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You don’t say

Addressing the lie that the rich pay less in taxes than their secretaries:

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.

Even if you took all their money, you could only run government for a couple of weeks.

17 Responses to “You don’t say”

  1. Jeff the Baptist Says:

    One of the big culprits of “the rich aren’t taxed enough” is social security. SS benefits are capped and therefore the taxes are capped. If you make enough money, that means you pay a lower percentage of your total income because the government is already taking all the money it is allowed to.

  2. maddmedic Says:

    They need to explain what they are comparing.
    Yes Warren Buffett’s secretary pays more income tax then he does.
    Because she is WORKING and earning an income.
    Buffett, retired at 88 is not “earning” an income!!

    So of course she is paying more INCOME tax!!

    They never explain that!!

  3. SPQR Says:

    Not exactly, maddmedic, but close. Much of Buffett’s income is capital gains, which we intentionally tax at a lower rate to encourage investment.

  4. Parrym Says:

    “Much of Buffett’s income is capital gains, which we intentionally tax at a lower rate to encourage investment.”

    His income is not only from capital gains, but dividend income which has already been taxed via corporate income tax. His wealth, on the other hand is from unrealized capital gains which doesn’t generate taxes either.

    I used to think Buffett was a standup, politically neutral kind of guy. I don’t think that any more.

  5. Sebastiano Who Loves Darwin Says:

    I used to think Buffett was a standup, politically neutral kind of guy. I don’t think that any more.

    The odds are pretty strong that you’ll never, ever be anywhere near the billionaire he is. Same is true for all of us…

    So when he points out that he doesn’t really factor in tax policy when making day to day business decisions and that taxing his capgains at 39% instead of 37% isn’t really a big deal and certainly won’t affect how he conducts his affairs…it has no bearing on you. None.

    Bearing that in mind…he’s a bad guy exactly why?

  6. wizardpc Says:

    Well, Sebastian, if it isnt a big deal then why doesnt he pay the taxes he already owes? Hmm?

    And the long-term rate is 15%, not 37%. Tell me that doesn’t have an effect, and how that extra 22% getting sucked out of the economy helps us.

    Short term rates for the highest tax bracket equal the ordinary income rates for that bracket, so clearly that’s not what you’re talking about.

  7. wizardpc Says:

    Sorry, that should be “that extra 24%”.

  8. Sebastiano Who Loves Darwin Says:

    If you’re talking about long term rates (I would imagine both are of interest to movers and shakers like the Oracle of Omaha), then the analogy Buffett was drawing would be 15% vs. 17% or some such. The 22% is irrelevant as you’re comparing apples and oranges. He’s simply saying that a couple point bump one way or the other doesn’t affect how he does business.

    Capgains rates are fraction of what they were in the 50s. And we were booming then.

  9. SPQR Says:

    Sebastiano, wizardpc is also talking about the fact that Buffett is disputing his tax bill of I think TY 2007 with the IRS to this day. So the claim that his tax rate does not affect his decisions is pretty much nonsense.

  10. DirtCrashr Says:

    Is the Class Warfare working yet, or does it need a few more zeros?

  11. Sebastiano Who Loves Darwin Says:

    SPQR: bullshit, and you fucking know it.

    What business decision did he make in 2007 that he wouldn’t have if the long or short term rate was a couple points higher? Please include references.

    That he’s keeping Uncle Sam honest on deeds already done doesn’t mean he wouldn’t do them.

    Thanks for playing.

  12. Woodnt U lyke 2 NO Says:

    Ah! Ya’ll drive me elfin nuts! Let’s have some class warfare already!

  13. Dan Says:

    It should also be pointed out that the executive-secretary comparison is only true for income tax. I am sure he has a hefty proproperty tax bill.

  14. ketcom Says:

    Warren Buffett’s property taxes:

  15. Sebastian The Blogless Says:

    And it should also be pointed out when these comparisons are made that the payroll tax is almost never mentioned by those on the “but the rich pay all the taxes and the poor pay nothing” tip.

  16. island4diver Says:

    There has been class warfare for 30 years, and plutocrats win by dividing us. That is how Reagan doubled our taxes while cutting the taxes on the rich, while giving them tax breaks to outsource jobs. They want to go back before WW2, where there was a small middle class, a few very rich, and vast majority of us are the working poor. The rich drive on the roads, use the airports, get better service from the cops than the rest of us do, yeah they should pay their share and stop freeloading off the rest of us. Why should Paris Hilton pay 15 percent doing nothing while I work my ass off and pay 37 percent? I think we should go back to the 1950s when the top tax rate was 91 percent and people who actually produced, like cops, welders, teachers, etc. paid less taxes. That and a good union job, I can go replace the Ruger Blackhawk my parents sold when I went in the military.

  17. Will Says:


    those “good union job(s)” of the 50’s onward, are why there is not much manufacturing done anymore in this country. I knew a guy who got a union job in a forklift company in Philly around ’75. His starting pay, pushing a broom at night in the machine shop, was about $22/hr. No way could that company compete with other forklift companies paying realistic wages. That sort of idiocy only works in a protected, closed market. Which hasn’t existed for some time. If a current company has to pay such extravagant rates, they will HAVE to restrict the number of manhours that go into domestic production, and shift as much production as possible outside the state or country so they can continue to compete with non-union worker competitors. The unions in this country have cut their own throats, with their unsustainable demands. They had it good, and got carried away with the power they amassed. They have become what they were originally created to fight.

    A pox on them all.