The Reuters caption seems to suggest that patriotism means paying more taxes than you have to. As the Reuters article concludes: "Buffett is a capitalist first and a patriot second."
No. Buffett is a great capitalist and a great American patriot. Loving your country does not automatically mean you must pay a cent more in taxes than you must to comply with the law. BEING A PATRIOT DOES NOT MEAN LOVING YOUR GOVERNMENT.
So, if Buffett is participating in the relocation of Burger King's tax domicile to Canada, he is protecting his business and the interests of his company's shareholders, which is probably more patriotic than paying taxes to the wasteful bureaucrats in Washington, DC. "After all, the chief business of the American people is business," according to President Calvin Coolidge, himself a true patriot.
"I will not pay a dime more of individual taxes than I owe, and I won't pay a dime more of corporate taxes than we owe," Buffett told Fortune magazine this year. A greedy capitalist? That's fine. I don't mind greed as long as it's productive. Capitalists should build their businesses first, charity comes only as second. Capitalism has made America the world's leading superpower, not government handouts.
There's more than that, though. By moving Burger King's tax domicile to Canada, Buffett and other shareholders send a signal to the White House and to the Congress: "The income tax rate in the U.S. is way too high. Competitors—other tax domiciles—offer better rates. Go figure."
If competition is considered to be essential in business, why not in taxation?