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

Tyler Durden's picture

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 pay.gov, 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:

  • There is $16.245 trillion in debt
  • US population is at 314,694,000 most recently.

This amounts to $51,622.6 in debt for every man, woman and child (and excludes all the tens of trillions in unfunded welfare obligations).

In other words, assuming America's "Patriotic Millionaire" grassroots movement donated, (naturally this is a big assumption, but for the sake of humor we will go with it) on a pro-rata basis, have given $5K less than they owe as part of their natural funding obligation to the US.

And this is from the people who continue getting media time for being so "generous" they are willing to give out their money, and everyone else's, for the common good. Or at least, of course, until one actually calculates how much of their own money they have given.

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 pay.gov 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.

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cossack55's picture

What about we dollaraires?

redpill's picture

Donating debt reduction money to the treasury is like buying Gary Busey an 8-ball.  He might be happy to see it, but it doesn't help in the long run.

no taste's picture

Buffett is about as patriotic as a bankrobber who drops a nickel on a homeless veteran who has no legs.  Or am I thinking of Jamie Dimon again?  Nope, Jamie dropped a dime.

hedgeless_horseman's picture




John D. Rockefeller gave away dimes when they were 90% silver and he was worth $900,000,000. 

"He believed in The Law of Tenfold Return,i.e.if he gave happily, joyfully and confidently then for every dime he gave away he would receive a dollar, happy, joyfully and confidently, in return from providence."


macholatte's picture

.....putting money where your mouth is actually does go to the bottom line.


It's not called bribery, it's called a campaign contribution, and it definitely does affect the bottom line.

Fredo Corleone's picture

Re: "Pay.gov"

Are donations tax deductible ?

TruthInSunshine's picture

 Charles "Suck It Up Taxpayers B/C We Kleptocrats Need To Socialize Our Losses" Munger. where have you gone??!!!

 Warren "Senators Son" Buffett, we need your Gates Foundation money now more than ever!!!

There's a rumor that the economic structure that's built on MODERN MONEY MECHANICS is one big green & white fiatski-paper house of cards Ponzi!

p.s. - It's a good thing someone preserved the record of what was the Federal Reserve admitting that fractional reserve banking is a fundamental fraud and illusion in that link. Here's the play-by-play as to the exact way the ponzi plays out:

Some years ago the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago published a workbook on bank reserves and deposit expansion entitled, “Modern Money Mechanics.” The pamphlet describes the process of money creation under fractional reserve banking and gives unparallelled insight into the failings of our monetary system.

Modern Money Mechanics: How To Make and Destroy Money

no taste's picture

Charlie Munger will spend a penny (of Warren's money) for homeless, legless veterans.

eatthebanksters's picture

Wimpy says, "I would gladly give you $2 tomorrow for a cheesburger today".  Obama says give me a dollar today and I'll give you $2.50 in spending cuts...amortized over 25 years at Libor plus 20%.  What a fucking great deal. I'd rather do the cheeseburger deal with Wimpy.

Michaelwiseguy's picture

Want to see what pure unadulterated Revenge looks like? Don't tell me I shouldn't have chosen Uma Thurman style revenge in Kill Bill. I was there at the St Petersburg Florida Straw Poll and CNN Debate in 2007. I saw Romney supporters with dozens of ballots each, stuffing the ballot box for their scum.

I'm still gloating about getting my Pure unadulterated Revenge, that I got in helping make Mitt Romney lose. That's all it is about for a bunch of the Ron Paul Crew. No other reason matters to us in this regard.

Want to Know Why the GOP Suffered Deliciously? 
Want to know the real reason the right wing media in collaboration with the rest of the mainstream media, who knew they work together, did not mention Ron Paul in Mitt Romney's loss till today?

Listen to a Ron Paul supporter gloat about voting for Obama and why.

Alex Jones Caller Ron Paul Revenge Voters For Obama 11/09/2012


I am more equal than others's picture



10-fold deductible.  Put me down for $10.

SafelyGraze's picture

there's a disturbing tidal shift of throw-in-the-towelers*

cynics/pragmatists suggesting: what the hell -- don't even try.

reid wants to add 2.4T? screw it. add 24.4T. or 244.4T. stop dragging it out. 

*however, most people are really excited about dragging out a middle-class-ending wealth-trasferring biflationary auster-recession for 15 or 20 years

john39's picture

looks to me like he would like to sink his fangs into that kid's neck...

francis_sawyer's picture

Was he running for POTUS or something?...

roadhazard's picture

and don't forget John D. Romneyfeller.

GrinandBearit's picture

Yeah, but he kept all the 1916 D's.

monad's picture

"Sorry I had your parents shot, kid. Here's a dime. How would you like to come work in my copper mine? There's plenty more where that came from."

IPsecurityinIT's picture

Talk about righteous robbery...


(yes I am mad but it makes me so happy... hope I don't seem as strange as knulckles)

StychoKiller's picture

It's the clown costume (and the avatar looks like you're popping out of a clothesdryer!) :>D

Still, "Zippy the Pinhead" is one of my favorite comic strips of all time.

Stock Tips Investment's picture

What we need is a realistic plan that allows us to erase the deficit affecting the economy as little as possible. The best solution would be to reduce government spending to close this imbalance. That is not currently possible politically. I think the second best option would be to lower the cost of government a significant portion (eg half the deficit) and increase debt limits to not affect liquidity. I think not happen. I think what will happen is that taxes will go up a bit, the cost will decrease slightly and the deficit is not going to close. Let this be so negative? depends on how much lower the deficit.

StychoKiller's picture

Here's an idea:  Institute a "Govt Employees work for free day" (perhaps for every Federal Holiday).  I'll bet the Greek Parliamentarian support staff will stand up and take notice re:  US Govt Employee negotiating tactics...

knukles's picture

Yeah, and just you all wait.
That $1,000,000 rich person threshold income is gonna turn into $50,000 unadjusted gross for single and $50,001 uag for couples.

This has nothing to do with taxing the rich for the benefit of the poor, it has to do with accumulation of money, power, property and prestige for the New Versailles. 

redpill's picture

There's a reason these criminals favor using fixed dollar amounts as arbitrary tax thresholds.  The AMT is a perfect example.  With all the complicated aspects of the tax code, you're telling me they couldn't use a sliding scale of income that is adjusted for inflation and local cost of living?  Of course they could, but they don't so that an increasing number of people get included in their same old tax brackets.  Automatic tax increase without changing a word of the tax code.  Assholes.

Winston Churchill's picture

At least the lying scumbag poiticos in the UK index everything to inflation.

Including capital gains.

Unicorn fart manipulated CPI of course,better than nothing like here..

francis_sawyer's picture

If there is any such thing as "re-incarnation", I'd only hope that it is a justice based system so that SELF RIGHTEOUS BAGS OF SHIT (like Buffett) could reap what they pontificate about...

Zenseless's picture

There's a special place in hell for Buffett.  In my case, I taped a picture of his smiling visage to the inside of my toilet bowl lid. After taking a particularly noxious dump, I don't flush, close the lid and let him stew in the juices, so to speak. Should I be worried that I have unresolved issues?

Cheesy Bastard's picture

You are sick.  Not because of what you do to the picture, but you should go see a doctor about those noxious dumps.

viahj's picture

taco bell and cheap beer is all

knukles's picture

Only if those loaves disturb the fleshy lumps lining your rectal area.
Otherwise, ruminating about poops is fine for guys (only) but never, ever play with it. (Taboo)

Urban Redneck's picture

will the gays still want marriage if they have to pay extra for it?

(since if congress doesn't act the penalty comes back)

The trend is your friend's picture

That 7 million was probably funded by the US treasury to try to get the ball rolling.  Kind of like at a open bar where the bartender puts out a jar and places his own $5 in to get the mooching patrons at least to tip him.

francis_sawyer's picture

Now John at the bar is a friend of mine

He gets me my drinks for free

And he's quick with a joke

or to light up your smoke

But there's somewhere that he's rather be...



GeorgeHayduke's picture

My thoughts exactly. How many of their millions came from taxpayer funded bailouts since 2008? Or even from before that?

But hey, they are the guys who take ALL the risk and come up with the bright ideas (it never has anything to do with being pulled from the right crotch or from crushing everyone in their path or fucking over their business partner or family).

It reminds me of my father-in-law who calls Obama a socialist and is afraid he will "redistribute wealth". When I mention taxpayer money propping up the stock markets, which contain HIS 401K money, and the financial sector, and how that has redistributed wealth upwards, he doesn't see that as socialism or welfare. You gotta love the cognitive dissonance of small town republicans.

Too many folks cannot overcome their false beliefs to see what is before their eyes. The owners know all they have to do is wave a flag, recite the pledge and throw out some iconic patriotic shit and the masses of sheople will fall into line. Such is life in the so-called Land of the Free.

blunderdog's picture

Well, on the bright side, in America you can be rest assured that bullshit will always remain free....

Incubus's picture

Nope. That has a price as well.

lasvegaspersona's picture

because the government can give away money so much better than the person that earned it. what an x-tard is this Buffet!

Harbanger's picture

You will find that I am kind. Unlike the cruel republicans who demanded that you stand. I require only that you kneel.

StychoKiller's picture

I see what you did there.

"Molon Labe"

GottaBKiddn's picture

What debt? If the money is created out of thin air, how can the debt be real? It's a con.