Warren Buffett: Stop Coddling the Super-Rich

Noble fellow that I am, I volunteer to have Warren Buffett pay my tax bill. Anyone else want to sign up?

Last year my federal tax bill — the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf — 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.

…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.

via Stop Coddling the Super-Rich – NYTimes.com.

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. @cliffelam says:

    Sure, there was *NOTHING* else going on there except lower tax rates to affect WB.

    Best to remember that WB works for WB. Secondarily for his investors. Lastly for the public.

    -XC

  2. --A-- says:

    There ought to be financial equivalent of Darwin award for guys like WB

  3. Pat says:

    Is Warren Buffett the only voice of reason left in the world?

  4. Lord says:

    All opinion polls indicate the public and majorities of both parties agree yet Congress does not, half due to greed and half due to weakness. Lower marginal taxes promote consumption, not investment.

  5. gdog says:

    All for Buffett paying my taxes!!! How about he pays 1% of his wealth per year? He's already rich, pay up brotha! Something weird about the super rich asking the not-yet-rich folks to pay more on what they earn..

  6. matcohen says:

    To the simple-minded this seems like he is acting against his own self-interest. In reality, he limits his income by not selling much stock. This would be a lot more interesting if he offered to pay tax on his increase in wealth each year instead of his relatively small income (under .1% of his wealth). At the end of the day, Buffett as a person is not an interesting economic actor. He doesn't do much as an individual. Buffett as CEO of BH is
    important but he's not asking to increase their taxes.

    Will increasing taxes on SMB owners inhibit growth? Maybe, maybe not, but Buffett's article is hardly thought-provoking on that front. He seems to think that the rich are largely Wall Street type investors like himself instead of owner/operators trying to decide if they should work harder and invest more in their businesses.

    "Don't tax you, don't tax me, go tax that fellow behind the tree."

  7. anon says:

    If he thinks government can best spend his cash, why not simply hand it all over to them now instead of giving it to charity when he dies?

  8. joey says:

    Warren Buffet's argument is obviously right for lots of different reasons.

    The tax rates during the Clinton years did not inhibit growth and the reduced tax rates during the Bush years and now have not created growth. (Were you awake?)

    There's good evidence that greater inequality harms society and leads to worse outcomes. (Go find the links yourself)

    The middle class is dying. (ditto)

    And if you don't raise revenues, you will need to balance the budget by killing grand ma. (Ryan's budget plan)

  9. BoD says:

    what a farce ….. ever read a Berkshire 10-K ? must be 20 pages on how they seek out and employ tax dodges of every kind they think might be legal …. and if they raise income taxes on billionaires to 80% , guess what , Buffet still won't pay anymore since most of his personal income comes from muni bonds and stays tax free ……. did i mention this hypocritical dirtbag has placed his entire estate into a trust so he won't pay the govt a dime in taxes after he dies ? even after he's gone he'll be looking to screw govt out of taxes . Like Soros , this dirtbag thinks sounding pro-big govt in his dottering old age might still buy him a way into heaven . Warren Buffet is the worst …. a lecherous old cherry cola sipping dirtbag eyeing Becky on CNBC every chance he gets .

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