Warren Buffett: “I beg you to take my taxes”?
“OUR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.
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. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors.
Last year my federal tax bill — the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf — was $6,938,744. 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.
To understand why, you need to examine the sources of government revenue. Last year about 80 percent of these revenues came from personal income taxes and payroll taxes. The mega-rich pay income taxes at a rate of 15 percent on most of their earnings but pay practically nothing in payroll taxes. It’s a different story for the middle class: typically, they fall into the 15 percent and 25 percent income tax brackets, and then are hit with heavy payroll taxes to boot.
Back in the 1980s and 1990s, tax rates for the rich were far higher, and my percentage rate was in the middle of the pack. According to a theory I sometimes hear, I should have thrown a fit and refused to invest because of the elevated tax rates on capital gains and dividends.
I didn’t refuse, nor did others. I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone — not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 — shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off. And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know what’s happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation.
But for those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate.
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. ”
To the individuals that have a problem with taxing the wealthy (republicans, tea party), here’s a man who’s one of the wealthiest people in America, and welcome to taxes being set to past rates. Please read the article. Why are you still trying to defend him? He doesn’t want, or need your defense.
To the others, read it because it’s interesting.
I agree with Buffett — taxes need to be raised.
Look at the history of debt and deficit over the last 50 years. President Eisenhower balanced the budget back in the 1950’s. After Eisenhower, you have to wait until President Clinton to find a balanced budget. Jerry Ford nearly managed it in the 1970’s, but not quite. Jimmy Carter was thrown out of office for producing a budget deficit of $50 billion per year. Ronald Reagan began with a tax cut, and the deficit ballooned to around $250 billion. Reagan never got the deficit under $150 billion his entire 8 years.
Clinton inherited $200 billion per year deficits from his predecessor. Clinton started with a tax INCREASE, The tax increase plus 8 years of careful spending resulted in both a booming economy and two years of balanced budget. The first balanced budgets since the Eisenhower administration!
In the previous administration, Bush inherited a balanced budget, he cut taxes deeply, and deficits ensued every year, growing to $1 trillion/year his final year.
The logic is clear. Taxes this low will not produce a balanced budget. They need to be somewhere between the level under Clinton and the level under Reagan.
———– update ———–
@Yak Rider: Do you really not get it? Or are you just deliberately pretending to be obtuse?
@Peace through Blinding: False. Buffet is telling the truth. He’s not classifying the income or taxes; he’s not dividing it in any way. He’s adding up the incomes and he’s adding up the taxes and he’s calculating the percentage. All truthful. All simple math. Oh, and one more thing: Buffet is much smarter than you & me about economics. That’s why he’s a billionaire and his comments are published in the New York Times, while ours are “published” here in Y!A.
imagine if this were real!?
ok so what if these events occured in the gaming industry!
ok so the year is 1995 and nintendo is putting on a full on ad campaign for the virtual boy! maybe they shouldnt have done that because now nintendo are loosing a lot of money, meanwhile sega aint going that well either. Sony playstation is getting more popular to the day.
2000- rumours are starting up about both sega AND Nintendo giving up in the console wars. Sales of the gameboy and n64 are dropping to a all time low! The xbox and ps2 are nearing release date! finally Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata announces that nintendo is giving up on its console devision but not on its handhelds. Sega pulled out completely and is just making games now!
sony and Microsoft decide that nintendo has to go, so sony brings the PSP out early and it completely knocks Nintendo out of the handheld devision. Thats it nintendo is gone! they now only make games!
Microsoft and Sony are still battling it out! A lot of older gaming companys are thinking with Nintendo Gone they can make a comeback! Atari release a lot of ads onto the internet stating “THE JAGUAR WILL BE BACK!” people start thinking that atari will be triumphant so Atari’s stocks go up! Not only atari but panasonic is making a comeback with the 4do!
2011– many companys eg nokia apple google samsung htc and many more are taking advantage of mobile gaming!
2012 is nearing and a representative from a certain company releases a statement “2012 the year of iPlay!” apple is releasing a home console in fall 2012, but 2012 comes and the apple event where it was supposed to be announced instead steve jobs announced that phones are better than any console or handheld! the new app iPlay is for iphone ipad and ipod touch!
meanwhile millions of people are choosing mobile gaming over handhelds or consoles!
News of a new nintendo console are everywhere a console where 90% of the games are 1st party! new zelda, new mario, new metroid, new everygame! and Nintendo has just purchased the COD franchise! but by the time nintendo brought out a new console no one wanted one! nintendo had everything hanging on this one console but it failed Nintendo filed for bankruptcy on 16 december 2012
the 4do and jaguar 2 failed back in 2011 so nintendo failed in 2012!
2013 – Sony ps4 and xbox 720 are still battling out but sales are declining and Sony pulls out of the console wars in 2013
Microsoft declaring themselves the industry leader are still facing declining sales to the mobile market!
After about a year of money loss and declining sales Microsoft shut down there gaming devision!
there is now no consoles in this world! anytime a new console comes along it is squashed by mobile companys!
when 2015 when people thought the new ps4 and xbox 720 would come out instead just a new bunch of phones!
see it was the way we handled the console/mobile gaming back in 2011/2012 that led to all game companys gone!
the lives of many people within the industry explained here!
after loosing his job at nintendo he seeked a new job at Hewlett Packard and became in charge of Web os devision!
after sony left the gaming devisions he became CEO of sony and ended up retiring in 2020
a very rich wealthy man!
before nintendo shut down Shigeru miyamoto left the company he ended up becoming a thirdparty developer working for himself creating zelda mario and donkey kong for phone he later retired in 2017
after nintendo shutting down he ended up working for toshiba and he became ceo of toshiba
but after years he drove toshiba into the ground with the help of the board he later retired in 2024
they eventually called it the video game crash of the 2000’s
similar to the one in the 80’s
so what do you think!
Interesting, but I don’t think possible because consoles are so much more powerful than handheld devices.
What has happened to Capitalism in this country?
I was reading this article and felt the necessity to post this:
Is this supposed to be some kind of scare tactic???
“If you regulate banks they’ll just charge you more for services.” And so what are we supposed to do? NOT REGULATE THEM???
As the author pointed out: When you give Corporations, like Walmart, tax breaks and/or de-regulation they DON’T PASS THE SAVINGS ON TO YOU:
“Meanwhile, prices are not falling at the check-out as the retail industry would like consumers to believe. The estimated $7 billion in increased revenue for the retail industry will mostly fall in their own pockets.”
Just another piece of evidence that deregulation is irresponsible.
CAPITALISM, however, will PUNISH GREED. Do not confuse Greed with Ambition. One is virtuous the other, pedestrian at best.
This article makes me laugh really hard. It touts Capitalism, while simultaneous insulting and discounting it.
Credit Unions saw an 850% increase in new accounts in the month of October. 850 PER CENT……THAT IS CAPITALISM.
I am a Bank of America Customer, I called them and threatened to switch banks when I heard about this debit fee back in September. They told me, “Oh no no no. Yooouuuu don’t have to pay anyyything, you’re our “Preferred Customer”.” I said, “Oh okay good, I’m glad to know you value my business.”
People like this author are so sad. They are misconstruing the meaning and very nature of Capitalism. Capitalism does not mean:
“It is your inherent right to make money for the sole benefaction of you and your peers at the expense of your customers, who, oh, by the way, happen to be your benefactors.” Capitalism, at it’s core, means that YOU have to CHAMPION the CUSTOMER, either through low prices, great service, or any combination of things that make the customer happy enough to want to engage in further business transactions with you.
Know this, I am not saying that companies like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Suntrust, etc. should be COERCED into doing things or paying “undue” taxes. If you come from that stance, point taken, and I have a a different argument for you.
What I AM saying though, is that people who try and use the scare tactic of (and those of you of you who believe the scare tactic of), “by supporting this regulation, you’re just going to dump the cost of these new banking fees on the ordinary citizen, because it is completely unreasonable to think that a CEO(s) who ran his company into the ground, along with all of his employees stock holdings, and really the entire WORLD’S stock holdings, should take a pay cut,” CLEARLY haven’t the slightest grasp of Capitalism. What was just described is not Capitalism. It is retribution on the part of said company in a clandestine effort to coax their customers into disgruntlement with the regulation and eventually repeal it.
Here’s how Capitalism works:
Bank of America is bitter about losing 8 Billion dollars of revenue. In RETRIBUTION they announce a NEW FEE in order to continue meeting their old Bottom Line.——OK, now THIS is my favorite part of Capitalism, and it is a part that so few seem cognizant about and that even fewer (especially in the Media, i.e. the moron that wrote that article) ever bother to mention——THE CUSTOMER LEAVES. Multitudes of customers leave. BOA loses money. Now, the FREE MARKET and the CONSUMERS have BOA PINNED. BOA can either lower prices in order to be competitive OR go OUT OF BUSINESS. Capitalism wins. Then the new upstart banks get greedy and history repeats itself. another W for Capitalism. Capitalism is beautiful, in that, if a bank wants to dump their mistakes on you, you can tell them to fuck off.
I don’t understand why it’s so hard to grasp the concept of people leaving a bank that raises their fees…
“RAAAR!!! RAAAR!!! RAAAR!!! Carl Marx!!! RAAAR!!! RAAAR!!! Communism!!! RAAAR!!! Oh and be very afraid, Mao Zedong, just imposed these ridiculous regulations on banks, that are going to end up costing YOU, the consumer, 100’s of dollars per year!!! RAAAR!!! RAAAR!!! (ad infinitum…)”
Wait, whaaat???? you’re kidding right? How is it gonna cost the consumer “100’s of dollars” if that consumer switches to a Credit Union or one of the other 7,500+ banks in this country that aren’t part of the “Too Big” 10, who will do business with the consumer for an EVEN CHEAPER PRICE than what the Consumer ALREADY pays??? I mean, really? To be honest, I’m surprised you’re even able to talk to tell us about the impending doom that your beloved Capitalism (if it truly is Capitalism, you speak of and not some kind of Corporatacracy) will be unable handle…or wait, I meant, UNEQUIVOCALLY DEFUCKING-STROY! I me
Banks can afford it. They’re not really as regulated as you think.
Beginning of my novel…?
– What do you think of the beginning of my novel?
– Would you want to continue reading?
– What should I change?
Any opinions wanted!
One day. That’s all it takes. One day can change a person’s life. One day you could wake-up to nothing, or everything. One day you can dye your hair, paint your nails, or go to the beach, get sunburnt, get a suntan, or you could sing a song on the radio, or go to the mall like a regular person and walk out completely different. And that was all it took for my brother to go from being Kemp Oliver from small-town Henley to Kemp Oliver the most eligible 18-year old male in the United States of America for the summer of 2011.
You see, my brother was one of the most regular teenagers from Henley: he hung out with friends 24/7, went to parties on the weekends, snuck-out, could change the oil on a car before he was actually the legal age to drive, and drove parents crazy. And he was suspected to end up just like 95% of the teens who lived in Henley: go to Krafton, the local University, graduate, spend a few years living in a different place, come back home after that didn’t work out, and marry someone you grew up with. It’s the Henley-ending, and we all knew that that’s what is supposed to happen – your parents did it, your friends’ parents did that, the owner of Stop N Pop had the Henley-ending. Everyone who grew up here came back and ended exactly like the rest of their friends. The only reason the Henley-ending didn’t happen was that the person died, was arrested, or gained some good money in the stock and got rich, in which, if they did get rich, usually they bought a summer home in Henley. Really there was no escaping Henley.
Pippen Oliver, girl (named after Scottie Pippen, her father’s fav player) is the main character. Her brother Kemp is now one of the most famous young actors in the whole US. The whole story is about her moving from where she was born and raised to CHicago to stay with her brother as they make the second season of the show he is on. Along the way stuff happens blah blah blah…
thanks so much!
Regardless of what NekoBus says, I love the “One Day” beginning.
I would continue on, although I would change the plot. I love the idea of having to come back to Henley, but the rest of the plot just sounds boring. Maybe some romance with a man whom her brother, or parents, or the entire Henley town despises? That’s just me, your plot did not capture me, but your beginning did.
I would change your plot, but as for the beginning, keep it!
All the best!
Need help on a purchase?
I ordered some extentions on the 19th of January from foxylocks.com, i receieved a email saying Nochex Payment Confirmation, and in the message it said Thank you for choosing Nochex to make the following e-money purchase, which will appear as “Nochex” on your card statement. We value your business. After that it followed with payment detials, prices etc..
Then the day after that i got sent an email saying… (My name) your Foxy Locks Order Receipt (7 digit order number reciept)
Then in the mail it followed by saying Thank you so much for choosing Foxy Locks. We hope you love your purchase!
Date : 20 Jan 2011 – 06:55
Order ID : (My recipet number)
Payment by Nochex
Product : Quantity : Price
Deluxe 20 Clip In Remy Human Hair Extensions Light Ash Blonde 60 :
Delivery : ….
TOTAL : …..
Does this all mean the money has been taken out of my account? Because i read on terms and conditions that you dont get charged until item is dispatched, but it was complicated and hard to understand, and both those mails confirm my order and one is even a reciept. Once order is confirmed (which mine been has) They say they ship their items for UK delivery 1-3 days after payment has been confirmed, and they should arrive 2-4 working days, its now the 5th working day, and on my tracking order it still says on order, though the ones i got were in stock when i order and still say they are in stock. I can’t check the bank to see if they money has been taken out because it wasn’t mine account that paid for it, it was another family members.
If you could please help me out?
First of all, well done on purchasing foxy locks! I’ve just bought my second set, love them so much!
If I remember correctly you should get an email in a day or two from foxy locks (not nochex) saying it’s on its way, then depending on volume of deliveries it should be with you in a day or two 🙂 Pretty sure they don’t charge until it’s dispatched too!
The first time I bought mine it was at Christmas so took a week after shipping to come, but this time I literally had them within a few days.
I suggest moving the emails into a folder so that you can use them as proof of order if anything goes wrong.
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