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On America's Generous "Patriotic Millionaires" Who Just Can't Wait To Pay Down The US Debt
Zero Hedge ^

Posted on 11/12/2012 10:35:22 AM PST by Perdogg

Several months ago, an ad hoc consortium of self-proclaimed millionaires, sent a letter to Obama, Reid and Boehner, demanding that "for the fiscal health of our nation and the well-being of our fellow citizens, we ask that you increase taxes on incomes over $1,000,000." This grass roots initiative was formed in the aftermath of Warren Buffett's, since defunct, proposal to impose a "millionaire tax" rule. Of course, back then, as now, someone actually did the math and realized what the impact of such as tax would be in the grand scheme of the next decade of deficits, as we reported previously, and as summarized below.

One can see why not only the "Buffett Rule" but any attempt to balance the budget without collapsing government spending, would at best result in laughter, at least for those who who are still proficient with the occasional abacus.

The reason we bring up the issue of America's "Patriotic Millionaires" is that today once again, one of them made an appearance on CNBC, preaching why it is for the common good that there be a mandatory tax for all those who earn $1 million or more, because it is someone's view that the government is far better at finding subzero IRR ways of destroying capital (by definition) - something the US government has proven its efficiency with time and again, and certainly not only just under the current administration, but virtually every single one since the advent of income tax. As another reminder, this is how efficient the US government has been at creating deficits, if not so much surpluses, since 1900:

Luckily, as all these very much informed millionaires know quite well, the US Treasury has a dedicated section, named simply, which allows anyone: billionaires (here's looking at you Mr. Buffett), millionaire, or even thousandaire, to make a donation which is used directly to pay down the US debt. Because in the absence of the government mandating rich people pay their "fair share" (as determined by a subcommittee of course) for now at least, there is always that other alternative: voluntary action, as per the auspices of something called free will.

And not only that, but the US Treasury also provides the general public with a running tally of just how much "Patriotic Millionaire" initiatives have given so far to paying down said debt. As in talk is cheap, signing petitions even cheaper, but putting money where your mouth is actually does go to the bottom line.

The bottom line so far in 2012? $7.7 Million - this is how much has been volunteered in total gifts to pay down the US debt.

So doing some quick math:

There were 165 signatories to the original "Patriotic Millionaires" list, among which Nouriel Roubini, Leo Hindery, Rick Schottenfield, and mysteriously, Whitney Tilson. One should of course add Warren Buffett: the progenitor of the grassroots movement. Thus a total of 166. In other words, assuming only these 166 people donated cash to the US Treasury in 2012 to pay down the debt (while a potential tax deal awaits), the average patriotic millionaire has donated a whopping of $46,684.45 toward paying down the US debt.

Putting this in context:

1) there is $16.245 trillion in debt

2) US population is at 314,694,000 most recently.

This amounts to $51,622.6 in debt for every man, woman and child.

Such as this guy.

But certainly hold your breath, because these same people, all of whom are very intimately aware of the details of offshore tax havens, have armies of accountants whose jobs are precisely to find creative ways to minimize their tax obligations, and, not to mention, numerous Swiss bank accounts, if not so aware of the website, just can't wait to fund America's $16.3 trillion in public debt... and rising at $100 billion each month.

But hey: in a world in which actions are cheaper than talk, who cares - after all they "signed the petition." And that is what true patriotism is all about.

TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Politics/Elections

1 posted on 11/12/2012 10:35:27 AM PST by Perdogg
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To: Perdogg

I don’t know if anyone has done it, but someone needs to put the “liberal” plan to balance the budget on the table. Because it won’t include only tax hikes on “the rich.” It will involve a massive tax hike on the Middle Class. What would the new rates have to be to balance the budget? When you take reductions in revenue into account, I’m betting the “rich” will be paying 50% of their income in tax and the middle class will be paying about 30% to 35% of their income in tax. And that doesn’t count sales-type taxes. That is what it would take today to balance the budget. But the way spending is going up, we’ll soon be at the point where even the middle class is paying 50% of its income in tax. Welcome to Socialist America.

2 posted on 11/12/2012 10:47:17 AM PST by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: Perdogg

I have a proposition. They can skip the Govt. and just pay ME directly.

3 posted on 11/12/2012 11:08:58 AM PST by machogirl (First they came for my tagline, it's back. 2008, the Decline of America)
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To: Opinionated Blowhard
The “takers” don't care if the tax rate goes to 70%, since 70% of zero income is still zero. Unless we consider welfare as taxable income.
4 posted on 11/12/2012 11:11:31 AM PST by reg45 (Barack 0bama: Implementing class warfare by having no class.)
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To: Perdogg
According to Forbes, there are 403 billionaires in the US. When I added up their accumulative net worth, 2 years ago, it was just over $1.3 Trillion.

This is their net worth, not income.

In other words, the ENTIRE WEALTH of all the US billionaires would barely match this years deficit.

I have friends who are farmers, that in the technical sense of the word are millionaires. Their "millions" are locked up in land and equipment. Without either they have no income.

Any moron can bandy about terms like millionaire or billionaire without any clue as to what it entails.

We have a $16+ Trillion debt, with a deficit in excess of $1 Trillion every year.

If we taxed all the billionaires their entire worth, that would pay one years deficit. Then if we did likewise all the millionaires, that would pay the next years deficit. That would leave nothing for following years' deficits.

5 posted on 11/12/2012 11:19:53 AM PST by mountn man (ATTITUDE- The Pleasure You Get From Life, Is Equal To The Attitude You Put Into It.)
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To: mountn man

I think I see where you’re headed with this...

6 posted on 11/12/2012 11:41:35 AM PST by subterfuge (BUILD MORE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS NOW!!!)
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7 posted on 11/12/2012 12:21:22 PM PST by PMAS (All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing)
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To: mountn man

Just remember that the President could no longer help his daughter with math homework past the seventh grade...

8 posted on 11/12/2012 12:26:38 PM PST by DennisR (Look around - God gives countless, indisputable clues that He does, indeed, exist.)
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To: Perdogg

It wouldn’t surprise me too learn that these “millionaires” work for, are partners in or have a portfolio of investments that include companies engage in tax avoidance and estate planning.

That’s why you hear Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and other wealthy persons extolling the moral virtues of paying their fair share and the tax revenue benefit.

So yea, increase their taxes and their wealth goes up.

Cute trick.

Look for my follow up post about “Why this rich guy likes taxes”.

9 posted on 11/12/2012 12:33:54 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Perdogg


Try this one on for size and read past the first couple sentences and paragraphs:

It’s like a bunch of rich guys running around acting altruistic and claiming the death tax should be reinstated or at higher levels.

What they don’t tell you is their holdings include companies who profit from estate planning, income shelter, etc.

If the government has no death tax it is a direct competition to the insurance companies, law firms, Wall Street, etc.

Without the death tax there is no need for their services and such stringent estate planning.

Here is an excellent video explaining Warren Buffet and Berkshire-Hathaway. Get a cup of coffee and watch it. You will see the scheme explained and then you will get it.

Also note what companies he has acquired, how and why:

Why This Superrich Guy Likes High Taxes

Warren Buffett Benefited From Death Tax

Wanna know why Buffet pushed for TARP bailout?
Suffice it to say Berkshire owned stock in some largest receipents of TARP valued at $13 billion around that time.

Here is the funny part:
Buffett increased his bank holdings in September, while he was arguing in the media that Congress should approve the bailout to prevent the collapse of the global financial system.

TARP was approved in October of that year, just one month later!

It’s good to be king!

He actually said “if he didn’t think the government was going to act(in a way that would positive and accretive to hihis holding) he wouldn’t have been doing anything that week”. (paraphrased)

For more read here:

BofA in April 2009 was around $4 per share and is now trading at $13.80 per share as of 3/02/2001

Wells Fargo in April of 2009 was around $11 per share and is now trading at around $31 per share.

How about US Bancorp trading at around $14 per share in April 2009 and now trading at about $26 per share.

Goldman Sachs Group trading at some $51 dollars per share has now zoomed to above $160 per share.

How about those poor folks at American Express trading at just above $10 per share in 2009 and now they are trading at about $45 per share?

Bottom line: We, the schmuck taxpayer, paid to enhance the holdings of companies like Berkshire and investors in Berkshire.

10 posted on 11/12/2012 12:37:52 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Perdogg

Great article!
Every time I hear some idiot rich lib ranting on tv, I dearly wish some snarky interviewer would say:
“well of course you have your tax preparer calculate without the Bush tax cuts, right?”

11 posted on 11/12/2012 12:41:38 PM PST by nascarnation (Baraq's bankruptcy: 2016)
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To: Perdogg

They’ll flee the country faster than you can say, “Denise Rich.”

12 posted on 11/12/2012 12:42:49 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: mountn man


I have a bunch of stuff, I’ll call it but, it doesn’t necessarily have a thing to do with my income or ability to generate income.

In fact, a lot of it, if I had to sell, would be gone at a considerable loss.

Like a watch. Even if that watch is worth more than most make in a month it has nothing to do with my income or ability to earn.

It’s just something I bought.

Same with land. If it’s not making you money it might as be a park, like Zuccotti in Manhattan.

13 posted on 11/12/2012 12:47:13 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Perdogg

All rich libs need to do is skip itemizing deductions sched B and pay the maximum amount with the standard deduction.

14 posted on 11/12/2012 12:51:14 PM PST by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: Perdogg

“Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.”

“The legal right of a taxpayer to decrease the amount of what otherwise would be his taxes, or altogether avoid them, by means which the law permits, cannot be doubted.”

Gregory v. Helvering, 69 F.2d 809 (2nd Cir., 1934)

regory v. Helvering, 293 U.S. 465 (1935)

15 posted on 11/12/2012 4:15:01 PM PST by Para-Ord.45
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