Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Buffett Tax on the Wealthy: 'For Thee But Not For Me'

One of the key elements of the Democrat class war is that the ‘wealthy’ should pay their ‘fair share’ of the expenses of all Americans (or ‘people living in America’ would be a better way to put it, to include the 10 to 12 million or so illegal aliens).  ‘Wealthy’ here is defined by Obama as any individual – which here would include a small business as well – making more than $200,000 year.  Curiously, the Democrats include these entities in the group of ‘millionaires and billionaires’.

‘Fair share’ in their minds means, of course, that they should pay even more of the tax burden than they already do.  Some numbers to consider: for 2009, the top 0.1% of the income spectrum earned 7.8% of the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) in the nation, and paid 17.1% of the tax revenues; the top 1% earned 16.9% of the AGI and paid 36.7% of the federal income taxes; the top 5% earned 31.7% of the AGI but paid 58.7% of the income tax revenues.  By comparison, for the top 1%, their share of the AGI declined from 2008 by 3.1% (you have undoubtedly noticed the dismal economic state we are in) but their share of the tax haul decreased by only 1.7%.  So from 2008 to 2009, this group ended up paying a higher proportion of the tax burden of the country, and the Democrats want that to accelerate.  This is what passes for ‘fair’ in their minds – ‘pay even more’.

There are some of the very wealthy who agree, most famously Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, but a goodly number of the group has publicly said that they should pay more.  The Obama administration has even come up with what they call the Buffett Rule, to ensure that millionaires pay a higher percentage of their income than those who make less (though Buffett himself has now taken himself out of their equation).

This is easy enough – all that they need do is simply pay more in taxes.  Those who decry that they aren’t being taxed enough can simply write a check to the Department of the Treasury for whatever additional taxes they want to pay.  But when confronted with an opportunity to do just that, they refuse. 
About 71 percent of millionaires surveyed said they agree with Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc., that the very wealthy ought to pay more taxes and give more to charity.  That included 49 percent who said that they’re “not in the same league” as Buffett and that the higher taxes shouldn’t apply to them personally, according to the survey from PNC Wealth Management, a unit of Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group Inc. [emphasis mine]
It often has been shown that an increase in taxes (particularly capital gains) can result in a decrease in tax revenue, but that is not a deterrent to Obama.  His main objective is to “fundamentally transform” America, and the Sophisticati agree, just as long as it doesn’t apply to them.

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