Skip to comments.AP fact check: Secretaries donít pay more taxes than their bosses (Paging Warren Buffet)
Posted on 09/20/2011 9:37:03 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Let's hope that Warren Buffet is better at managing funds than he is at tax policy. After Buffett complained that his secretary pays a higher tax rate than he does, Barack Obama decided to call his new class-warfare taxes “the Buffett Rule” and emphasize that he wants to make taxes more “fair.” But was Buffett right? According to an AP fact check — and just about every ounce of common sense that exists outside of the class-warfare fever swamps of the White House these days — not at all:
“Middle-class families shouldn’t pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires,” Obama said Monday. “That’s pretty straightforward. It’s hard to argue against that.”
The data tell a different story. On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate, and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall taxes collected by the federal government.
There may be individual millionaires who pay taxes at rates lower than middle-income workers. In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service. That, however, was less than 1 percent of the nearly 237,000 returns with incomes above $1 million.
Even when talking rates rather than aggregate payments, the claims made by Buffett and Obama are nothing more than an urban legend:
This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes and payroll taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.
Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay 15 percent of their income in federal taxes.
Lower-income households will pay less. For example, households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay an average of 12.5 percent of their income in federal taxes. Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent.
That has been true ever since the US went to a progressive income tax. It was true decades ago, it was true a few years ago, and it remains true today. Those with higher incomes pay more taxes at higher rates that those with lower incomes. So unless Buffett’s paying his secretary a million dollars a year, the notion that we’re burying secretaries in higher taxes while letting millionaires and billionaires off the hook is flat-out false.
Buffett should know better than to make that kind of claim without checking his facts first, but no one elected Buffett to be in charge of anything, either. The President of the United States has vast resources at his command to get the facts straight before speaking to the American people, especially before pushing a divisive and destructive policy like his tax plan with class-warfare rhetoric designed to gin up demand for government to start seizing more from the successful than they already do. Either Obama doesn’t bother to do his homework, or he doesn’t care whether he’s passing along myths rather than facts.
I find it interesting that the media is now interested in fact checking Obama. I guess they have come to the realization that he is taking progressives down with him. It will not be hard to sink him as about everything he says is based on lies.
Paging Nancy Pelosi...
Tax the billionaires! BIG TIME! Give ‘em what they are asking for and much more! Leave eneryone else alone.
The more people are vocal about this and the more vocal people say this - that ZERO PLAYS THE CON, then people will start to listen to ZERO like we all do here - with suspicion and doubt. Let’s play the rules back on him!
Americans KNOW that this claim is specious. What Obama DIDN’T do was anything about the ways in which the demonRAT “party of rich” hides its money from the IRS, all the ways that they protect their wealth, not usually offered to the ordinary members of the middle class.
Never fear, Bambi, some of us know EXACTLY what you are doing, and it won’t help you.
Warren Buffett is the Tawana Brawley of Class Warfare!!
Why do you or anyone else deserve their money?
You are pretty stupid if you want to take away their money, because it is your money that they are really after and they will take it on the next round.
Have you ever heard of the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax)? If you haven’t paid this tax yet (a 2nd income tax system established in 1969 to tax 158 millionaries) you probably will soon.
They are really after the 49% of taxpayers who pay no income tax. (but they won’t tell you that.) The tax on billionaries will only pay for federal spending for about a week (estimate). There are only 1100 billionaries. Who is next?
If you want to control the federal government, then you need to control and stop the federal spending, not raising taxes.
Me, too. Too bad they are about four or five years too late.
I guess they have come to the realization that he is taking progressives down with him.
That is the only thing that would motivate them to turn on him. It is hard to imagine, but I guess they have decided he is too incompetent to further their cause. However, it is not just him. Those behind him are the movers and shakers. He is just the one in the position of authority.
It will not be hard to sink him as about everything he says is based on lies.
Correct. Once the ones with the power, that would be the media, decide to do him in it will be easy. They just have to be careful not to cripple themselves and their agenda in the process.
Those people spent their entire lives building their empires at the expense of the little people, screwing everybody that got in their way. Ever see the movie “There Will Be Blood”? That wasn't just typical 100 years ago, it is still typical today. Why the hell did Warren Buffet and Bill Gates wait so damn long to donate 50% of their wealth to charity? Hell, they are both multi-billionaires and had accumulated so much wealth that it would be impossible for their grandchildren’s grandchildren’s grandchildren to spend it all in one lifetime.
Look at J. Paul Getty. That asshat raped and destroyed countless lives in his quest to become a mega-millionaire and waited until his death to bequeath his fortune to a museum. He didn't leave any money to charity. Nope, just built a massive museum and stipulated that his millions and billions of dollars go to acquiring artwork. No soup kitchens, no homeless shelters, no scholarship funds. Just friggin’ artwork.
Warren Buffet can shove it where the sun don't shine. What a maroon.
the AP is suddenly doing a lot of fact-checking of Obama I notice
This whole “tax the bejeesus out of the rich” is Obama at his demagogic worst...or best depending on how you look at it. He knows the facts, he’s just trying to stir up the base.
As a proud Katharine Gibbs certificate holder and really good secretary, I thought that secretaries are a thing of the past. PC terms: Executive Assistant, Executive Admin . . .
Is anyone looking to hire a real secretary? I’m available. Northern VA.
Something went haywire morally with Buffet when he had to abandon Graham and Dodd’s methods of security analysis. One typical scoffer at Seeking Alpha writes emotionally accurately of the mindset that took over when Graham and Dodd was abandoned by the investment community: http://seekingalpha.com/article/44626-the-graham-and-dodd-method-for-valuing-stocks
The facts in that essay -— regarding applying G&D to stocks versus a randomized return — are very suspect, imo. I mean who did the analysis?
Graham and Dodd’s methods generalize and work well when their underpinnings are understood. Buffet seems to have stuck with them too, long past 1956.
But something went wrong in trying to use them. And I remember when it was, and think I remember what Buffet — in his yearly commentaries — thought of it, directly and by inference.
Graham and Dodd rely on honest books. Real fiduciary duty and accurate reporting. THAT’S what broke down. Mark it to the mid-seventies onward, and the retirement of the Cocktail set with replacement by the Cocaine set.
I think that pervasive social breakdown of mores, morals and ethics in the investment, banking and finance community got to Buffet.
He has obviously joined the extreme social deconstructionists like the old Marxists who advocate Stalin-Mao like despotism, and the new Marxists like Cloward-Piven and Alinsky, or a mortal enemy like a Bin Laden, or the modern bloody levelers like Ayers-Dorhn (and their apt student Obama), who believe that the whole Western system must be destroyed, financially, economically and civilly.
Because they are using their money to advocate for socialism to take my freedom and money!
We can call it the Buffet/Soros billionaire tax. Let’s give them what they want - all the way. Taxes on the rich -them! Leave the rest of us alone.