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Buffett Higher Tax Call Strikes A Nerve

#1 User is offline   Chaos Icon

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 12:04 AM

(Reuters) - Warren Buffett has touched a national nerve.

The 80-year-old "Oracle of Omaha," one of the world's three richest men, has taken to the pages of the New York Times to call for higher taxes -- yes, higher taxes -- for himself and his well-off peers.

"My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It's time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice," he said.

Buffett calling for a higher tax burden for the wealthy is nothing new; last November, in a lengthy sit-down interview with ABC News, he insisted that the wealthy "have it better than we've ever had it" and that they had an obligation to pay substantially more tax.

However, the timing of his latest appeal made people take notice. Washington lawmakers are fighting about how to reduce the nation's budget deficit and curb its massive debt burden, and the question of "added revenue" -- code for higher taxes -- looms larger than any other.

Republicans have fiercely resisted any attempts by President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress to make higher taxes for the wealthy part of any budget plan, insisting instead on all the deficit-curbing measures be made through spending cuts.

Taxation will be a major theme of the 2012 presidential election, and Buffett planted himself squarely in the middle of the debate.

"While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks," he wrote.

Buffett is not alone in agitating for change.

Starbucks Corp Chief Executive Howard Schultz is brewing up support for his call to withhold political contributions to U.S. lawmakers until they strike a "fair, bipartisan" deal on the country's debt, revenue and spending.

TRENDING HIGH ON TWITTER

In his Times piece, Buffett felt free to speak for his fellow rich.

"Most wouldn't mind being told to pay more in taxes as well, particularly when so many of their fellow citizens are truly suffering," he said.

While there are plenty of "super-rich" who have been outspoken on tax issues in past, like Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein and Congressman Darrell Issa, only one of the country's notably wealthy people who was contacted by Reuters was immediately willing to respond to Buffett's call.

"George Soros says he agrees and congratulates Warren Buffett," his spokesman said. "The rich are hurting their own long term interests by their opposition to paying more taxes."

From the general taxpaying public, the reaction was almost instantaneous. "Warren Buffett" was one of the single most mentioned topics on Twitter as of Monday afternoon, as was the title of his op-ed piece, "Stop Coddling the Super-Rich." Nearly 55,000 people voted in an MSNBC.com poll on his comments, and 95 percent agreed with him.

President Obama, appearing in Minnesota on a bus tour of the U.S. Midwest, cited Buffett's comments as further proof that Congress needed to find ways to raise tax revenue without taxing the middle class any further.

Speaking of the various tax incentives he and other wealthy taxpayers receive, Buffett said "(these) and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It's nice to have friends in high places."

Buffett, chairman of the conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, said his federal tax bill last year was $6,938,744, the equivalent of 64 shares of Berkshire Class A stock.

"That sounds like a lot of money. But 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. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent," he said.

(Additional reporting by Santosh Nadgir in Bangalore and Svea Herbst-Bayliss in New York; Editing by David Holmes, Bernard Orr)

http://www.reuters.c...E77E13V20110815
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#2 User is offline   Mr_Jet Icon

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 02:02 PM

Quote

Donald Trump Would 'Put Country First' and Pay More Taxes

Donald Trump backed up fellow billionaire Warren Buffett’s op-ed in the New York Times and said he’d be willing to pay more in taxes – but he doesn’t think Wall Street would go along with it.

“I would be willing to George, but a lot of people wouldn't be. A lot of people would leave the country. I'm talking about big people, job-producing people. Would I be willing? Yeah, I'd be willing. I’d put country first. Lot of people don't necessarily put country first,” he said.

Trump said these “unpatriotic” businessmen would take their money elsewhere leaving the U.S. with nothing.

“I deal with Wall Street all the time. I know all of them…You're going to have a mass exodus. You already have an exodus out of this country. But you're going to have a mass exodus of business out of this country when you start taxing too high,” he said.

Except when it comes to oil, and specifically OPEC. Trump says we should close the loopholes on oil companies, a position that sets him apart from many in the Tea Party.

“If you go back to certain companies, Exxon Mobil, the oil companies, for us to be subsidizing oil companies is absolutely insane. And frankly, the oil companies really facilitate OPEC. The worst abuser we have is OPEC,” he said.

“Every time the economy gets good, oil goes up…So what they do is they systematically destroy any momentum you get. Because oil should be selling at $25 to $30 a barrel right now,” Trump said.

What else does Trump want to tax? Chinese products, in order to get the country to stop manipulating their currency, he said.

“You put a 25% tax on Chinese products, products coming into this country, two things are going to happen. Number one, this country's going to take in a bundle of money,” he said. “And number two, a lot of people won't have their products made in China. They'll start being made in Alabama, in Iowa, in New York, in Texas and lots of other places.”

And if that starts a trade war? That’s okay, he says, because we shouldn’t be trading when there is such an imbalance, it’s not fair trade.


“The fact is, China is not our friend. I was asked, ‘Are they our enemy?’ I said, ‘Yeah. Actually, they're our enemy. China is our enemy.’ What they're doing to us is unbelievable.”

--George Stephanopoulos

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View PostFlyHiJets, on 01 June 2013 - 08:35 PM, said:

You're the scumbag that thinks everyone should kiss the as$es of a bunch of criminals but I'm a dumbass. Yeah okay douchebag. Go give some illegal wetback or Revis another blowjob. But then again.....don't you live in an entirely different country but yet think you can tell us how to live? Go fvck yourself little boy. You're likely still living with mommy & daddy. Pu$$y.


View Postazjetfan, on 02 July 2014 - 03:36 PM, said:

There are a few things I have realized about Mr. Jet over a few topics.

1) He is a racist. By constantly using race as a battling tool.
2) He is an extreme Liberal. If you are on either extreme you are probabaly more wrong than right.
3) He is one of those people who will never admit fault, error or defeat.
4)His life sucks and he takes it out on people who don't share in his views.
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#3 User is offline   Mr_Jet Icon

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 07:38 PM

I heard about this group on the news earlier today. This article is from the Huffington Post.

Quote

'Patriotic Millionaires' Describe What They've Done With Their Bush Tax Cuts: 'I Built A Dance Floor In My House'

WASHINGTON -- Paul Egerman isn't certain how many millions he's saved from the tax cuts enacted during the George W. Bush administration in the early 2000s and extended by President Barack Obama in December of last year.

"I do not know how much I've saved over 10 years but I'm sure it is several million dollars -- probably in excess of $10 million," said Egerman, founder of a medical transcription company called eScription.

And what, HuffPost asked, have you done with all that cash?

"I've kept it," he said. "I have not done anything with that money."

Egerman is part of a gang of self-described Patriotic Millionaires who wish the federal government would help itself to more of their money to address its big budget deficits. Nearly 200 millionaires have signed a letter asking congressional Republicans to consider healing budget gaps with increased revenue -- in particular, higher taxes on millionaires -- instead of just reduced spending.

The group is coordinated by the Agenda Project, a New York think tank, and Wealth for the Common Good, a network of business leaders and wealthy people that promotes "fair and adequate taxation" to support the economy.

Other millionaires on a conference call Monday morning said they had more fun with their extra money than Egerman did.

"I probably traveled a little bit more than I otherwise would have," said Frank Patitucci, CEO of NuCompass Mobility Services, a company that offers relocation management services.

"I got a bigger boat than I used to have," said Dennis Mehiel, the founder and chairman of cardboard box manufacturer U.S. Corrugated, Inc. He lamented that the construction of his 150-foot sloop didn't create any jobs for American workers. "The problem is, it was built in Italy."

Dal LaMagna, founder of Tweezerman, said he used his extra money to help the local economy in by adding stuff to his house in the Pacific Northwest.

"I just started creating jobs myself. I built a dance floor in my house -- which I really didn't need," LaMagna said, adding that he also put in a parking lot. "I just became a Dal LaMagna economic stimulus package in Poulsbo, Washington."

The tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 overwhelmingly benefited the richest 1 percent of taxpayers, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute. The progressive Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimated in 2009 that the tax cuts "added about $1.7 trillion to deficits between 2001 and 2008."

The tax cuts would have expired in January, but President Obama broke a campaign promise and struck a deal with congressional Republicans that reauthorized the cuts for two more years in exchange for one year of extended unemployment benefits, among other things. Tuesday, June 7, is the 10th anniversary of the tax cuts.

Extending them further would result in an extra $68,079 for the average member of the richest one percent of taxpayers in 2013, according to estimates by progressive advocacy group Citizens for Tax Justice.

"If they are fully extended, they will cost five-and-a-half trillion dollars over the coming decade," said CTJ President Bob McIntyre on the conference call.

New York Jets
Super Bowl III Champions


Los Angeles Lakers
16-times NBA World Champions

1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1972, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010

View PostFlyHiJets, on 01 June 2013 - 08:35 PM, said:

You're the scumbag that thinks everyone should kiss the as$es of a bunch of criminals but I'm a dumbass. Yeah okay douchebag. Go give some illegal wetback or Revis another blowjob. But then again.....don't you live in an entirely different country but yet think you can tell us how to live? Go fvck yourself little boy. You're likely still living with mommy & daddy. Pu$$y.


View Postazjetfan, on 02 July 2014 - 03:36 PM, said:

There are a few things I have realized about Mr. Jet over a few topics.

1) He is a racist. By constantly using race as a battling tool.
2) He is an extreme Liberal. If you are on either extreme you are probabaly more wrong than right.
3) He is one of those people who will never admit fault, error or defeat.
4)His life sucks and he takes it out on people who don't share in his views.
0

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