GARY Trudeau's quaint "Doonesbury" comic strip in recent months has lionized Warren Buffett as a benevolent billionaire.
My take is that Buffett and Bill Gates set up a tax-exempt foundation to keep tens of billions of bucks from the hands of the taxman.
To be sure, foundations like theirs do charitable works. But they also live on in perpetuity as they earn more than they spend year-in and year-out.
In an ABC News interview last November, Buffett said, "People at the high end, people like myself should be paying a lot more in taxes.
"We have it better than we've ever had it."
He also said his secretary pays more in taxes than he has. Given the tax tables, it seems more like an urban legend, but I am no accountant.
If true, there is a way for Warren Buffett to remedy this.
Others have similar complaints.
Actor Matt Damon is worth $65 million, according to Forbes magazine.
He is a bright fellow who complained this week of his tax situation.
"Yes, the wealthy are paying less than they've paid in any time else, certainly in my lifetime," he told an interviewer.
"It's criminal that like, you know, so little is asked of people who are getting so much, I mean, I don't mind paying more.
"I really don't mind paying more taxes. I'd rather pay for taxes than cut things like 'Reading is Fundamental' or 'Head Start' or some of these programs that are really helping kids.
"I mean, why not? This is the greatest country in the world. Is it that much worse if you pay 6 percent more in taxes? Give me a break. You know, look at what you get for it. You get to be American."
According to Forbes, Damon made $24 million in the 12 months that ended in May, so the Bush tax cut would be worth $1.44 million to him.
Then there is actor Alec Baldwin, whose wealth rivals Damon's.
Baldwin's net worth will surely increase substantially once his TV show, "30 Rock," achieves that magical 100th episode that makes syndication possible.
In a piece for the Huffington Post, Baldwin wrote that we need to raise taxes to stop all this borrowing on the federal level.