Skip to comments.Warren Buffett's Secretary Likely Makes Between $200,000 And $500,000/Year
Posted on 01/25/2012 2:15:12 PM PST by grundle
Warren Buffets secretary, Debbie Bosanek, served as a stage prop for President Obamas State of the Union speech. She was the Presidents chief display of the alleged unfairness of our tax system a little person paying a higher tax rate than her billionaire boss.
Bosaneks prominent role in Obamas fairness campaign piqued my curiosity, and I imagine the curiosity of others. How much does her boss pay this downtrodden woman? So far, no one has volunteered this information.
The IRS publishes detailed tax tables by income level. The latest results are for 2009. They show that taxpayers earning an adjusted gross income between $100,000 and $200,000 pay an average rate of twelve percent. This is below Buffets rate; so she must earn more than that. Taxpayers earning adjusted gross incomes of $200,000 to $500,000, pay an average tax rate of nineteen percent. Therefore Buffet must pay Debbie Bosanke a salary above two hundred thousand.
I have nothing against Debbie Bosanke earning a half million or even more. Buffet is a major player in the world economy. His secretary deserves good compensation. At her income, however, she is scarcely the symbol of injustice that Obama wishes her to project.
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...
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How much Berkshire Hathaway stock does she own that she gets income from? And what is this income taxed at? Has the stock gone up so she has some unrealized capital gains?
I demand that this woman release her tax returns so we can see for ourselves.
I was thinking about this last night, this is not some
girl from the steno pool, she has responsiblility and
is paid well for it, not to mention the benefits and
buffet should pay his secretary more if he’s concerned of injustice.
More than the President of the United States. More a two senators combined.
That’s how my husband, a CPA explained it to me.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d rather have my rates lowered to make things fair.
This Obama voting secretary has been working at Berkshire Hathaway since she was 17 years old. She looks about 45-50 so she undoubtedly owns a nice amount of Berkshire Hathaway shares since she is Buffets Secretary. So what is her yearly income from these shares and does she hold on to them to realize those evil capital gains?
She should show us her tax returns or shut up.
Seems to me a 15% flat tax with all $$$ up to the amount of the national poverty level being exempt from all taxes, would solve the phoney "fairness" issue quite nicely. Simple, logical and you don't need more than 60K pages of code to explain it. That's why it'll never happen.
Everytime these progressive snake oil salesmen carve out exemptions for certain classes or groups, some bright tax lawyer figures a way to avoid it or turn it to his advantage. So, you end up with more regulations on top of the original. Before long you have a tax code that the government can use to make up the rules as you go along. That's the point we're at now.
dangit, now we’re gonna have threads about Secretary Envy in addition to just Rich People Envy!
Now that she has allowed herself to be “used” by the Obama campaign, what are her perks and reporting obligations?
The ability to tax, or excuse from taxes, is where the real power of Congressmen and Presidents come from. The amount of money in campaign donations pales in comparison to the amount that does or doesn't come in as taxes.
Let’s use some common sense here. If Buffett wanted to he could pay her in STOCK. She could sell that and pay 15% on the proceeds.
Until someone gives a "darned" about double taxation of personal income probably no one will give a "darned" about taxing corporate income ALSO as individual income when distributed to individuals.
Double taxation by the federal government is a well established principle ~ why should folks who get paid from dividends get away with avoiding it?
Agreed. The double taxation argument is also flawed for a number of other reasons. Following is an excerpt from an article by Dean Baker:
The trick in this argument is that it ignores the enormous benefits that the government is granting by allowing a corporation to exist as a free standing legal entity. The most important of these advantages is limited liability. If a corporation produces dangerous products or emits dangerous substances that result in thousands of deaths, shareholders in the corporation cannot be held personally responsible for the damage. The corporation can go bankrupt, but beyond that point, all the shareholders are off the hook, the victims of the damage are just out of luck.
In addition, it should be noted that most companies pay far less than the 35%. According to a New York Times article, U.S. corporations paid an average effective tax rate of 27.1% in 2008. Also, a number of sources suggest that the burden of corporate taxes do not fall fully on shareholders. Following are excerpts from several sources:
In this article, we argue that neither of the agencies' assumptions--that capital bears 100 percent or that no one bears the tax--is valid. Both approaches fail to reflect recent empirical and theoretic research that finds workers bear a large portion of the burden of the CIT. In particular, the empirical studies suggest that distribution tables that allocate 50 percent or more of the burden to labor may be closer to the truth.
Source: American Enterprise Institute
The distribution of the corporate income tax is so uncertain that it is left out of most burden tables but is thought to be borne mainly by either shareholders (at least in the short run) or workers (in the long run, as capital adapts). These taxes are described as if workers, savers, and investors offered their labor and capital in totally inelastic supply, undiminished in quantity, when the tax cuts their compensation. It is assumed that they make no demand for an increase in compensation in response to the tax, so they swallow the entire burden of the income and other factor taxes that they pay.
Source: The Heritage Foundation
Corporations are responsible for remitting corporate taxes to the state, but the actual burden of the state corporate tax falls elsewhere - on shareholders, consumers, workers, or some combination of the three. ... The most recent economic research suggests that labor bears the majority of the corporate tax burden at the national level. In response to higher state corporate tax rates, corporations may lower wages, thereby passing the burden onto workers.
The author of this editorial needs to read what Buffett actually said. He does seem to have been called out somewhat by a member of the Forbes staff in the comments after the editorial so I'm unclear why they even left the editorial up. In any case, I've researched the numbers and posted an explanation of them at this link. As you can see, the numbers show that Buffett's secretary could be making well less than $100,000 and paying between 30 and 40 percent using the calculations that Buffett clearly explains.
Wow! And thanks for all of that!
When the Big Boss gets hit with more taxes the employees are not going to get a raise ~ and there goes the overtime ~ and maybe even a cut in the "bonus", or, heaven forfend, a cut in the "base pay" or "standard rate".
Everybody who has ever worked for a reasonably open company knows what happens when taxes go up, or cost of materials or supplies increases, or electricity, rent or TAXES climb. Management will go out of its way to tell you all about it because they use inflation as a reason to cut your piece of the action.
Actually, management itself can find its piece cut. And, maybe there'll be NO DIVIDENDS THIS YEAR, and that always leaves the blue hairs kvetching ~ but the bondholders continue to get theirs no matter what (unless it's a really serious worldwide economic slump).
Taxes aren't the problem...excessive government spending is, and it's not receiving the necessary attention.
We're playing on the liberals' court right now. We need the ball game back to ours.
If the richest man in America pays his top administrative assistant "well less than $100,000" he's a cheapskate to the point of sociopathology.