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Young people like the Buffett Rule

A new poll of American youth finds that they tend to agree with elder financial guru Warren Buffett that richer folks should pay higher taxes.

OK, the poll is very unscientific. Our Time, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that's "standing up for all of us under 30," conducted it via Facebook. But really, how else do you connect with these kids today?

Our Time logo "There are enormously wealthy people in this country who can afford a higher tax rate, and the feedback we received from our members certainly supports that," Our Time co-founder and president Matthew Segal said in a news release announcing the poll. "Our membership is a group of Americans who have grown up watching the expanding divide between the mega rich and those struggling to pay their bills."

But apparently watching and struggling didn't quite translate to participating for the group's Facebook constituency.

It seems that the knock on kids about not voting in U.S. elections applied to the poll, too.

Our Time's Facebook page is liked by 5,142 people, but when I checked it earlier this afternoon, only 157 had voted in the poll on Obama's creation of the Buffett Rule for a higher tax rate on millionaires.

Still, of those who did vote, the majority did indeed think Buffett and the prez are on the correct tax track with a proposed millionaires' tax.

The screen shot below doesn't reveal the exact number of votes (you have to go to the page an click for details), but you can see from the shading that "I support this strongly" was well ahead. The actual number who strongly support the Buffett Rule was 122.

Our Time Buffett Rule Facebook poll Sept2011

Sixteen voters opted for a 15 percent flat tax, 14 opposed the millionaires tax, three weren't sure and two took issue with the fact that the Oracle of Omaha's earnings come from investment income over which he has bit more tax control.

And while they might not have voted en masse in the poll, some Our Time Facebook posters did share their thoughts about how younger Americans are affected by and dealing with this economy:

"I would like to think we could change things enough that I could actually get my social security check when I turn 65. 39 years isn't all that long in the grand scheme of things."

"Our generation has to get 'mad as hell' about how our country is being run and realize that it is US who are going to need to do something about it."

"If the rich are the only ones taxed, they can just get up and leave. They're not stuck like the rest of us...."

"There is a difference between rich and MEGA rich. $1mil/year and $100+mil/year shouldn't be taxed the same rate. Individuals making a few million per year are typically small business owners who are, generally, innovating new ideas and businesses. Individuals making $100mil/year are major corporate executives and investors who are marauding swindlers that elude any taxation and deprive the middle class of income increases. I agree with a tax reform, but it cant be this generalized. This only shows the laziness and disconnect from reality because they (politicians) don't understand the difference between $1 million per year and $100 million per year."

I was young once, so I'll cut the Our Time non-voters some slack. They've got other things to worry about, like finding jobs so they can make some taxable wages that they eventually can invest.

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JG Larvan

I think these kids are just focusing on what they can see and hear based from the people around them. Hence that poll. Unfortunately.


don't forget about the other buffet and soros possibility called "insider information"!

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