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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Mon, 11/12/2012 - 14:45 | 2973437 falak pema
falak pema's picture

OT/ As this topic is just hot air from Oligarchs :

Here are two topics which caught my eye.

Climate Change Likely To Be Severe - Business Insider

Clinton To Miss Benghazi Hearings - Business Insider

The Petraeus scandal is getting deeper on the political front as on the personl front.

This Media report on Petraeus is very negative as manipulative and cynical MIC shill :

Michael Hastings Slams Petraeus - Business Insider

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 14:48 | 2973450 magpie
magpie's picture

The Petraeus "affair" reeks of BS...what next...everyday a new lover revealed

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:21 | 2973581 falak pema
falak pema's picture

don't look at the decoys look at the heart of the matter : neither will tesitify.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:34 | 2973622 magpie
magpie's picture

Nonsense leaks and spin machine in overdrive...does this mean there will be similar forthcoming for Mrs. Clinton lulz

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:50 | 2973682 falak pema
falak pema's picture

whats your point? 

The mIC is clean and Obammy is to blame, or they are all part of an ongoing scam? 

Its the truth that interests me and the probability of hearing it said openly.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:54 | 2973695 magpie
magpie's picture

The truth is already known. What matters is that if it is divulged, those telling it in public are sufficiently discredited first.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:09 | 2973726 falak pema
falak pema's picture

there are many versions of it; as far as the MIC scam is concerned, both in Libya as extrapolated in Syria. Behind that lies the allegations of petraeus's manipulation of surge both in Iraq sunni-shia civil war as in Afghan to fool the Admin about its success there. Not just him but a bunch of generals; aka Pentagon top brass all in. 

That needs to be discussed. Like the CHurch commission dscussed Vietnam aftermath. 

This is something the public should know as Syria/Iran may be around the corner next. 

Obammy apparently wants out but not the MIC; it would be nice to know whats what.

The road to ME military complications is staring us in the face and the world has to know who is Lance Armstrong and who is clean and not on streoids. That is if this congress has the guts to want to know, which I doubt. 

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:14 | 2973759 magpie
magpie's picture

I fail to see how the General and his catfighting mistresses will contribute to such factfinding...and there we have it.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:04 | 2973914 pods
pods's picture

Well I heard a blurb on the radio this morning about how the bangee said something about prisoners at the "consulate" so that would be a HUGE admission, much worse than we were there trying to buy back MANPADS.

If the attack was in fact a storming of the annex or consulate (in reality a torture center) trying to free some "enemy combatants" who were having their testicles suckled by a pig then I am sure this would make a huge difference in how many heads rolled.


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:11 | 2974373 falak pema
Mon, 11/12/2012 - 14:45 | 2973438 Hallpass2012
Hallpass2012's picture

& this guy is a whore

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 14:47 | 2973445 earnyermoney
earnyermoney's picture

F all these cynical financial predators.

Let's rewrite the tax code to confiscate the wealth of their foundations. Close all the tax exempt status of their political think tanks. F'n hypocrites. If the F'n government is the answer, give your money to the government to blow as they see fit.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 14:47 | 2973448 BlackVoid
BlackVoid's picture

Why would any sane person contribute, when the government will spend your donation - probably badly - in  a metter of minutes. Sane people pay as little to the government as possible.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:25 | 2973599 machineh
machineh's picture

Cuz that $7 million will buy one-fourth of a Reaper drone ... help Uncle help you!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 14:48 | 2973451 AC_Doctor
AC_Doctor's picture

Will save some rope for Warren also...

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 14:49 | 2973452 Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

With the way the Fed is printing Money and inflation sets in, there will be very few People that will earn under $250,000.

I remember when $10,000. a year was like $100,000. a year now.  Only 40 years ago.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:02 | 2973902 Vuke
Vuke's picture

Yep, that's the plan.  ZH'ers are too young to get it.  By the time the new inflation fully kicks in anyone who owns a house will be a millionaire with government happily sapping away their cut.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:10 | 2973935 pods
pods's picture

That is a perfect way to further enslave all of us.  Have some kind of "rich tax" and then of course devalue the currency until we are all rich.

Heck of a one two combination.


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 20:27 | 2974573 Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

Another problem is that when you Sell an Investment Property of a large holding of Stocks.  That could very easily put you over $250,000. a year and cause you to pay the maximum tax for that year.  Even if your income normally is modest.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 14:50 | 2973455 Crtrvlt
Crtrvlt's picture

tax wall st and war st


end of story

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 14:50 | 2973457 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

Warren Buffet goes to heaven and St Peter asks him what three donations he has made to mankind.

Warren: I gave 50c in 1956 to an orphan

St Peter: What else?

Warren: I gave $1 to a widow in 1973

St Peter: What else?

Warren: I gave $2 in 2012

St Peter: Wait here till I check with God.

St Peter goes and finds God and explains that Warren has given the grand total of $3.50 and asks what to do with him.

God answers: Give him $5 and tell him to fuck off !!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 14:52 | 2973463 lizzy36
lizzy36's picture

Just a second, someone "donated" $7.7m to the US government to pay down the debt. WTF muppet was that.

Someone passed on $7.7m of hookers and blow to give the cash to Uncle Sam......wow that is the dumbest thing i have ever heard in my whole life.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:54 | 2973698 unununium
unununium's picture

Yep, only a sucker would go to pay.com as this post suggests.  Buffet is saying he will pay up, but only if others pay up too.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 14:57 | 2973477 lasvegaspersona
lasvegaspersona's picture

the government is evil in that it allows 'stupid' to prevail. When to economy collapses we shall see who can float and who sinks based upon swimming skill rather than the life jacket support of the central planners. Until then it is just more government supported mediocrity.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:01 | 2973495 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Becky Quick is reasonably good to look at but let's face you know she is a dead fish in the sack. I suspect Warren thinks of her in his bath tub and wishes he could still get a chubby

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:28 | 2973605 machineh
machineh's picture

Quaaludes are the only thing that loosens her up. But then she goes all floppy on you.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:13 | 2974382 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture


ur old. Just laughing about these last nite. 

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:02 | 2973499 csmith
csmith's picture

Love the bit about how "wealthy" people don't get out of bed every day worrying about what the tax rate is. They go to work because "that's what they do".

False. At some level of taxation EVERYONE quits, and that level doesn't have to be  70% or 80% when it is so obvious that tax dollars are WASTED so flagrantly on "progressive investments" like wind power.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:04 | 2973505 NuYawkFrankie
NuYawkFrankie's picture

Buffet - Bloviator for The Ages

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:06 | 2973511 lunaticfringe
lunaticfringe's picture

Fuck Buffett. He owns Geico. Been reading stories this a.m. about insurance companies ripping off clients on the east coast.

Somehow,like deja vu all over again, I think I've seen this somewhere else before. http://thecivillibertarian.blogspot.com/2012/11/east-coast-now-feeling-p...

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:24 | 2973596 Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

Geico... government employees insurance co.

Many don't know what that company is really all about.  As a taxpayer you're already doing enough to support it... don't use it yourself and feed it even more $$$.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:16 | 2973557 Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

"...debt held by public"

That's a false pretense.

The debt the government believes is public debt is mostly odious.

Our situation will not be solved by our elected representatives...

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:21 | 2974188 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

It happens to be legally binding, and they have the guns, bombs, drones, tanks, and missiles to "prove it". If you think the government doesn't intend to collect on public debt, look at the history of the IRS.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:20 | 2973577 kralizec
kralizec's picture

Patriotic?  LOL!

Having a gun to your head, awesome patriotism ya got there , asswipe!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:22 | 2973589 yogibear
yogibear's picture

So now millionares will make it look like they make under $250,000. For people with a lot of money and smart tax lawyers there are always loopholes! Who do you think wrote the tax laws?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:27 | 2973604 venturen
venturen's picture

time to flatten the tax. Yearly capital/asset gains, no shelters. no trusts, same rate everyone with no deductionsm no deferrals, one retirement plan for all no 401k, IRA, exec plan, just one plan! The one deduction are KIDS as those kids are going to pay for our future. I don't want to pay for your cat charity, big house, hedgefund manager, or fat retirment!!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:31 | 2973610 Tombstone
Tombstone's picture

Proves one thing; millionaires and billionaires have no lock on owning the most brain cells.  Why would anyone pay a government more taxes when that government wastes over 50 cents on every dollar it steals? 

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:38 | 2973637 lead salad
lead salad's picture

I'd fight Buffet....Warren or Jimmy, take your pick. They both suck.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:38 | 2973638 realtick
realtick's picture

Higher Unemployment = Faster Government Borrowing http://chartistfriendfrompittsburgh.blogspot.com/2012/11/higher-unemploy...

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:44 | 2973660 Clowns on Acid
Clowns on Acid's picture

Why talk small ball? Look at the facts as they present themselves.

There is a reason why the London bookmakers had Obama at 1:2 odds regardless of the "momentum" of Romney fater the 1st debate. They knew that the left wing facsism would prevail...by hook or crook.

The oddsmakers saw the money coming in on Obaa and palyed the market making function perfectly. The Election did come down to the 8 or so swing states. With the CEO of GOOG, and the CEO of FB in Obama's pocket, not much effort would be required to identify all elegible voters in swing states, define their political preferences from search and Facebook postings, and then target them with ads (women = abortion, minorites / lower middle income = loss of benefits, Minorties in inner city = make sure that they are bussed or community organizer encourged (with money, cell phones, etc..). Classic left woing facsism.

Hey if I was a left wing facist thats what I would do. I mean who mis going to call you out..the MSM? hehe.

So...tax rises for the "wealthy", cuts in spending for the old white people that voted for Romney (don't worry Google will figure that out), tax incentives for housing industry and other hand out industries, and voila...the story of Forward ! is complete.

Want to oppose...be careful the IRS will be all over your neck. FORWARD !

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:45 | 2973665 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

The problem with America is the widely held belief that if someone has a lot of money...then they are wise.   This belief is, of course, most fervishly held, by people with a lot of money.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:51 | 2973687 news printer
news printer's picture
Winter Wheat Drought

The U.S. Drought Monitor still shows drought across more than 62% of the nation. More importantly, the, "extreme drought" area still covers approximately 6% of the nation.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:54 | 2973697 Rathmullan
Rathmullan's picture

the whoracle's senility is outpacing his prostate cancer. He'll drive Bershire halfway into the ground before the board has him institutionalized.

Let's see, ice cream, soda pop, mac and cheese and big train sets. His regressive maturity indicates that along with being short Berkshire,one should probably go long Hasbro and Mattel.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:58 | 2973710 slackrabbit
slackrabbit's picture

We could just cut all crony subsidies and allow each person to be their own corporation.

 Now we can claim expensces on everything including that $1100 waste basket ;-)

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:03 | 2973725 Arthur
Arthur's picture

Where oh where is Arthur Lauffer when you need him?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:20 | 2973733 “Rebellion to t...
“Rebellion to tyranny is obedience to God.”-ThomasJefferson's picture

Dear Warren,


Last I checked, you can't take it with you.  

May want to look into whether Lucifer gives a shit you had a lot of money while you were hoarding up here on earth.

You built a corrupt, government reliant/dependent insurance empire, all the while pretending you were a kindly, grandfatherly type.

Fuck off you old fraud.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:18 | 2973774 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

I gave at the office.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:21 | 2973783 Hubbs
Hubbs's picture

These fat cats who suddenly become so rightous just make me puke.  Pure hypocrites. Buffet has benefited from tax laws, passsed by paid-off politicians, not because of anything productive he has done in his God- damned life that has been of any benefit to humanity. He has just taken money from oine group of people, and after skimming off the top for himself, transferred what's left to Berkshire Hathaway.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:24 | 2973788 TheObsoleteMan
TheObsoleteMan's picture

The present Federal Income Tax we now are saddle with was sold to the public in the same way: Originally it was to be paid only by the rich, and who doesn't want to soak the rich, right? Well, you see how it all ended. People have such a little knowledge of history, they fall for the same old game, time and time again. It wasn't that long ago that Buffet was well respect by all, the Wall Street pimps still worship at his feet. More and more of the "little people" are seeing him for what he has been all along; A crony capitalist POS. When the elites start asking the government to raise their taxes, WATCH OUT. There is something unnatural about that, it runs counter to their nature. J.D. Rockefeller was the mold for today's ultra wealthy; They never give away anything unless they expect more in return.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:27 | 2973797 flaunt
flaunt's picture

I find it amusing that the pay.gov website allows you to pay via credit card.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!