Friday, April 27, 2012

Short Takes: Financial Checkup and more

The Blunt Bean Counter has a thorough checklist for your yearly financial checkup.

Big Cajun Man asks whether warning labels on dangerous financial products are likely to scare you away or make you more determined to prove that you’re sophisticated enough to handle them.

Retire Happy Blog explains pension splitting rules. This can save retired couples big money.

Larry MacDonald says that if Warren Buffett thinks the rich should pay more in taxes, perhaps he should pay some extra taxes voluntarily. I’ve never understood this logic. If a football player objects to steroid use in the league, what sense does it make to tell him that he can avoid steroids and the rest of the players can continue as they please?


  1. Michael, thx for link. Some great posts as usual this week, I dont know how you keep churning them out.

  2. Thanks for the inclusion as well. I know how he keeps churning them out, but I am sworn to secrecy!

    Have a less cold weekend...

  3. @Michael: I used to agree with you regarding Buffet paying taxes voluntarily. Since then I've come to change my mind. I think it would be a very important gesture that he would be putting his money where his mouth is.

    I've come to believe that if I truly thought I was not paying enough tax, and felt strongly enough to make the case publicly, I'd start by voluntarily paying what I thought I owed.

    The point is not that having Buffett and every other rich guy pay extra voluntarily will make any difference to the revenue of the IRS. The point is that he claims to believe that his fair share is more than what he's paying, yet he continues to pay an unfairly small amount of tax. That is hypocrisy.

  4. @Patrick: I've never been interested in appeals to fairness in such issues. Either having high earners pay a higher tax rate makes a better society or it doesn't. Making a symbolic gesture on one's own seems pointless unless it hastens a positive change. Seeking to minimize one's taxes is self-interest. Apparently, Buffett is willing to argue against his immediate self-interest to try to bring about larger changes, but is unwilling to make a symbolic gesture against his self-interest. This doesn't seem like hypocrisy to me.