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Buffett: Stop coddling the super-rich

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Alma, Aug 15, 2011.

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  1. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member


    <i>Back in the 1980s and 1990s, tax rates for the rich were far higher, and my percentage rate was in the middle of the pack. According to a theory I sometimes hear, I should have thrown a fit and refused to invest because of the elevated tax rates on capital gains and dividends.

    I didn’t refuse, nor did others. 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. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off. And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know what’s happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation.</i>
  2. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Two things. The part you didn't quote. ... Buffett has done this before. Claiming his average tax rate is about 17.4 percent, while nearly everyone in his office pays a higher average tax rate (he claims 36 percent on average).

    Everytime he does this, he gets called on it. He has done it over and over again, and over and over again, the flaw gets pointed out. His ignoring it, demonstrates that he has a politicized agenda.

    His personal Federal income tax rate is so low because he owns the bulk of the shares in Berkshire, and in the U.S. we tax corporate income tax on any dividends (when you own a company, you take dividends, to the extent you can legally, to avoid paying the personal income tax; dividends are not taxed as income). If you include how he is taxed at the corporate level, before taking his distributions, his average tax rate is closer to 50 percent. And that has been demonstrated. And Mr. Buffett still makes the same disingenuous argument.

    But aside from that, I have done a bit of work on this, and the average effective Federal tax rate in the U.S. is 19 percent. If Warren Buffet's employess are paying 36 percent on average, he either pays his workers extraordinarily well (as in ridiculously well), or they are not all that smart (which begs the question of how Berkshire does so well) and paying way more taxes than they need to.
  3. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    When is Warren going to propose a tax on wealth, instead of income?

    That's where the money is, and he knows it.

    And, if Government needs the money, and is such a good steward of it, why has he spent years planning his estate to make sure the Government doesn't get most of it?
  4. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Many of the big wheels are already eagerly paying a borderline version of a wealth tax with their substantial, focused charitable contributions.

    I am fully, well-aware that is NOT the same thing . . . but I give kudos and credit to those who do it, as opposed to those who don't.
  5. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    I think Buffet wrote this so he can reroute the pitchforks and torches to someone else's house.
  6. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    Do you have a link to the flaw?
  7. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    I think you also need to look at the cap on Social Security taxes. Someone making 250K/yr pays the same actual tax as someone making 105K/yr, but the effective rate is half as much.
  8. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    I thought he only wrote about beach songs ...
  9. Azrael

    Azrael Active Member

    Having stepped on a pop top, here's a rebuttal:

  10. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    It seems like he's suggesting an increase in capital gains -- he says he's including that in his total tax and he must be considering the rate he claims to pay. If that's the case, wouldn't that be a tax on wealth in a way since it's return on investment and investing requires pre-existing wealth?
  11. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    Good god, the article has been out a few hours and he's had to update it twice. Give a thousand monkeys a thousand days and they could type something better.

    Shit dude, just ask for the abolishment of sales tax while your at it, because you've already been taxed on that money you are spending as well!
  12. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I could link to myself actually, but I am not comfortable doing it. Go back to 2007. I think it was 2007. Maybe 2008. Buffett was making the same exact argument. You can find multiple places -- then, as well as yesterday after his op ed -- that point out that his effective tax rate at the corporate and personal level is more like 50 percent.
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