Skip to comments.The Rich Vote Republican, So Why is Warren Buffet Supporting Obama?
Posted on 10/15/2008 8:18:42 AM PDT by QenBirQeni
According to a new survey by Prince & Associates, voters worth $1 million to $10 million are favoring Sen. John McCain, while voters worth $30 million or more are favoring Sen. Barack Obama. The survey of 493 families showed:More than three quarters of those worth $1 million to $10 million plan to vote for Sen. McCain. Only 15% plan to vote for Sen. Obama (the rest are undecided). Of those worth more than $30 million, two-thirds support Sen. Obama, while one third support Sen. McCain....
(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.wsj.com ...
Our verbal sparring was all over the place, from foreign policy to economic plans. It took me a while to convince him not to base his vote on the rhetoric he hears from either campaign, the major TV and print media, but rather to see things objectively and argue logically and not emotionally. He agreed. Thus I proceeded to break down Obama's flawed economic and social policies and related them to socialist ones. I also agreed that McCain had made a mistake by voting for the bailout plan, but we conceded that for both candidates their vote was driven by necessary politics. Nor do I think that McCain's economic plan is great, but at least he won't be increasing taxes on my wife and I.
I was doing fine until he asked me a question that stumped me: "If McCain's tax policies favor the middle class, businesses, investors, and the rich, why is it that Warren Buffet has endorsed Barack Obama?" I had to be honest and I told him that I had no idea why, but there must be a simple explanation, which as it turn out it was rather simple, void of any complex economic theory and logic. So I looked it up.
All I had to do was perform a simple Google search with the search terms: "rich vote obama". Apparently the rich are divided into two categories: those who are rich with a net worth of $1 million to $10 million, and the ultra- or super-rich, with net worths greater than $30 million. During the 2004 presidential race Elite Traveler Magazine contracted a survey firm to poll a sample of the rich and the ultra-rich to determine how the rich vote. According to that survey, those who were considered rich ($1 million - $10 million) largely said they would vote with their wallets, and agreed that Bush would be better for their finances. However, 90.7% of those who were considered super-rich (> $10 million) agreed that Bush would be better for the economy and their finances, but nevertheless they chose to vote for Kerry. The surveyor's conclusion was:
"The findings clearly demonstrate that the Elite Affluent are so wealthy, other issues are more important to them in selecting their country's leader then their personal financial situations," Prince said. "At the same time, the majority of the Upper Affluent, who are rich but still have financial constraints, are principally voting with their pocketbooks."
Fast forward to 2008 and the current presidential election. Will the rich and the super-rich voting patterns change or remain the same as 2004? A Wall Street Journal post explores the same issue citing the same surveying firm as in the 2004 example to determine if there is a difference in voting pattern in the rich and super-rich voters. Out of a sample of 493 families, the survey found yet again that 66% of those with a net worth of greater than $30 million would vote for Obama, while only 15% of those with net worth of $1 million to $10 million would support Obama. According to the opinion piece, the major reason given for the voting trends was taxes. Those who were only considered rich (< $10 million) cited taxes as the primary reason why they would support John McCain, with social issues and the environment being secondary and tertiary reasons. Among the super-rich, tax policy came last in their consideration for supporting either candidate and placed social and environmental issues at the top of their decision to support Obama.
The super-rich are very indifferent to taxes simply because of the size of their net worth where taxes do not make a big enough of a dent. Also, they are more likely to employ tax attorneys, structure their assets in tax-deferred, trusts, or other tax burden reduction mechanisms. Because either candidates tax policy does not affect the super-rich financially, they are free to chose a candidate based on other policies, such as social reform and the environment. In other words, Warren Buffet could care less about how the government taxes him.
What does this tell us? Well, it goes to show that although an individual is wealthy, he or she does not necessarily make better decisions than the rest of us. They are just as conflicted as the rest of us. Unfortunately, we look up to them because we want to be as successful as them, and since they represent a small percentage of the population but hold the largest amount of wealth, their political support of a candidate counts. With the tax burden inconsequential to him, Warren Buffet supports Obama because of the perception that Obama's economic policies are more favorable to the poor and lower middle class. My guess is this is another form of charity on the part of the super-rich.
I like what the author of the Op-Ed piece in the WSJ had to say:
But the survey offers an important insight into the effect of wealth on personal politics. Perhaps the old saying should be changed to: If youre ultrawealthy and conservative you have no heart; if youre wealthy and liberal, you have no brain.
In other words, social and environmental issues are a hobby of the super-rich, and the public be damned.
Personally, I also think that the super-rich in the United States have found ways to link with our politicians for mutual profit from the taxpayers. They give large donations and parties and their businesses profit from earmarks given by our Congressmen. Look who the people who ran Freddie, Fannie, and AIG donated to and also look how those companies benefited from Congressional protection. We as citizens are being sold out.
Because he probably stands to make millions, in not billions, from an Obama presidency.
The “Upper Richistanis,” as this article names them, live off the interest of their investments. They do not have an “earned” income, therefore they aren’t taxed.
And so, they don’t care if taxes are raised on the upper middle class to “Lower Richistanis” who do pay taxes.
Therefore, the Upper Richistanis can vote Obama without a conscience.
It is not the people who are rich who should be afraid of Obama, it is the people who want to become rich. Obama’s tax destroyes the American dream, but it does not take anything away from the people who already have it.
He doesn't think his children or grandchildren should get anything but a education.
Follow the money? How can the rich get richer? Buying low selling high. If they want Obama, there must be something there that applies to their future investments.
Because the corporate partners of Fascist Dictators always prosper.
Rush argued the other day, distinguishing between wealth and income.
Those with large wealth but relatively small incomes worry less about tax rates.
Those with large incomes relative to wealth worry more about tax rates.
At the same time, I believe, as the writer indicates, that for many of the high income or high wealth class, engaging in liberal politics is fashionable and a lifestyle choice.
Not sure that how this explains Buffett, who is by initial impressions a conservative by nature.
Rich capitalists vote Republican.
Rich fascists vote Democratic.
Buffett made huge money with an insurance tax loophole that provides that life insurance proceeds are not taxable and (if paid directly to someone, instead of an estate) AVOID DEATH TAXES.
Standard procedure would be (oversimplified): old Sonic Drive in owner about to die, buys $1,000,000 life insurance policy for $1,050,000, beneficiaries are heirs.
The estate avoid death tax this way.
The repeal of the Death Tax has greatly hurt his bottom line.
See my last post.
Do you honestly not know what the capital gains tax is?
The reasons why Buffett supports Obama is not because of the bizarre notion that investment holdings are untaxed - which they most definitely are - but:
(1) Buffett is a strong advocate and funder of abortion and "population control" - it is his personal obssession. Barack Obama is the most pro-abortion candidate for President ever. That alone wins him Buffett's vote.
(2) Buffett is so rich that he can afford to place all of his investments into tax-sheltered trusts, trusts which own the vehicles and properties he uses and which pay for all his meals and incidentals as business expenses. He spends millions to avoid billions in taxes. Very few people are wealthy enough to be in a position where spending 50 or so million on establishing and staffing a family of trusts is cheaper than paying taxes.
It is this, and not an imaginary America where there is no capital gains tax, that exempts Buffett from paying taxes at regular rates.
I agree that he can afford better/more lawyers, can lease (or purchase) Congresscritters to do his bidding, and can use the power of his wealth to make the world go away. His apparent conservatism (driving an old car, living modestly, etc.) is either a dodge or denial.
I'm not saying he or any of the others shouldn't be rich, but they should support everybody's right to be rich, and not attempt to slam the door on others.
sorry, you’re right...I wasn’t specific. They don’t have “earned” income like those of us who have to “work” for a living.
I think a good case can be made that Warren Buffet has made a lot of decisions better than the rest of us.
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