Letting a temporary tax cut for millionaires expire: class warfare. Cutting vital social services for the most needy Americans: responsible deficit reduction.
"If you dive into the weeds a little bit on this global warming thing, you see that it seems that facts are certainly on Huntsman’s side on all of this and fact checkers have come out, we’re actually having our own brain room look look at this right now that any of Perry’s comments don’t seem to hold a lot of water. It doesn’t matter. What’s resonating right now in South Carolina is helping Governor Perry tremendously and he fired back at Huntsman on global warming and gaining traction, facts or not."
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.
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.
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.
If you make money with money, as some of my super-rich friends do, your percentage may be a bit lower than mine. But if you earn money from a job, your percentage will surely exceed mine — most likely by a lot.
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."
Billionaire chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway WARREN BUFFETT, in an op-ed from the August 15, 2011 edition of the New York Times titled “Stop Coddling The Super-Rich.”
Show this to your local Republican / Tea Party-er and watch them have a heart attack.
Also, I wonder if the Wall Street Journal would ever dare publish such a piece.
“…Right there, in the fine print of (Standard & Poor’s U.S. credit rating) downgrade release, they said that a big factor was that, quote, ‘the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues,’ unquote. And they give an example of how to fix that: quote, ‘initiatives, such as the lapsing of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for high earners,’ unquote. In other words, S&P would like to see higher taxes on rich people.
Folks, whatever you think of Standard & Poor’s, when a Wall Street firm run by rich people recommend higher taxes on rich people, they might just know what they’re talking about."