16 Aug

Warren Buffett’s Deceitful Demagoguery

                                       

A number of my liberal FB friends are linking to Warren Buffet’s NYTimes barf-ed, Stop Coddling The Super Rich. Apparently it’s an “instant hit on the internet“. Learjet limousine liberals like him and Hollywood elites love to demagogue the issue. They can afford to do so because they don’t have to put their money where their mouth is and be taxed on their wealth:

As I wrote then, the super rich won’t mind at all if we “tax the rich” as it’s currently defined. That’s because people who are super rich don’t really pay taxes. They pay taxes on this year’s income, and capital gains on accumulated wealth. But the only “tax” that can ever touch what they’ve already made is inflation.

That’s why a man worth $47 billion dollars can pay just $6,938,744 in federal income taxes and not be accused of a crime. In fact, he can boast about how little he pays, and ask to be charged even more.

That man is Warren Buffett. And his article in today’s NY Times, titled “Stop Coddling The Super Rich” is a huge pile of manipulative garbage.

The super rich love to talk about higher taxes on the rich because it’s a competitive barrier protecting them from competition. If the people making a lot of money today have to pay much higher taxes, they probably won’t ever accumulate enough wealth to be “super rich.”

Now if you really want to screw the rich, start talking about a wealth tax. It won’t save the economy but it’ll certainly serve to even everything out. Buffett wants a higher tax rate on himself and anyone making $1 million or more per year. If you doubled the tax rate on these people, someone making $1 million year would lose another 380,000 to the government.

Buffett calls for an increase in all types of taxes – income, dividend and capital gains. That would be a nice triple layer of protection against any newcomers, and still preserve all – 100% – of the $47 billion he’s accumulated until now.

Buffett is just fine with big new taxes on the rich because those taxes never touch all the under-taxed wealth he’s accumulated over the decades. He talks about how he’s benefited for decades by being under taxed, but is only willing to pay more in the future. That’s like a steroids-ridden baseball player declaring that steroids are bad and from now on no one gets to take them. But paying for past sins? Shhh.

I say if Buffett wants higher taxes, Buffett should get higher taxes. Take 50% of his wealth immediately. And everyone else who’s super rich. Hell, take 100% of everyone’s wealth over $1 million. That’ll even the playing field. We’ll do it again in ten years. Some sneaky people will figure out a way to cheat the system and accumulate more wealth than everyone else, but we’ll knock ‘em back down to earth again.

Think that’s crazy? In the late 90s Donald Trump proposed a one time 14.25% tax on the net worth of individuals and trusts worth $10 million or more. The goal? To pay down the national debt, and shore up Social Security.

Wealth taxes aren’t new, they’re just new here in the U.S. So the next time some super rich person stands up and says they must pay more taxes, ask them how serious they are. And then ask them how they’d feel about a wealth tax every year.

Rich people are very good at staying rich. And Warren Buffett is the smartest rich person I know. That’s why he’s able to say feel good bullshit about how he should be paying higher taxes when he has absolutely no intention of letting the government anywhere near his real money.

As for me, I think the government should be starved of income and be forced to spend money where it’s supposed to – defending the border, establishing a trusted currency, and protecting property rights. Whenever they muck around with the other stuff everyone gets poorer.

And also:

When President Obama pushes the idea of “taxing the rich” he’s actually talking about taxing those who are trying to get rich. His desired wealth increases won’t so much impact the “millionaires and billionaires” who draw his derision as it will cripple those eager strivers who hope someday to become millionaires and billionaires. The federal tax authorities don’t go after wealth but rather grab their share from income, hampering earning not luxurious living.

This explains the puzzling predisposition of progressive plutocrats who live primarily off their investments (or who won life’s lottery with inherited fortunes like the Kennedys or Rockefellers) to favor high tax rates on top earners. It’s not really noble or unselfish for those who have already earned their pile to seek to place new obstacles on hard-driving, up-and-coming challengers who seek to enter the charmed circle of privilege.

Those obstacles, however, will hardly benefit the nation as a whole. Isn’t it obvious that America needs more, not fewer, millionaires? And we want the numbers of poor and dependent people to shrink, not multiply.

While the left tries to foment indignation against wealth-creators, conservatives should respond with outrage at the moral inversion at the core of contemporary liberalism. Though progressives trumpet “fairness” as its guiding priority there’s nothing fair about society and government conferring generous dispensations on dysfunctional, dependent conduct and onerous special burdens on those who enrich both themselves and others. It is both unwise and, at the deepest level, unjust to promote hatred and resentment where gratitude is due and to offer indulgence and support for values that require correction.

The entire Medved article is a good read. What else happens when you only tax the rich?

If Warren Buffett, Matt Damon, and other soapbox learjet liberal bloviators want to cut Uncle Sam a bigger paycheck, what’s holding them back? Really, what is stopping them from really putting their money where their mouth is rather than constantly stuffing it with their foot?

Katie Pavlich:

Reality check to Buffet and other rich liberals who want to pay more in taxes: You can write a check today to the U.S. Treasury for as much as you feel is “fair.” It’s called “Gift Contributions to Reduce Debt Held by the Public.” President Obama has been calling for tax increases on the job creators “rich” making over $250,000 per year, which is a far cry from $80 billion.

This entry was posted in Class Warfare, Economy, Obamanomics, Taxes. Bookmark the permalink. Tuesday, August 16th, 2011 at 5:47 am
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11 Responses to Warren Buffett’s Deceitful Demagoguery

  1. johngalt says: 1

    Word,

    That article you linked from The Blaze, by Ms. Smith, states exactly what I was saying a few weeks ago.

    I used tables from the Tax Foundation, along with historic GDP amounts and growth rates, and determined that the incomes of the top earners are extremely volatile and depend entirely on the state of the economy. So much so, in fact, that even a mild economic downturn can have a big effect of those incomes. And that, in turn, leads to big effects on governmental revenues for those governments that tax incomes progressively, such as CA and NY. Other states, with flat rate taxation amounts, or those with no income tax but a statewide sales’ tax, are able to weather the economic storms better.

    And the financial woes of those states like CA really hit home after periods of good to great growth in their economies, as those states see the massive amounts of revenue coming in, and then figure out every way under the sun to spend it. They do not, for example, save for the inevitable market corrections that happen, and when those times happen, those states find themselves looking at big deficits. The rhetoric, of course, becomes what we are hearing today, that the “rich” don’t pay enough in taxes.

    The flip side of the coin is the lower wage earners, who while in times of good economic growth do not benefit as much as the higher income earners, their wages are fairly steady even in times of economic distress. Also on that flip side is the state governments who use flat income tax rates, or sales’ taxes, to generate revenue. Those states do experience lower revenues, but not nearly to the extent that the progressive taxation states do. They also do not experience enormous increases in revenue when economic times are good, so they don’t end up going hog-wild on spending either. The bridge they have to gap, during economic downturns, is much smaller between their budgets and revenues.

    And, in no surprise to anyone, the federal government works the same way, nearly, as CA does. Except, there is no bigger entity above the federal government that can bail them out.

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  2. johngalt says: 2

    And in a related story to the post I made above, concerning the linked article in the Blaze, we have this from CA;

    Nanny State Madness: California‘s Proposed ’Fitted Sheet’ Law

    When California’s elected officials come back from their month-long recess they face a mountain of proposed legislation (almost 900 bills are lined up and waiting), including a new law (SB432) that would require hotels to eliminate flat sheets. Not having fitted sheets on hotel beds would now be a crime in California.

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/nanny-state-madness-californias-proposed-fitted-sheet-law/

    So, a state that is well north of $20 Billion in debt, will consider a law that adds massive cost to the hotel industry, for which their customers will foot the bill, affecting that industry, and the state as a whole. Not to mention, who, exactly, will enforce the law? And how much more will enforcement cost the state?

    Stupid, stupid, stupid.

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  3. Nan G says: 3

    @johngalt:
    What you’re seeing, John Galt, is CA’s attempt to fine more of the folks who can afford to pay rather than bother with the criminal actions of those who are too poor to pay.
    For instance, CA has more uninsured cars, more cars with expired registrations, more cars driven by people with no DL than anywhere else in the USA.
    But those folks are ”poor.”
    Police refuse to pull them over.
    Even when someone calls in a report about them.

    Better to make a new law about distracted-by-cell-phone-while-driving and collect $350/+ per offense.

    The bed sheet law is like that, hotels and motels and Inns and Bed & Breakfasts have $0.02 to rub together and CA needs it.

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  4. Warren says: 4

    Very good post! You say, “If Warren Buffett, Matt Damon, and other soapbox learjet liberal bloviators want to cut Uncle Sam a bigger paycheck, what’s holding them back? Really, what is stopping them from really putting their money where their mouth is rather than constantly stuffing it with their foot?” It is easier for them to talk about the rich than to cut a check!

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  5. Sponge says: 5

    I find it quite funny that all these liberal douchechicken’s talk about how they want their taxes raised, but will only give the government money and pay their “fair share” if the government holds the proverbial tax gun to their head.

    Anyone can send any amount above and beyond the required tax payment. ANY AMOUNT…..

    Warren, Matt…..all you assclowns need to be FORCED to write a bigger check? To me, that makes you a pussy. Stop telling me you’re better than me and WRITE THE CHECK and STFU.

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  6. drjohn says: 6

    The only thing worse than a wealthy liberal is…….is……..actually I don’t think there is anything worse.

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  7. FAITH7 says: 7

    Very Good Read…Great points!

    I saw a debate over the wealthy paying their “fair share” and a good point was made….Obama, Liberals and other’s want the super rich to ‘pay more’… And, many (rich) ” say” they are willing to do so, however….the Question remains (and this applies to increased taxes) would the money “taken” from the rich (and average taxpayers in the case of increased taxes) actually be put to (Good Use) as in ‘Paying Down the Debt’ (As it should) or will the money just be pissed away like the billions of (Tax Payer’s) money the Liberals get their grubby hands on?

    I think this is a huge bone of contention for Each Party – Conservatives are well, ‘pretty’ conservative with spending and Liberals are well, TOO Liberal with spending …. There used to be a time when Conservative Democrats existed, but, I think they are as extinct as the dinosaurs…

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  8. AJ Hill says: 8

    This seems like an unlikely place to debate CA’s new “bedsheet regulation”; but that notwithstanding it’s still a worthwhile issue. Right wing critics and the hotel industry cite a one-time cost of $20 million to replace existing flat sheets and claim that this will harm the industry. Basically they’re using it as a pretext for criticising government regulation in general; but, no matter what their motive, their argument is specious. Consider:

    (1) Replacing the bedsheets is not an additional cost in the sense that the law’s critics use. During normal operation, bed linens undergo wear and tear and must eventually be replaced, imposing an ongoing cost that forms part of the hotel’s normal operating expense. Therefore the only net additional cost due to the regulation is the relatively small additional price (if any!) of fitted sheets vs flat ones, plus whatever capital cost ensues from replacing the sheets prematurely.
    (2) The incidence of upper body injury incurred by hotel employees while lifting heavy mattresses has been verified by multiple studies. These injuries can cause significant expense for hotels due to time off, additional insurance premiums, or even costs of litigation.
    (3) Fitted sheets are easier to change. That is, it requires less time to change them. Even if the difference is only a minute or two per bed compared to flat sheets, in a hundred unit hotel (or larger) this can result in an additional hour or even several hours of labor each day – hundreds of man-hours per year, which represents substantial added cost due to the flat sheets.

    Taken all together these considerations indicate that the bedsheet regulation does not impose anywhere near the financial burden that the hotel industry claims and that it may actually constitute a net gain. Even if the cost were just what critics claim, an industry that generates annual pretax profits in excess of $15 billion will hardly be threatened by it!

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  9. johngalt says: 9

    @AJ Hill:

    I wasn’t arguing against the merits of the bill itself, but the fact that a state as deeply in debt as CA feels it necessary to (1) Institute more nanny-state controls on an industry, (2) Enact regulation that almost certainly will create more government jobs, requiring more largesse from the public to foot the bill, and (3) Spend valuable time themselves debating a bill that shouldn’t even be considered at the current time based on the state’s financial situation(They should be discussing ways to save the state money, so as not to inflict greater financial harm on it’s resident’s children).

    It’s a matter of priorities, and this one seems to be one of the last they need to be looking at currently.

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  10. AJ Hill says: 10

    This post is one of the dumbest I’ve read here, which is saying a lot! It claims that Warren Buffett is insincere, because the increased taxes he endorses for the rich would not touch the bulk of his fortune. Well, so what? Buffett never claimed that they would or should, for that matter.. However, he also supports higher inheritance taxes and these do address the issue of accumulated wealth. Am I to understand that right wingers have now switched and favor high inheritance tax, as many of the nation’s Founders did? As for the putative hypocrisy of wealthy liberals, I don’t recall any conservatives uttering “Huzzah!”, when Ted Turner contributed $1 billion to defray the United States’ disgracefully unpaid United Nations dues. When did any wealthy conservative contribute a comparable sum to any cause? I notice that, when it came to criticizing the possessors of inherited wealth, Buffett’s name was conspicuously absent, as was that of George Soros. Neither of them inheritied their riches (as did Richard Scaife, Donald Trump, the Koch brothers, Mitt Romney, Phillip Anshutz, the Walton brats, and the other worthless right wing scumbags who use their wealth to turn this country into a nineteeth century fiefdom.)

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  11. johngalt says: 11

    @AJ Hill:

    The point of the article, concerning Buffet, and every other highly wealthy person who is promoting increasing taxes, is that their calls for higher taxation are insincere being that any tax increase on them now would not touch their accumulated, or, in some cases, inherited, wealth. It would, however, act as a barrier to anyone below them trying to get to where those highly wealthy people already are.

    The article is not, in actuality, supporting the inheritance tax. Rather, it is making a logical point that Buffet is supporting higher taxation, while the bulk of his wealth won’t be touched by government thievery. What is also insincere, is any support for higher inheritance taxation levels when Buffet is giving away the bulk of his fortune to private charities.

    The inheritance taxation issue itself is a difficult one. On the one hand, we have the people like Kerry’s wife, or the Rockefellers, whose wealth is such that they can withstand high amounts of taxation with little effect to their lifestyle. On the other hand, though, that same kind of taxation is applied to those like the farmers and small business owners, whose families often go deeply into debt, or have to sell off most or all of the inherited property to pay the taxes owed. Many businesses and farms are lost that way, while the super-wealthy maintain their position financially amongst the various classes.

    And, while some of the founding fathers advocated the limiting, or prevention, of handing down property to following generations, they also advocated heavily for personal property rights, personal property being land, wealth, and mind. The liberal/progressives of today do not profess such a love of personal property rights, instead wishing to imbue penalties not only on the dead, but on the living as well. So, your bringing of the founding fathers into your comments is disingenuous at best, and hypocritical at worst.

    I noticed that you mentioned several well known people who have significant ties to the Republican party as having inherited their wealth, however, you did fail to mention people like Kerry, who married into his, or Jay Rockefeller, who inherited his. And, for your information , Mitt Romney did not inherit his wealth, but made it himself, albeit by somewhat disagreeable methods but similar to how Buffet made his fortune.

    ReplyReply

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