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Thread: Stop Coddling the Super Rich: Warren Buffett

  1. #1
    Havakasha is offline

    Stop Coddling the Super Rich: Warren Buffett

    Stop Coddling the Super-Rich: Warren Buffett
    Published: Monday, 15 Aug 2011 | 5:59 AM ET
    By: Reuters

    Billionaire Warren Buffett urged U.S. 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 [BRK.A 108375.00 775.00 (+0.72%) ] 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 Aug. 2 to raise the $14.3 trillion U.S. debt ceiling , avoiding a 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. #2
    Havakasha is offline
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/op...ness&seid=auto
    Editorial: The Truth About Taxes (August 7, 2011)
    OUR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.

    While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors.

    These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places.

    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. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.

    If you make money with money, as some of my super-rich friends do, your percentage may be a bit lower than mine. But if you earn money from a job, your percentage will surely exceed mine — most likely by a lot.

    To understand why, you need to examine the sources of government revenue. Last year about 80 percent of these revenues came from personal income taxes and payroll taxes. The mega-rich pay income taxes at a rate of 15 percent on most of their earnings but pay practically nothing in payroll taxes. It’s a different story for the middle class: typically, they fall into the 15 percent and 25 percent income tax brackets, and then are hit with heavy payroll taxes to boot.

    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.

    Since 1992, the I.R.S. has compiled data from the returns of the 400 Americans reporting the largest income. In 1992, the top 400 had aggregate taxable income of $16.9 billion and paid federal taxes of 29.2 percent on that sum. In 2008, the aggregate income of the highest 400 had soared to $90.9 billion — a staggering $227.4 million on average — but the rate paid had fallen to 21.5 percent.

    The taxes I refer to here include only federal income tax, but you can be sure that any payroll tax for the 400 was inconsequential compared to income. In fact, 88 of the 400 in 2008 reported no wages at all, though every one of them reported capital gains. Some of my brethren may shun work but they all like to invest. (I can relate to that.)

  3. #3
    Havakasha is offline
    Siriusly Long pretends to know more than Buffett about business. lmfao.

    Buffett said the notion that high taxes discourage hiring and investment is false.
    “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,” he said. “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.”
    Last edited by Havakasha; 08-15-2011 at 01:04 PM.

  4. #4
    Havakasha is offline
    And Siriusly Long is willing to lie and claim that Obama and others want to raise taxes on the middle class when they have cut them.

    As Buffett says, this is about "shared sacrifice".

    " would leave rates for 99.7 percent of taxpayers unchanged and continue the current 2-percentage-point reduction in the employee contribution to the payroll tax. This cut helps the poor and the middle class, who need every break they can get.

    But for those making more than $1 million -- there were 236,883 such households in 2009 -- I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more -- there were 8,274 in 2009 -- I would suggest an additional increase in rate.

    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."

  5. #5
    SiriuslyLong is offline
    Guru
    SiriuslyLong's Avatar
    Joined: Jan 2009 Location: Ann Arbor, MI Posts: 3,560
    Buffet should make a contribution. Here's how.

    http://siriusbuzz.com/forum/showthre...tes-Government

  6. #6
    Havakasha is offline
    Ah gimmicks from one of the prime coddlers on this board. He prefers them to real policy. Go figure. LMfao

  7. #7
    Havakasha is offline
    Siriusly Long's tax plan is to let everyone pay what they want. He prefers to pay nothing himself.

  8. #8
    Havakasha is offline
    by Mike Green
    Taxes:

    First, we all pay them. I have no use for the argument that only certain people "pay" taxes. Sorry folks, I look at my pay check every month and I see the deductions. As does every other employed person. Secondly, yes many people get a tax refund. That is because they have over paid their taxable obligation for the year. Then there are some deductions that help the economy and help people who are trying to better themselves. Yes, they get a bit of the money they have invested in a college eduction back. Not all of it. but a bit. Then, there are those who have deductions for children. It costs money to raise children. Surprising? The government has determined that rather than have working poor got to private charities to make ends meet, we will give them a break in helping them feed and cloth their children.

    Then, there is the extraordinarily amount of repressive taxes that the poor and middle class pay. I am talking about sales taxes folks. As a group these people pay over 80% of all sales taxes in the US. That is because they are, and be prepared for a shock, a greater number of the population. That and they purchase more taxable goods and in greater quantity than anyone else. For example. The average middle class family will over a 10 year perio purchase 3 automobiles year 1 for, $20,000, year 5 $25000, and year 10 $30,000. A 6% sales tax on those total is =$4500 in sales taxes alone. In that same period an rich person will purchase a $70000 vehicle and pay $4200 in sales taxes. This is not fair. And this discrepancy more than makes up for the few people who pay their taxes and get a bit back. The real issue is to provide a balance to the approach. We need to have taxes on the level of the misery index. Those that have more economic misery should pay less.

  9. #9
    Havakasha is offline
    Warren Buffett urged raising taxes to pay for spending; William Gale says he's right
    He says past major budget agreements have included tax hikes, spending cuts
    He says taxes on high-income households needs to rise; those in top 1% can afford it
    Gale: Not extending Bush tax cuts would raise revenues and reduce deficit
    Editor's note: William G. Gale is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.
    (CNN) -- In Sunday's New York Times, Warren Buffett discusses the need to raise taxes on the wealthy. He's absolutely right. Tax increases, in general -- as well as tax increases on the wealthiest households, in particular -- need to be a part of the solution.
    Past major budget agreements, such as the 1983 Social Security reforms and the 1990 and 1993 budget deals, ultimately included both revenue increases and spending cuts. It's not hard to see why: Cutting deficits from both sides of the budget provides a sense of fairness, shared sacrifice and political equilibrium.
    Also, raising taxes to pay for current spending has proved more effective at restraining spending than allowing the government to finance its outlays with deficits. Every time we have tried to cut spending by restraining taxes, we have failed. In the 1980s under President Ronald Reagan and in the past decade under President George W. Bush, taxes fell, but spending rose. The only time in the past 30 years when spending fell was in the 1990s, under President Bill Clinton, when taxes were also raised.
    Even the massive tax increases during and after World War II -- amounting to a permanent rise of 10% to 15% of gross domestic product -- and the much smaller tax increases in 1990 and 1993 did no discernible damage to U.S. economic growth.

    If we are going to raise taxes as part of the fiscal solution, the tax burden on high-income, high-wealth households needs to rise. The recently enacted debt deal contains only spending cuts and has little or no impact on high-income households. Rather, it puts the entire burden of closing the fiscal gap on low- and middle-income households. High-income households should not be exempted from helping resolve the nation's fiscal problem.

    Households in the top 1% of the distribution can afford to contribute. They have done enormously well during the past 30-plus years. In 1979, their income accounted for 10% of total income. According to the most recent data (from 2008), their share of total household income more than doubled to 21%. In contrast, real income for middle-class workers has remained roughly constant over the same time frame.
    There are, of course, better and worse ways to raise taxes. A general goal would be to broaden the tax base -- reduce the use of specialized credits, deductions, loopholes and so on -- and minimize the extent to which tax rates need to rise.
    One good place to start? High-income households: Limit the rate at which itemized deductions can occur to 28%. This would affect only households in the highest income ranges, it would not raise their official marginal tax rate, and it would raise $293 billion over the next decade, relative to how much money would be raised according to current law, according to the Congressional Budget Office. This would be a small move in the right direction.
    Of course, sticking to current law revenues -- that is, either not extending the Bush tax cuts after their scheduled expiration date of 2012 or paying for any extension with a reduction in various tax expenditures -- is even more important. Extending the Bush tax cuts would reduce revenues by about $2.5 trillion over the next decade, relative to current law. Counting net interest savings, it would cost $3 trillion. Letting the cuts expire could actually help economic growth since the lower deficits would more than offset the effect of slightly lower marginal tax rates, and it would be progressive. That would be a big move in the right direction.
    Eventually, the nation will need to deal with the ballooning costs of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security for an aging population. Even if substantial cuts are made to these programs, the combination of a greatly expanded elderly population and higher federal net interest payments than in the past (because of the higher public debt/GDP ratio) will create a need for additional revenues. There are good options there as well, including a value-added tax -- the equivalent of a national consumption tax and a feature of the tax system of every industrialized country except the U.S. -- and higher energy taxes, to promote a cleaner environment as well as raise revenues.
    None of this means that the U.S. needs to move to European taxation levels. But between the depleted tax revenues we raise now -- the lowest share of the economy in six decades -- and the high taxes experienced in European countries, there is plenty of room to raise revenues in an economically sound manner to support a reasonable level of government.

  10. #10
    Havakasha is offline
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_928113.html

    Warren Buffett Speaks On 'Charlie Rose': Americans Need To See That 'Government Can Work' (V

    Investment guru Warren Buffett gave a wide-ranging interview to Charlie Rose, which aired on Monday evening. He discussed the economy's prospects, the state of Washington and who will succeed him as the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.

    The interview came shortly after Buffett published an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times, called "Stop Coddling The Super Rich," in which he urged the government to make billionaires (including him) pay more taxes.

    In the interview, Buffett stressed that it was vital for politicians, and the newly appointed congressional super-committee in particular, to work together to help resolve the country's economic difficulties.

    "If these 12 members, who have been appointed to the super-committee, come back with something that's a lot of mush. The American people have had it."
    When asked what this would mean for the country, Buffett replied "It's not good."

    Watch: Buffett On The Tax Debate:

    Speaking about the super-committee, Buffett said "The problem with government now, is that if [the members of the congressional super-committee] come out and say 'We'll do whatever it takes' [to fix the economy], no-one believes them."

    Watch: Buffett On His Message To The Congressional Super-Committeee:

    You can watch more videos of Warren Buffett's interview on the 'Charlie Rose' website.

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