Stop coddling the super-rich: Buffett

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AK Forty Seven, Aug 15, 2011.


    Stop coddling the super-rich: Buffett

    (Reuters) - Billionaire Warren Buffett urged lawmakers to raise taxes on the country's super-rich to help cut the budget deficit, saying such a move will not hurt investments.

    "My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It's time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice," The 80-year-old "Oracle of Omaha" wrote in an opinion article in The New York Times.

    Buffett, one of the world's richest men and chairman of conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc , said his federal tax bill last year was $6,938,744.

    "That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income - and that's actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent," he said.

    Lawmakers engaged in a partisan battle over spending and taxes for more than three months before agreeing on August 2 to raise the $14.3 trillion U.S. debt ceiling, avoiding a U.S. default.

    "Americans are rapidly losing faith in the ability of Congress to deal with our country's fiscal problems. Only action that is immediate, real and very substantial will prevent that doubt from morphing into hopelessness," Buffett said.

    Buffett said higher taxes for the rich will not discourage investment.

    "I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone - not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 - shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain," he said

    "People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off."
  2. Lucrum


    Who was the deranged mad man who held a gun to Buffet's head forcing him to take advantage of every possible tax deduction, credit and loophole?

    He can pay more taxes anytime he wants to, without trying to force others to do the same with their money. Only to have it squandered by congress. We don't have a revenue problem to begin with. We have a congressional spending orgy.
  3. While we do have a spending problem,we also have a revenue problem

    RICK SANTORUM: "The problem is that we have spending that has exploded. The government's averaged 18 percent of GDP as the percentage of the overall economy. ... And we're now at almost 25 percent. Revenues are down about 2 or 3 percent. So if you look at where the problem is, the problem is in spending, not taxes."

    THE FACTS: The former Pennsylvania senator might have been mixing statistics on federal spending with federal revenue. The White House budget office has estimated that federal spending this year will equal about 25 percent of the country's $15 trillion economy — the highest proportion since World War II. But federal spending has averaged nearly 22 percent since 1970. In fact, federal spending has not been as low as 18 percent since 1966. Since the 1970s, federal revenues have averaged nearly 19 percent of the U.S. economy. This year's revenues are expected to equal just over 14 percent of the economy, the lowest level since 1950.
  4. The 80-year-old "Oracle of Omaha"

    "I've got mine, plus I have passed the average life expectancy, so any day now...
  5. To Fund Liberal Programs Confiscate Liberal Wealth
    Claude Sandroff

    Head Start and an Infrastructure Bank are just two "investments" Obama can't make now but wants to once we get our fiscal house in order by raising the debt ceiling and raising taxes.

    But he can get his programs funded now by simply confiscating the wealth of liberals -- many of whom complain endlessly that they pay too little in taxes while others like Obama himself claim to have more wealth than he needs.

    Let's start with Warren Buffet, who cries out almost weekly on CNBC at the injustice of seeing his secretary taxed at a higher rate than he is. It's just not fair, and he asserts that the rich like him should pay more in taxes.

    In fact he's had the chance to pay more in taxes for the last half-century by simply announcing that his company Berkshire Hathaway would declare a regular cash dividend (it never has). Buffet is one of Obama's godfathers and if he declared a special cash dividend of $20B- just half of his holding company's cash hoard- then he could raise nearly $8 billion for the US Treasury that he so regularly and regrettably shortchanges.

    Interestingly, Buffet had the chance to fork over $1.78 billion to Obama just last week from his personal stock stockpile, but decided to give the bulk of it to Bill Gates as a tax free estate transfer. Apparently, for the 50th straight year Buffet forgot how undertaxed he was.

    But Buffet is just the tip of the hypocritical, liberal mega-wealthy iceberg. If Obama began to confiscate the personal wealth of the crony capitalists who support him or the bankers who were bailed out by him we might not even need the IRS for a month or two.

    During a recent meeting with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Obama said that our fiscal situation "requires people like me, and frankly you too, Mark, to pay more in taxes."

    Zuckerberg dutifully replied, "I'm OK with that.
  6. Lucrum


    Do you even read what you copy and paste?
    Thanks for proving my point.

    "...Revenues are down about 2 or 3 percent. So if you look at where the problem is, the problem is in spending, not taxes..."
  7. Pat Buchanan Challenges Warren Buffett: 'Set an Example and Send a Check for $5 Billion to the Federal Government'

    The liberal media are predictably fawning over billionaire Warren Buffett's op-ed in the New York Times Monday calling for new taxes on the super-rich.

    This led MSNBC's Pat Buchanan on Monday's "Morning Joe" to challenge the Oracle of Omaha asking, "Why doesn’t he set an example and send a check for $5 billion to the federal government?":

    PAT BUCHANAN: No, I’m writing a note to Warren Buffett. But look, I’m a little fed up with these people who come on, you know, their big op-eds, all these admonitions. Why doesn’t he set an example and send a check for $5 billion to the federal government? He’s got about $40 billion. You know, you had a plan up there, I talked to Howie Carr at Boston where the super-rich could contribute an extra amount. It was something like one-tenth of one percent did it. You get all this noise from these big rich folks. Let them send checks and set an example instead of writing op-eds.


    Of course, the liberals in the media never seem to think about this hypocrisy.
  8. Ricter


    The question is whether we are a low-tax or high-tax nation (leaving the internal disparities alone for the moment), not this stillborn hypocrisy angle. I've got a number of projects ongoing and in the queue that no one is going to like doing much, but I'm not going to ask only one person to do them, or the same person only.
  9. This is an interesting perspective coming from some one who pays no US federal income taxes, lives outside the US, and who basically has "no skin in the game."

    Liberal hypocrisy strikes again.
  10. Ricter


    I have a lot of skin in the US game, but not my own personal skin, no. Still, were I declaring income there, as I used to, and may again some day, I'd still have the same position: is the US a low-tax or high-tax nation?

    Edit: actually, as our bonus pool is shared from Houston to Edmonton, I do have skin in the game.
    #10     Aug 15, 2011