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Buffets pays 17.7% on his income, his receptionist pays 30%

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by DarrylS, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Long my personal bane is the tax structure in the US, Warren Buffett at a Dem fundraiser comes out with these stats... interesting to say the least...

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy...7/06/27/AR2007062700097.html?nav=most_emailed

    NEW YORK, June 26 -- Warren E. Buffett was his usual folksy self Tuesday night at a fundraiser for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) as he slammed a system that allows the very rich to pay taxes at a lower rate than the middle class.

    Buffett cited himself, the third-richest person in the world, as an example. Last year, Buffett said, he was taxed at 17.7 percent on his taxable income of more than $46 million. His receptionist was taxed at about 30 percent.

    Buffett said that was despite the fact that he was not trying to avoid paying higher taxes. "I don't have a tax shelter," he said. And he challenged Congress and his audience to see what the people who "clean our offices" are taxed, to loud applause.

    A populist tone permeated the 70-minute talk with the billionaire investor and philanthropist in Manhattan on Tuesday night. The talk, given to about 600 Wall Street bankers and money managers, raised at least $1 million for Clinton's presidential campaign, the Associated Press reported.
  2. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Steve Forbes pointed this out years ago (the rich being able to avoid taxes, not the middle class). The Flat tax 17% with only a personal exemption for each person included in the return (~ 15k per person). Under this sort of system Buffet would still pay 17% but the sectary would only pay 17% on ~45k aq lot less than she currently pays.

    BTW if Buuffet is so concerned about the rich not paying taxes, there is NOTHING preventing him from paying 30% himself just drop some of his exemptions.

    The whole "raising taxes on the rich" is a scam that typically hits small businessmen not the really rich who do you think paid for the 10,000+ IRS code???
  3. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    I think the final sentence of the article shows the best difference between democrats and Republicans:

    "Buffett said he thought Democrats would do a better job in evening out the field for those who had drawn the unlucky tickets in life."

    Where is the part in the Constitution that says part of the role of responsible government is to "even out the field" amongst citizens...? That's what Karl Marx thought... you know... governement should redistribute wealth and see to it that everyone earns the same amount of money since there are no property rights for individuals. How'd that work out..?
  4. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, I've got a friend in NYC that made about $600k last year, and paid a tad over $200k in taxes. I'm sure he'd like to know what Buffet's secret is, or how to get a hold of his CPA's number.
  5. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Buffett is on the board of directors of The Washington Post Co.

    That's interesting.
  6. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    I just don't buy what that article is selling. There is no way he pays 17.7% on a salary of $40+ million without any sort of tax shelter or whatever...

    I think what they are doing is taking Buffet's long term capital gains and calling it "salary"... but capital gains and salary are 2 entirely different things for tax purposes. And it's disingenuous to call his $40+ million "salary" when it isn't really salary.
  7. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    They are taxed at different rates. Capital gains is return on investment, and not pay. The entire point is to entice people to invest their money. If I take $100k of my own money and invest it, only to have to pay 30+% on top of whatever risks, I'm not going to invest it. A populace is encouraged to invest, and own. That's exactly what he is doing, he is combining his CG's income, which I believe is 15% right now, but expiring, versus his actual income/salary which is over 30%. Someone will come out with an article to explain it I bet. It's utter nonsense that someone could be paid $890k a week in the form of a pay check, and only rate out at 17%. He'd have to have some form of right off, shelter, or loss of some kind, and even then, something doesn't compute. I'm not an accountant, but this just seems a tad disengenuous. Who knows though, maybe he's 100% right.
  8. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ross Perot paid ~8% back in 92 when he ran for pres. All sorts of shelters for the rich.

    as to RW friend, does the 200k inc NY state and city taxes, those can add up big time.
  9. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    People who can afford to invest save on taxes. People who can't afford to invest pay more taxes so can't afford to invest. Poor and middle income people are trapped in this cycle. Salary and investment income, practically speaking, are the same. You can spend the money (after tax) however you want.

    Also, the flat tax still is not fair. A rich person would pay proportionally more for the exact same services from government. If you want to be fair, everyone should pay the exact same dollar amount. I suggest, if you're looking for fairness, look elsewhere. And, if you really want fairness, why have only the tax structure governed by policy rather than market forces. Why not bring back wage and price controls? The flat tax is a socialist solution that benefits the wealthy.
  10. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    Right, but this article specifically made mention of the fact that Buffet's 17.7% figure was on income that was not using tax shelters of any sort.

    So, given that he isn't using tax shelters, I just don't buy the 17.7% figure. I stand by my contention that they are saying he had "$40 million in salary" but probably other form of income, such as capital gains.
  11. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Wage and price controls?
  12. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm with you on this. They are fudging something, or being disengenuous about what his earnings were from.
  13. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That is fair since the money earned to make the investment was taxed, also the profits that create the capital gain is also taxed. I don't believe in triple taxation of investment capital, this is what drives job and economic growth.


    They would pay proportionally more which is OK and certainly more fair than the current very unfair situation. Of course socailist (progressives if you prefer) claim to favor more progressivity in the tax code not less.

    IIRC you have argued for more proportinality for the rich since the 'benefit' more.

    In truth libs hate the idea of the falt tax since it does 2 things, eliminates the need for lobbiest seeking 'breaks' for their clients and takes the class warfare card off the table and liberialism depends om class envy for their policies.
  14. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This "lib"would welcome any equitable change in the current tax system, as long as it reduces the ridiculous exemptions and give aways that currently occur. Steve Forbes plan, a consumption tax or any tax that reduces the size of gov't and lets everyone play on an equal field would be a very good thing.
  15. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    What's amazing in all of this is that even at WB's alleged 17.7% rate on $46 million, he paid over $8 million in income taxes. :eek: That is so outrageous.
  16. patsfan13

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    Glad to hear that, frankly the dems screamed bloody murder when D Armey and Forbes broached the subject a couple of years ago. TO be fair a lot of RINO's don't want it either.

    IT cuts into their power to dole out favors.
  17. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I'd like to know what he means by "taxed at". He certainly wasn't talking about income tax for the secretary as the 28% rate goes all the way up to $155K and much of what a receptionist would pay is in the 15% or so range.

    If he was including other taxes (gas, sales, property, breathing, etc) then who knows. But if this is a federal income tax rate issue - he's lying.
  18. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm not advocating taxing the principle, just taxing the gain.

    No one ever said life is fair, and capitalism, which is the best system, is very unfair. Some people get breaks, some people don't. Subject taxes to market forces. If taxes go too high and investment drops, you can always cut taxes for the rich later on.

    Fred Thompson has more lobbyists in his pocket than anyone, so let's not adopt a holier-than-though attitude and pretend that conservatives don't cave into lobbyists while liberals do.

    http://politicalwire.com/archives/2007/06/07/fred_thompson_lobbyist.html

    "Although the folksy-sounding Tennessean recently told USA Today that he would run an outsider, just as he did while campaigning as a 'country lawyer' in a red pickup during his 1994 U.S. Senate race, his résumé is that of a longtime Washington operative who has crossed ideological lines to represent corporate and foreign clients. Before he was elected to the Senate, Thompson spent nearly two decades in Washington as a lawyer-lobbyist, representing such entities as Westinghouse, the deposed leader of Haiti, the Teamsters Union pension fund and the Tennessee Savings and Loan Association."
  19. mtbykr

    mtbykr PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #37 Jersey

    Our system has advantages for everyone; the problem is most "middle class" people (or below) are to lazy to find out for themselves how they can better their situation. Their are plenty of tax advantages out there in every income bracket, but most people who make less than $100k a year don't take the time to figure out what they are..they would rather take the easy way out, pay more, and then complain about the high taxes. Most rich people are rich for a reason, they know how to make money work for them and not pay more than they should.

    I used to do that until i took the time to educate myself, and use the proper tools. (cpa, tax attorney, ect...) Most people think that will cost you money when in fact 9 times out of 10 it will save you much more. Also something as simple as a "home based business" opens the door to numerous exemptions. The people that take the time and effort to utilize the system to their benefit deserve what they get, and the same goes for the people that are too lazy to help themselves. It's not the governments job to "level the playing field"!

    With that said we still need to lower our taxes, and the boortz flat tax is still what i would prefer!:cool:
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2007
  20. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree with you. That's why I'm okay with a progressive income tax. The more you earn (through income or investments), the more benefits you get, so the more you pay.

    As far as tax breaks available to people. I don't think there are many honest tax breaks available for lower income people who cannot afford to save. Remember the minimum wage provides an annual salary of only around $10k/year. If you have a family that earns under $25k (or more), I think it's next to impossible to take advantage of tax breaks.

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