and others like it in this city. I do so under the watchful eye of regulators that this body chooses to create--or not create. I pay taxes under a system of rates that is controlled by this body. Everything I do is legal and above board. If you wish to tax me at a higher rate, it is your job to do so. If you wish to tax capital at the rate of regular income, this is your decision. I would tend to disagree, as I believe that such a scheme has shown in the past its negative impact on investment and growth. But my disagreement is not relevant here. This is your place, where your opinions hold sway, where your decisions ultimately find purchase. But if it is your desire to haul me up here for some kind of public humiliation ceremony fueled by class warfare and envy, you will do so next time only under the pain of a subpoena. Quite frankly, I am tired of being a part of this elaborate show in which you strike a moral pose by questioning publicly my success in entirely legal conduct. The irony of this body striking a moral pose on ANYTHING is not lost on me, and I hope some of your more insightful observers. Moral conduct for me is to go to work every single day and make as much money as I possibly can; this means that those who trust me with their money are going to make as much money as they can. It is really a simple arrangement, a moral one."
Yep. That's what I'd like to see. Maybe some hedge fund will hire me.....