published Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Buffett busted

For months, Democrats have stood with President Barack Obama in calling for increasing "taxes on the rich" based on billionaire Warren Buffett's claim that he pays less in taxes than his secretary.

Mr. Buffett now concedes that the rule carrying his name actually does little to reform a broken tax system and increase revenue.

According to the White House, there are 22,000 households whose earnings exceed $1 million. Note the difference between earnings and income in the tax code.

Earnings on investments are taxed at the capital gains tax rate of 15 percent. Income from wages and a salary is taxed at the tiered rates applied by the U.S. tax system that range up to 35 percent.

Warren Buffett's massive wealth results from investments, stock holdings and a $100,000 salary from Berkshire Hathaway. This is critical; the comparison of two different rates cannot be made with intellectual honesty.

Why a man whose company owes $1 billion in back taxes allows the big-spend-and-borrow politicians to use him as an example to increase taxes is embarrassing by all measures.

The U.S. tax system was a huge campaign issue in 2010 among Republicans promising reform and "flattening." We're still waiting.

The theatrics of a tax-evading billionaire and a sinking president whose record is one of failure are exposed.

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I'm noticing the absence of something here. Warren Buffett's own words from which you draw this conclusion.

Why didn't you print them? Here are some words from an interview quoted at Politico:

“It is a small improvement in a very bad tax system,” he said during his CNBC appearance. “It doesn’t cure all, it doesn’t cure all revenue problems remotely. In my original article, I said, we’ve got major problems on the expenditure side. But, all it does is it says, when you’ve got 131 of the 400 largest incomes in the country that are averaging 270 million, if you have a third of them paying at rates less than 15 percent counting payroll taxes, that this is something that should be corrected.”

Buffett added in the interview that he did not think the “rule at all has been butchered” by politicians in D.C., but said “obviously, if I were writing the bill myself it would be a little different.”

Huh. I'm going to call you busted on charges of misrepresentation and making up your own story. Perhaps you were just misinformed, but it is telling that you didn't quote him.

May 16, 2012 at 12:10 a.m.

HWNB, I believe he was trying to point out how big a deal the MSM and the administration made of the whole thing when it was just a torndao in a teacup. He is calling out the fact that after all of the hullabaloo and overwrought speeches on the floors of the house and the senate, it really doesn't amount to much at all. It's like telling everyone godzilla is approaching and getting the army to setup a defense and then pointing at a bluetail lizard and yelling, "There it is!"

May 16, 2012 at 10:01 a.m.

I don't think the administration was lacking in cognizance of that, they just considered it part of an overall plan. Can you produce evidence to the contrary?

In any case, that is not at all the position this editorial is outright misrepresenting it as, so...who cares? They are the subject of my reply, nobody else , they outright said Buffet was busted, but I see no such thing.

I'm calling them liars.

May 16, 2012 at 11:17 p.m.
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