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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earnyermoney's picture

you should try to put in a negative number and see if your card gets a credit from Timmay.

tooriskytoinvest's picture

Peter Schiff & Marc Faber: The Real Fiscal Cliff Is Dollar Crisis! Buy Gold! Buy Silver! Own Real Things!!! We Have So Much Manipulation. It’s Money Printing Versus Weaker Corporate Earnings!


Trend Forecaster Gerald Celente Sues Google To Block His Obscene Impostors



Dr. Engali's picture

I wish somebody would actually challenge these lying pricks. Propose a wealth tax and watch this asshole scream.

Jim B's picture

I agree about $5 Million should be enough for Warren Buckethead.  

PS.  We need to include the cash he hides in foundations and trusts!


blunderdog's picture

Let's not make it a tax...no one likes taxes.  Let's make it a SUBSCRIPTION service--that's a popular enough idea, isn't it?  People SHOULD pay for the services they use, just like in free markets.

So say anyone who wants to vote in a Federal election just has to pay 10% of their net asset wealth to participate.

This should make everyone happy.  No more "mob rule" by the folks who don't pay income taxes, no risk of democracy taking hold, and it would be simple because it would apply to all individuals equally. 

Some may object because of that whole "poll tax is unconstitutional" tradition, but anyone who has net asset wealth of ZERO wouldn't have to pay anything.  What could be more fair than that? 

A lot of the loudest complaining folks here are worried they're going to be penniless under the jackboot of the current communist dictator soon anyway.  At least this would give them option of going down fighting.

Waterfallsparkles's picture

There use to be a Poll Tax.  The only people that could vote were Property Owners.  Unless you pay a Poll Tax to vote.

Our Founding Fathers were wise men.  I think that they knew what would happen to the Country if people that did not have a financial stake in the outcome could control the Nation.

steveo77's picture

I am shocked

Only 96 signed up for a contest for free 10 oz silver bar through my site.

It is still open, first correct guess at closing price on the Nov 30 wins

Only the first



Segestan's picture

That would be 7.7 million to much. No one should do a thing unless out sourcing is outlawed.

holdingontomypants's picture

"Florida should be allowed to sucede peacefully"

A: No way in hell the federal government would ever allow any state to withdraw from the Union. Once you’re in the US you are in for life, for better or worse. Like a marriage.

B: To sucede from the Union you would need two-thirds vote by the citizens of that state to do it and with most states having half the voters in the democratic party of freebies again no way in hell it would ever happen.

C: The federal government would never allow it to happen and they would use the US Military to oust the currrently seated governor and disolve the state legislatures and place a caregiver federal governor in its place.

D: The federal government looks at itself as a sovereign nation with all the states as its territory and Obama as its king. It would never allow for any of its land holdings to be taken away from them, much less any of its income from the peasants be eliminated from their tax coffers.

E: Once a state joins the federal union it forever lost its individual identity and its rights.

F: You may renounce your US Citizenship but never can your state renounce its citizenship.

G: The list goen on and on why a state will never be allowed to peacefully leave the union. You are stuck for life with the federal government.

H: If you move to another country then you no longer have to live under this Kings rule. But he won't let you take all your money with you because he says it belongs to him and his followers.

Signed, President Barack Obama, King of the US. Ruler of you!!!



Segestan's picture

True... but it's far bigger than that. Think 'Bar Association and crown'.

akak's picture

And the USSR is indivisible and eternal too, right?

Politics, history and the unsustainable nature of empires all laugh at your use of the word "never".

holdingontomypants's picture

The USSR is alive and well. You really think communisym is dead there? Different name but same players. Just a reorganization of the players but the ideology is still alive and the people for the most part still live the same way today as they did under the USSR flag. I guess you believe the cold war with the Russians is over too huh.

akak's picture


The USSR is alive and well.

The citizens of the independent nations of formerly captive Lithuania, Armenia or Kyrgyzstan might tend to disagree with you.

You haven't been traveling with AnAnnoyingUs in his magical lightning-powered time-traveling rickshaw, have you?

TheObsoleteMan's picture

States will not secceed, but the nation will tear apart just like the old USSR did. That is the plan the elites have for us.



bobzibub's picture

Maybe the discussion should be about taxing those other people?


The Economy Stinks, but at Least Corporate Profits Are at 60-Year Highs!




sbenard's picture

Since it is going to be a "Buffett tax", I propose that we impose it only on Buffett! "Uncle" Warren is an evil SOB!

socalbeach's picture

One thousand multi-millionaires go to a tax shelter conference, and leave the keys to their Rolls and Jags at the front door.  The attendant takes off with all the receipts, so the keys are handed out randomly to the guests as they depart. 

What are the chances that none of the millionaires gets the correct key?

Uncle Remus's picture

"It's just a cold sore."

ScotlandTheBrave's picture

If Buffey Buffet is so concerned about the debt why didn't he just give his fortune to the US Treasury instead of "Gate's Employment for His soon to be liberal-ass rich fuck looser kid's [not yours] Foundation."  Buffet knows it would be like trying to put out a forest fire with garden hose, so he puts it where it will do some good and not in the bottomless wasteful spending pit of Washington DC.

khakuda's picture

It's very simple if Buffett wants to pay more taxes.  Buffett should not be able to give all his money away to charity tax free.  He is escaping capital gains taxes on his long term holdings, gift taxes, etc.  They should tax it beyond a certain dollar level AND they should make it retroactive.  That should make him happy.

He says he couldn't have succeeded in any other country but the U.S., so let him repay his debt to the nation instead of finding sneaky ways to cheat Uncle Sam out of revenue.  He needs to pay his fair share, as they say.

holdingontomypants's picture

but he didn't cheat Uncle Sam nor did the other filthy rich people. They simply used all the tax laws and loopholes that were placed in our extremely complex tax code that our wonderful politicians created for them. Want to blame somebody look to the 435 representatives. They write the tax code that the IRS enforces. You would be considered a business fool if you didn't exploit 100% of all legal means to not pay the IRS anything more then you have to. The tax code was written by the rich and for the rich. The rest of us middle class workers just get the bread crumbs. I would like to see the tax code simplified to two pages as follows;






wisefool's picture

USA's #1 Conservative politician, Mitt Romney in a nutshell:

"Corporations are people my freind"

after the tax return scandal.

"I am not a business. lets take my business record out of the campaign discourse, pretty please"

after losing to encumbant. pitiful economy,tax cheat in charge of the IRS

"I am not the president, I will not seek public office again. I'll just take my tax free campaign funds and ride off into the sunset ... however ... I will always be a great patriot"

Totentänzerlied's picture

He's a politician, but hardly #1, and he isn't a conservative in any way.

Totentänzerlied's picture

Class warfare. Ain't fuckin' hard to figure out that throwing your own puny Millions at a multi-Trillion dollar problem is a terrible investment. Everyone knows you have to throw other people's _illions at every conceivable problem - that's just simple Keynesianism, even a Nobel laureate could understand.

icanhasbailout's picture

I'm guessing you don't get to be a multi-multi-millionaire without being able to recognize a hopeless, bottomless money abyss when you see one.

The Continental's picture

These rich bastards and politicians always define wealth in terms of income (flow) rather than net worth (stock). Gee whiz, I wonder why that is?

Here's an idea: Total US dollars extant worldwide is estimated at $200 trillions. The Treasury declares a 10% dollar devaluation versus other world currencies. The treasury prints (or credits) $20 trillion to the Congress. Congress purchases the entire national debt held by the FED and with the $4 trillion in spare change upgrades America's outdated and crumbling infrastructure. The economy enjoys a massive infusion of $4 trillion and every taxpayer (the 51%) enjoys a 5% cut in federal income taxes. The economy would boom. The wealthy would take a disproportioante hit to their worth - Buffet gets his wish - and Obama gets his redistribution.


Of course, this would likely precipitate a war with our major creditor. Failing that, I'm confident the federal government would go on a massive spending binge and restablish a sizeable national debt in a few short years.

rjs's picture

uhh...we dont want to pay down the debt...what happens to markets with no safe assets? teir 1 capital? repos?

you want china to buy something real instead of our paper..

jonjon831983's picture

Actually, I'm relatively positive that they are doing this... as long as they have no defectors and they truly follow through without some sketchy loophole.  The problem I think is that what they give initially is not enough for the public mind.  The initial thought is that they are only paying their dues and have not had the same hardship and suffering as others.


But if they can overcome that, the motivation of paying taxes would be ... improved.


Then of course there is the problem of moral hazard bailing out the government for it's decades of policies.

synsolve's picture

Hell, you could raise that 7.7 mil. just cleaning our Warren's sofas.

synsolve's picture

Hell, you could raise that 7.7 mil. just cleaning our Warren's sofas.