Warren Buffett’s musings on the inherent unfairness of his small federal tax bill primes the pump for our main stream media’s preconceived storyline that a burgeoning national debt should be partially addressed via tax increases on greedy rich people. Among other comments Mr. Buffet’s made on the subject includes this half-truth, “The 400 richest of us pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our cleaning ladies, for that matter. If you’re in the luckiest 1 per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.”
Mr. Buffett’s statement seems fair enough. When you are super rich while others struggle to make ends meet, paying a lower tax rate than your secretary does seem pretty appalling. Wouldn’t it be political suicide to show support for billionaires getting tax breaks while cleaning ladies struggle to feed their families? Next to asking for Social Security to be revamped, nothing elicits greater class envy then the idea of rich fat cats lounging around in their pajamas while the great masses fight for scraps. Who would side against Mr. Buffett except the truly selfish?
If only the Oracle of Omaha didn’t create half his tax mural with invisible paint. Hidden within the picture are stubborn facts he doesn’t want you to consider:
- Much of his tax bill presently arises from income off of re-invested capital that was taxed once already. You see, Mr. Buffett participates in the great American confiscation of personal property known as double taxation. He initially paid a much higher income tax rate on his earnings before taking what was left and reinvesting it. His wise investments throw off massive amounts of capital gains which are taxed again by Uncle Sam. He is taxed twice on the same money. It is this lower, second tax that Mr. Buffett compares to his office workers. It’s like comparing watermelons to grapes.
- Mr. Buffett fails to mention, in most states, the combined tax liability of upper bracket taxpayers related to federal, state, local, and payroll taxes is near 50 percent. Why doesn’t Brian William’s nightly news compare this percentage to Mr. Buffett’s office workers before playing the fairness card?
- He also fails to mention the bottom 40 percent of American taxpayers have no skin in the game. They pay nothing in federal tax. The next 10 percent pay less than 3 percent of the federal bill. Mr. Buffett ignores the pertainant fact that half the country pays virtually nothing while the other half is stuck with all the bills.
- Finally, Omaha’s favorite son can voluntarily pay any amount of tax he wants. If higher rates of double taxation are fair to Mr. Buffett, Uncle Sam’s coffers are always open. Warren doesn’t have to wait until Bill Gates is forced to pay more. He can write the check today.
We all know Mr. Buffett isn’t going to make voluntary tax payments. You know it. I know it. More importantly he knows it. If you are in the wealthiest 1 percent of humanity, like Mr. Buffett is, you owe it to the rest of us to present all of the facts and not just the ones your liberal friends in Washington want to hear.
Important to get the truth out, thanks. (Lady P – Ed)