Warren Buffett has given billionaires a bad name. Although one of the richest business entrepreneurs and capitalists in the world, he has become a philosophical turncoat on capitalism. Instead, he has embraced the anti-capitalistic “Obamatization” of America.
This bizarre transformation became clear when the famous financier wrote an op-ed piece in The New York Times Aug.14.
“Stop Coddling the Super-Rich,” said the headline over Buffett’s strange op-ed article. In his piece he wrote, “[W]e mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks.” Buffett continued, “Last year…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.”
“People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off,” Buffett claimed.
The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), on the other hand, said in an analysis last year:
Taxing the wealthy is politically popular since it is assumed that few people will be affected. However….93 percent of businesses are taxed through the individual income tax system. These businesses employ a majority of American workers and create a majority of jobs. High marginal tax rates reduce their incomes and stifle job creation [the nation’s prime immediate goal]….[C]apital gains on assets held more than a year are taxed at a flat 15 percent for most taxpayers.
The NCPA went on to say:
Increasing the capital gains tax could lower government tax revenues, because people will hold on to assets in order to avoid tax. This lock-in effect has been noted when capital gains rates increased in the past. Moreover, the lower rate of return resulting from higher taxes may discourage people from investing in certain capital assets in the first place.
The Congressional supercommittee assigned to come up with a plan to reduce the 10-year deficit by $1.5 trillion should, according to Buffett, “raise [tax] rates immediately…including…dividends and capital gains” and raise taxes even more for those who make $10 million or more.
Buffett will hold a series of fundraisers for Obama’s reelection campaign in New York. The base price for attendance will be $10,000. “Americans are rapidly losing faith in the ability of Congress to deal with our country’s fiscal problems,” he continued. He avoided mentioning the loss of faith in Obama. The latest (Sept 7) NBC-Wall Street Journal opinion poll showed a new low of 44 percent approval and 51 percent disapproval for the President.
While giving his pious lecture in the Times that the “super-rich” should joyously pay more taxes because “they can afford it,” it turns out that the man who is so eager to pay more taxes to government is wrangling with the Internal Revenue Service over money the IRS claims is owed to the government.
Buffett’s own company, Berkshire Hathaway, has had plenty of opportunity to pay more taxes for years. He has been in a drawn out battle with the IRS over an overdue tax bill totaling about $1 billion, according to a story Sept. 2 on Hotair.com.
It brings to mind the biblical verse (Matthew 7:5), “You hypocrite, first cast out the plank out of your own eye; and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from you brother’s eye.” The company has been in a long dispute with IRS, according to a report from Americans for Limited Government:
We anticipate that we will resolve all adjustments proposed by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) for the 2002 through 2004 tax years at the IRS Appeals Division within the next 12 months. The IRS has completed its examination of our consolidated U.S. federal income tax returns for the 2005 and 2006 tax years and the proposed adjustments are currently being reviewed by the IRS Appeals Division process. The IRS is currently auditing our consolidated U.S. federal income tax returns for the 2007 through 2009 tax years.
What is baffling about Buffet’s current stance is that he was a capitalist from his youth. At age 11, he bought his first stock shares. In a lifetime of investing wisely, his current net worth is about $47 billion. One secret to his investing is taking advantage of sound securities when their prices are low. “When it’s raining gold, reach for a bucket,” he once said.
Buffet has never been associated with the Keynesian economics embraced by Obama and his followers. British economist Keynes’ theories influenced the government interventionist economic policies during the Great Depression, and are likely exacerbating the staggering recession now hobbling the U.S.
More than three dozen of the country’s billionaires give away half their fortunes to charity. The philanthropic effort was started in 2010 by Bill Gates and none other than Warren Buffett. This was before Buffett apparently was, in effect, kissed on the cheek by Barack Obama and they had a meeting in the White House on Aug. 22, undoubtedly to discuss the economy, according to the Americans for Limited Government website.
For the 2008 tax year, the latest available, the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 38.02 percent of personal income taxes, according to figures from the National Taxpayers Union. When it is measured against the percentage paid by the bottom 50 percent of U.S. taxpayers—namely 2.7 percent—it seems as through the big earners are paying more than their “fair share” that Obama is always harping about.
According to the Tax Foundation, if those making more than $10 million were taxed at a 100 percent rate, it would only bring the federal government $186 billion. When we have an annual budget deficit of $1.6 trillion, it would amount to only a 12 percent reduction in the deficit.
But thanks for your generous idea, Warren.