Thursday, September 1, 2011

Warren Buffett: Tax Cheat

Warren Buffett, multi-billionaire, is famous in the media for agreeing with Obama that rich people should pay more taxes, though the top 5% of wage earners already pay almost 60% of federal income taxes.  This is while some 50% of households pay no income tax at all, and 80% of those actually receive money back from the federal government.  (Of course some people can vote for any outrageous politician or bill that they want as long as they know that someone else will pay for it.) 

I, along with many others, have suggested to Mr Buffett that if he feels guilty about the federal government telling him to pay at the current tax rate, all he need do is to write out a check to the US Treasury for whatever additional amount he wants to pay.  A spokesman had pointed out that Mr Buffett already gives large amounts of money to charity, but that helps prove my point: Mr Buffett is doing what he wants with his money.  He is free to give it to charity, into something he finds worthwhile and valuable, instead of giving it to the government to use somewhere else.  And at any rate, the option to voluntarily pay more taxes already has been instituted in Virginia, in what is called the 'Tax Me More' provision of the state tax code, in response to people who express the same opinion as Mr Buffett.  The result -- to cover the 2008-2010 budget of $74 billion, the state took in about $1500 through this additional revenue plan (it was better than the revenue garnered in 2006: $19.36).

This is about as silly an idea as Obama contending that we have to 'increase revenues' (i.e., raise taxes), although the raising of taxes will actually reduce revenues.  To compound Obama's position, he already admits it, but states that a higher principal would be to increase taxes as a matter of 'fairness'.

This argument becomes compounded yet again with the news that Mr Buffett's company of Berkshire Hathaway "has been in a years-long dispute over its federal tax bills":
The company has been short-changing the tax collection agency for much of the past decade.  Mr. Buffett’s company has not fully settled its tax bills from 2002-2009.  Yet he says he’d happily pay more.  Except the IRS has apparently been asking him to pay more going on nine years.
Not surprisingly, I haven’t seen this referenced in the MSM yet, but in places such as the New York Post and Wall Street Journal editorials.

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