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Guest Post: Exploring The Not-So-Altruistic Aspects Of The "Buffett Rule"

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Robert Ross of Casey Research

Exploring The Not-So-Altruistic Aspects Of The "Buffett Rule"

This week, President Obama released his $3.8-trillion budget for fiscal year 2013. The plan calls for new taxes on the wealthy, a restructuring of the tax code, and short-term infrastructure spending aimed at boosting the economy (albeit artificially).

Also included in the budget are limitations on subsidies for oil and gas companies, an end to the Bush tax cuts, and a proposal to raise taxes on dividends, which could be as high as 39.6% for households making over $250,000 per year.

Although Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) dismissed the proposal as "a campaign document," the White House claims the measure would generate $206 billion in revenue over 10 years.

One of the most interesting aspects of the plan is the inclusion of the Buffett Rule as a replacement for the alternative-minimum tax (AMT).

The AMT was originally implemented to ensure that high-income Americans paid their taxes. But, alas, the geniuses in Washington "forgot" to index the AMT for inflation, rendering it useless and unintentionally ensnaring an increasing number of middle-class taxpayers into a system meant for the wealthiest of Americans.

Unintended consequences abound, but I digress…

The "Buffett Rule," named after famed investor Warren Buffett, would require those who earn more than $1 million per year to pay a tax rate of at least 30% and prevent them from claiming deductions to push down their tax rates.

Buffett, who penned a New York Times op-ed in August of last year espousing the need for an overhaul of the tax code for America's top earners, appears to have caught the ear of President Obama.

(Click on image to enlarge)

The message of the op-ed was clear: Mr. Buffett, who paid nearly $7 million in income tax last year, wants to pay more.

But will he actually sacrifice anything? It's hard to say, as some of these new taxes will directly benefit Buffett.

Additional tax dollars in the government's coffers could help Buffett even more. Who can forget the Oracle of Omaha's opportunistic investment in Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) in the wake of the Lehman Brothers collapse (where he made nearly $1 billion on the assumption that the government would bail it out)? Buffett has indicated that his next acquisition could be Exelon (NYSE: EXC), General Dynamics Corp (NYSE: GD), or Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE: ADM), all of which are heavily connected to government contracts and would benefit from increased government spending.

Exelon is directly tied to the Obama administration: Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod act as consultants, two top Exelon advisors are Obama fundraisers, and the company lobbies heavily for more greenhouse-gas restraints to drive demand for its nuclear power.

General Dynamics, the world's fifth-largest defense company, generated 72% of revenue from the Department of Defense in 2011, and was the number-four government contractor for fiscal year 2011.

Last but certainly not least, ADM, one of the world's largest processor of agricultural commodities, profits not only from ethanol subsidies but from corn syrup and export subsidies as well.

Although no one can be sure of Buffett's motives, it would be naïve to believe that someone as intelligent as Buffett has not considered the benefits of pushing through this tax structure. Higher taxes are always problems for entrepreneurs and regular people in the economy. However, they're often beneficial to the well-connected, who receive government bailouts and favors. And with Buffett even on the president's lips, he is becoming more connected to the power mechanism in D.C. every day. With many of Berkshire's companies, your loss as a taxpayer will be their gains.


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Fri, 02/17/2012 - 20:31 | 2171919 Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

"Although no one can be sure of Buffett's motives"

To be an old rich white guy, and the worst sort of parasitic scum this Statist system of old white cronies allows to exist.

OT: On that CNBS forex show, someone asked MCC if she heard the rumors "out of the UK" that there was a secret plan in place for Greece to collapse and banks to be closed on March 23. Thought that was interesting. Thanks to whoever brought up the "Debkaesque" link(even if it's total BS) -

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 20:39 | 2171948 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Buffet and Berkshire are first rate bottom feeders: their insurance businesses profit immensely selling estate planning products to business owners and entrepreneurs who want to pass along some of their hard earned wealth to their survivors, and their business brokerage and real estate ventures clean up big time buying the businesses and farms that need to be liquidated (by those who didn't buy enough of the estate planning products) so that death taxes can be paid. If buffet is behind this, it is to make money.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 22:35 | 2172158 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Warren is a true robber baron, and the most adept at following government money.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 22:50 | 2172180 palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture

He’s a sales rep for Obama’s policy of ‘tax the rich’ which translates into financially raping anyone making more than a $100,000 while the stratospherically wealthy parasite billionaires like Warren park their cash in an interest bearing trust protected from the acidic corrosion of the toxic taxes engineered by his Bankster client overlords.

The Banks are the government.  An occupying force since 1913 and "creditors"/scamsters in possession since 1933.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 08:51 | 2172676 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

"the banks are the government"

and warren buffet is the bank since he has all the money. he is the JP Morgan of Great Recession. Even CEO of Goldman Sachs had to go beg the old wise guy in podunk omaha for money.


Taxes used be A LOT higher for all corporate, income, capital gains. It forces the rich responsible for government becuase thats where so much of their money goes. It also forces long term income instead of windfall profits.

Main reason is though to raise funding for Iran war. The drone thing didn't work so well, so they've got to come up with something else. You will see more government funding for DARPA and STEM. US is so uncompetitive in real technology (not facebook bullshit) that Iranians also have drones now.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 12:34 | 2172891 jekyll island
jekyll island's picture

The reason for this tax is to push more people into using 401k and IRAs.  The gubmint can keep a close watch on your money and force you to buy US Treasurys when the Fed can no longer be the "lender of last resort."  This is definitely a trap, gubmit will get your money either through higher taxes or confiscating your retirement plan.  

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 06:23 | 2172583 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

i remember years ago, years....buffet {pronounced..bu fay} said the best investment was fannie and freddie cause a a monopoly was best and a duopoly was second best......

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 08:37 | 2172664 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

buffett bought a laguna beach beach house in 1996 for $1M then sold it in 2005 for $5M to some sucker.


2005 was when Buffett realized fannie and freddie are in deep shit. He just doesn't tell the public when he changes his mind until after the fact.




Sat, 02/18/2012 - 08:43 | 2172666 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture
Buffett is a true leech. He's a predator of the worst kind, who grins and pretends to be benign; even beneficial.


Warren Buffett: Baptist and Bootlegger
  • How America’s favorite billionaire plays politics to make money
Warren Buffett - America's Ultimate Crony Capitalist
Sat, 02/18/2012 - 12:36 | 2172894 jekyll island
jekyll island's picture

He's an insurance salesman.  What do you expect?  

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 13:12 | 2172958 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

As opposed to "doing God's work"?

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 23:05 | 2172208 trav7777
trav7777's picture

those high marginal tax rates also had TONS of deductions packed in.  You used to be able to deduct even credit card interest

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 23:24 | 2172245 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Tax Reform Act of 1986...for the

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 20:44 | 2171960 halflink123
halflink123's picture

another token black racist has to weigh in.


as if old rich black people are so great. give me a break.  


go ask chris rock for twenty dollars, see where that gets you.


yes I am tired of the hyprocrisy. go peddle your bullshit elsewhere I have to hear it 20x a day.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 21:02 | 2171988 Atomizer
Sat, 02/18/2012 - 12:05 | 2172844 Stax Edwards
Stax Edwards's picture

Mo Fuggas Nuts

"Find em in the big black nutsack"

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 21:11 | 2172003 Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

20x a day?! Do you have protesters outside your Klan meetings or something?

Jeez pal, lighten up. Do you have any daughters? I'll take her out for a swell time in my big shiny Cadillac. I got $800 saved up on my EBT card. No expense spared for the sweet white chocolate honey bunny. Prove to you we're not all bad.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 21:23 | 2172023 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Actually, we’re addressing your race card failure


Chappelle's Show: Clayton Bigsby

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 23:58 | 2172303 Benjamin Simon
Benjamin Simon's picture

Remember Conrad, you cant buy cooked foods on the EBT car. You must buy the food then prepare it at home. May I suggest chicken tarragon. (it is the other white meat).    Besides the one your dating I mean.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 07:39 | 2172620 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

They already have a pilot plan that allows EBT cards and SNAP cards to be used at fast food restaurants.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 08:43 | 2172667 Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

There's 100s of places that accept EBT for hot meals. Burger King, KFC, Subway, arab corner stores with Jo-Jos and fried chicken, the fried fish place, all the wing joints, etc. Then there's also the farmer's markets and liquor stores.

It's not hard to use an EBT card to buy anything one's heart desires. Take a look at all the signs in the windows next time you drive through the ghetto. Or, better yet, take a trip to the arab stores on the 1st of the month. You'll be amazed at how many people simply sell their SNAP credits to the arabs(or whoever has the corner stores locked up in your area) for 50 cents on the dollar in exchange for cash.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 10:18 | 2172739 Chimerican
Chimerican's picture

Bros got nuttin' on Chinese. We love fried chicken bitchez.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 13:15 | 2172965 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Jeremy Lin? Is that you?!

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 21:22 | 2172020 4realmoney
4realmoney's picture

Let's not forget this gem: Warren Buffett plays the Ukelele for the Chinese New Year

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 07:55 | 2172635 newstreet
newstreet's picture

"Old rich white guy" "Old white cronies"  New age racist.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 20:46 | 2171962 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

40% tax rate on dividends is going to slaughter the DOW.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 11:48 | 2172816 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

the Dows going to get slaughtered anyway ..choose your butchers knife fattened calf

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 13:16 | 2172969 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Oh noes! LOL

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 20:55 | 2171975 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

I don't really care what happens with tax policy, but I do wonder: what's the problematic part about requiring households earning more than a million a year to pay a rate comparable to the rest of the folks who earn so much less?

It seems like a step in the direction of the flat-tax idea that's been popular amongst the quasi-libertarian Republicans for a long time.

(Reminder: I don't advocate or support anything at all.  I recommend if you haven't quit paying your taxes yet, please do so now.)

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 22:02 | 2172043 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"...but I do wonder: what's the problematic part about requiring households earning more than a million a year to pay a rate comparable to the rest of the folks who earn so much less?"

Well, as far as I can tell, it doesn't start at the million dollar level.

It starts at 200k for singles and 250k for couples.

And...Buffet's secretary could very well be part of the "evil" 1% everyone is freaking out about...but the real target will always remain the & the

Here's an interesting article on that whole kerfuffle...

"We can get an approximate answer by consulting IRS data on tax rates by adjusted gross income, which would approximate her salary, assuming she does not have significant dividend, interest or capital-gains income (like her boss). I assume Buffett keeps her too busy for her to hold a second job. I also do not know if she is married and filing jointly. If so, it is deceptive for Obama to use her as an example. The higher rate may be due to her husband’s income.  So I assume the tax rate referred to is from her own earnings."

Buffet himself declares that he pays a 17.4 percent rate on taxable income. His staff, like Bosanek,  pay an average of 34 percent. The IRS publishes detailed tax tables by income level. The 2009 results  show that the average taxpayer paying Buffet’s 17.4 rate earns an adjusted gross income between $100,000 and $200,000. But an average taxpayer in Bosaneck’s rate (after downward adjustment for payroll taxes) earns an adjusted gross income  of $200,000 to $500,000. Therefore Buffett must pay Debbie Bosanke a salary well above two hundred thousand.

"We must wait for further details to learn how much more than $200,000 she earns. The tax tables tell us about average ranges. For all we know she earns closer to a half million each year, but that is pure speculation."

Now really, in truth, I don't care how much she makes. But I do know where the tax burden always falls...and it won't be on the Buffet's of the world.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 23:36 | 2172272 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ 1  

Good work unearthing that one.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 23:47 | 2172292 nmewn
nmewn's picture

It almost got down the Google/Bing memory hole.

It took me awhile to find it, but I remembered it ;-)

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 07:41 | 2172623 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

She is married. She and hubby just bought a vacation home in AZ with a swimming pool and a PGA -grade practice putting green, so they seem to be doing just fine.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 08:40 | 2172665 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

it is called hush money.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 10:46 | 2172763 nmewn
nmewn's picture

So her depiction by O'Barry and Warren as being a poor and oppressed secretary (by the governments own tax system), ummm, disingenuous.

Why, what could they possibly be up to with this ploy? ;-)

They keep coming back to this 200-250k income level for a reason.

With the government now spending/borrowing at least four billion a day, it would vaporize poor ole Warren's entire "life savings" in around 12 days, if they just targeted him. 

So, per usual, they try to invoke some sense of injustice, guilt, envy, fairness or even rage among the masses for things they have done and are doing through the tax code, which they, in their infinite wisdom, constructed for themselves.

Same as it ever was...let the venal thing crash & burn.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 22:00 | 2174097 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

It's the old bait and switch. They claim to be targeting the super wealthy then they pass a tax increase on the professionals and small business owners. As inflation ramps up, the majority of the middle class will be making $250K/yr by 2020 and will be pushed into that 40% tax bracket. Add that to the state and local taxes and 75% of our earnings will go to feed the beast of corrupt bureaucrats, politicians, and bankers. 

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 22:33 | 2174161 nmewn
nmewn's picture

It's a fine line they're walking here sun tzu. Most of them forget what it took personally to become what they are.

Now, having got there and no longer rubbing elbows with the hoi polloi, they wish to conserve their earnings to dole out at their leisure, to maintain their own status in society and stick those still striving below with the bill.

I ain't buying Warren's dinner for him and I just told O'Barry/Geithner/Bernanke (the management) it ain't gonna happen ;-)

Sun, 02/19/2012 - 04:05 | 2174473 Rick64
Rick64's picture


Sat, 02/18/2012 - 08:45 | 2172669 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

Buffet won't pay taxes if it's changed.  He will re-jigger things so his income is "return of capital". 

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 10:22 | 2172744 Chimerican
Chimerican's picture

You said jigger.


Sat, 02/18/2012 - 19:36 | 2173832 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

It was cocktail hour.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 13:20 | 2172982 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Nice pea under the shell attempt. Let's talk about his salary while ignoring that the 17.4% effective is due to differential taxation of carried interest.

Sophistry: no substitute for facts.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 14:07 | 2173100 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

I thought I was asking a decent question, but no one seems to have any answers.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 18:24 | 2173708 boattrash
boattrash's picture

Short reply, as I am currently going through ass-raping by IRS as we speak. No, a flat tax would be a FLAT tax. See comments above about "the needy" selling their Govt money for 50 cents on the dollar. I dump 40-50K a year into these "tax/vote-buying ploys" that the f%$kwads in DC are running. The big difference between Liberals and Libertarians (who both believe in personal freedoms) is that the Liberals just want someone else to pick up the tab! Maybe I can find some of those pricks and buy some of my hard-earned money back at 1/2 price.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 19:33 | 2173824 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

I dump 40-50K a year into these "tax/vote-buying ploys" that the f%$kwads in DC are running.

Maybe you shouldn't squander it like that.  You should know by now you'll never get a square deal from a politician.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 19:58 | 2173871 boattrash
boattrash's picture

Agreed, but it seems that there is some annoying little Fed Code that requires my employer to take out Govt's slice first.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 21:38 | 2174068 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"I thought I was asking a decent question, but no one seems to have any answers."

You did BD and it wasn't my intent to give it short shrift.

IMHO the only way is a flat tax on consumption coinciding with a repeal of taxes on income.

One of the virtues I think is we get the pols out of screwin around with the tax code every election year and during downturns they are forced to do with less just like everyone else...fed printing aside, a big aside to be sure.

Sun, 02/19/2012 - 04:38 | 2174485 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

I like the idea of the "government being forced to do with less," but I think the big difficulty is that we've already passed the point of no return on entitlement spending.  Even if *all* waste in government overhead was eliminated, it's just a matter of time before current benefit programs swamp revenue.

That recent post from Bruce is a good look at the future.  Cuts to benefits are going to attract mainstream attention pretty quickly, I think.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 20:18 | 2173917 dhengineer
dhengineer's picture

I think he and Munger pay themselves a nominal $100k per year.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 20:57 | 2171978 machineh
machineh's picture

'Loopholes' have always been the lib-dem modus operandi.

Remember when the combined federal/NY/NYC marginal rate was a stunning 96% in the bad old days of Nelson Rockefeller?

Nobody actually paid that rate, thanks to write-offs for politically-favored tax shelters. Cattle partnerships, film ventures, double-declining balance depreciation ... WHATEVAH!

Pious commitment to 'progressivity,' coupled with exemptions for the uber-wealthy with elite tax attorneys, is how the Liberal Plantation keeps its middle-class serfs straining at their yokes.

Do you personally own an insurance company? Didn't think so, chump.



Fri, 02/17/2012 - 20:58 | 2171983 davood
davood's picture

It was not a coincidence that when they enacted the income tax laws in the US that laws for tax-free foundations were also enacted.  Foundations serve at least two basic functions: to allow the super-rich to bypass paying any taxes on their capital and assets, and to allow inter-generational tax-free transfer of wealth for the super-rich class.  The third function of major foundations is the unfettered ability to indirectly implement policies detrimental to the "little people" under the guise of helping them, through grants and such.

It is also not a coincidence that Bill Gates Sr., father of the former computer nerd and newly vaccine and GMO eugenicist, is at the forefront of trying to repeal the so-called "death tax." Both the income tax and the estate tax serve as an invisible glass wall for the aspiring nouveau riche, i.e., they prevent the new rich from climbing into the super-rich stratosphere which usually takes more than one generation to achieve.

So, why is Mr. Buffet being so generous wanting to pay more income taxes?  7 million in income taxes is peanuts to him, pocket change and only the "cost for doing business" for keeping the financial and political apartheid system going, not to mention keeping the financial Ponzi scheme afloat.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 01:10 | 2172376 matrix2012
matrix2012's picture


The scheme of tax-free foundation already in effect  half a century ago...


"The best part of this book is how Allen goes through and exposes the ROCKEFELLERS' "FOUNDATION" SCAM whereby they funnel their own money through TAX EXEMPT FOUNDATIONS back to themselves through complicated investment schemes and tax loopholes that THEIR BUDDIES WROTE SPECIFICALLY FOR THEM IN CONGRESS.

Also, Allen documents the Rockefellers' main tool of control-- the COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS (CFR)--and how they basically act as the invisible government in this country. It's absurd how many people belong to these Rockefeller founded and funded groups who are considered to be movers and shakers in our society; it's even scarier to think about what these groups are pushing ideologically.

Allen, in his somewhat sardonic writing style, also does a good job exposing the ENDGAME-- WORLD GOVERNMENT (NEW WORLD ORDER). He talks about the Rockefeller's weird connections to movements that should seemingly be anathema to everything they stand for, as well as their DELIBERATE DUMBING DOWN OF THE AMERICAN SCHOOLCHILD through their gigantic tax exempt education foundations."


The Rockefeller File (1976) - Gary Allen


Fri, 02/17/2012 - 21:08 | 2171998 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

The chart above looks like the inverse debt/GDP.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 21:09 | 2171999 Lucius Corneliu...
Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

You can't take it with you Warren. 

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 21:13 | 2172008 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

Yes he can. And for the price of one baby, he will tell you how.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 21:23 | 2172022 Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

So THAT'S why Becky Quicky was preggo. Uncle Moloch, you sneaky devil you.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 21:38 | 2172049 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Buffet couldn't get it up with a crane...they probably stuck a needle in his sack if anything ;-)

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 12:28 | 2172881 MinnesotaMD
MinnesotaMD's picture

Unless you are properly embalmed and loaded into the Valley of the Kings. I would personally take more satisfaction doing a "Ted Williams" to him....

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 21:10 | 2172000 spastic_colon
spastic_colon's picture

Buffet is someone we all aspire to be...a tax evading blowhard

He sheltered 99% of his estate and can annuitize the income for the rest of eternity

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 21:11 | 2172004 Lucius Corneliu...
Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

A lot of good that will do him when he's 6 feet under.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 22:53 | 2172186 palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture

At that share price I suspect he's a front, an employee.  At the very least, not an existentialist.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 07:44 | 2172626 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Buffet's grave will have a monument far better than the 99.99% ... there ought to be a law about taxing headstones and monuments or something to iron out that unfairness in death.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 21:18 | 2172013 HD
HD's picture

You guys leave kindly old grandpa Buffet alone.  Life is short. Just let him play with his trains, eat cheeseburgers, drink coca-cola and get half-hearted blow jobs from Becky Quick. He's not hurting anybody.




Fri, 02/17/2012 - 21:21 | 2172018 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

"And with Buffett even on the president's lips, ..."

You could have really spared us that vision.

- Ned

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 11:41 | 2172808 Monedas
Monedas's picture

The immaculate kiss !    Monedas  2012   "Clean and articulate"...Joseph Bite Me

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 21:38 | 2172050 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

"Although no one can be sure of Buffett's motives, it would be naïve to believe that someone as intelligent as Buffett has not considered the benefits of pushing through this tax structure."

I am astounded that Buffett is such an outspoken advocate of an onerous Federal Estate Tax. I find it sickening that someone actually claims to believe any Federal Government is entitled to levy an onerous tax upon someone's wealth upon their death and, in effect, punish those who were intended to receive it.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 21:52 | 2172074 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Susie Buffet is a "philanthropist". Howard Buffet is a "philanthropist", photographer, and farmer. Peter Buffet is a musician, composer, author and producer.

I tried and failed at philanthropy because I had insufficient

Likewise, my career as a well known musician, composer, author and producer floundered on the rocks of insolvency.

If only I had a rich "uncle" or father to make all my dreams come true ;-)

Contrary to Warrens public announcements, his kids will want for nothing but humility, just like his daddy.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 23:31 | 2172260 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

I'm not too concerned about his progeny.  The fact that he publicly supports the right of the Federal Government to levy such an onerous tax is galling.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 09:03 | 2172687 nmewn
nmewn's picture

I'm right there with ya John...on both counts. I find the whole damned thing distasteful.

Here is a man who has the luxury of taking the bulk of his earnings...not through the "progressive income tax system" that was set up to fund government operations...but through investment income, taxed at a lower rate in order to avoid paying the higher rates the middle & lower classes are forced to pay.

He himself, by his own past & present actions, is saying I, Warren Buffet, don't trust the government to spend the taxes collected from me wisely or he wouldn't do it that way. He allows himself a salary (wages/income) of 100-175k a year?...and yet the problem is the franchised pizza shop owner or the gas station owner isn't paying in enough?


"Owning" a private jet and having free "access to" a private jet are two entirely different things. And I'm gonna go out on a limb and say pizza & gas station owners pay the full rate wherever they fly ;-)

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 07:48 | 2172633 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Read earlier comment ... Buffet's businesses make a ton on money because of the estate tax.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 09:07 | 2172691 machineh
machineh's picture

Quite right -- insurance is a key element of estate planning.

Sometimes I feel envious about lacking the guile to promote a purely selfish agenda as an altruistic benefit for all.

But then I realize that such deviousness is the earmark of a sociopath.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 10:21 | 2172742 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

I noticed that comment. Aside from Buffett's profiteering schemes, I find the very notion of a Federal Estate Tax in and of itself to be galling. Ron Paul believes in repealing the Federal Estate Tax completely.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 12:50 | 2172914 jekyll island
jekyll island's picture

You can avoid it now if you set up an irrevocable trust.  It just takes money and lawyers, that's all.  Breakeven point is when you have assests over $1 million, that's where the insurance part comes in to play usually.  Lawyer's gonna charge you about $2,000 to set up a trust, plus maintenance charges as laws change.  

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 16:18 | 2173462 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

Thanks for the note. I do not personally have an estate that will be subject to estate tax. That is not my issue. My issue is that I think the estate tax is immoral, and I applaud honest men like Ron Paul who want to abolish it. Until that happens (if ever), I agree 100% that it is important to know how best to plan for it.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 21:44 | 2172055 Downtoolong
Downtoolong's picture

Buffett's has probably already worked up a tax avoidance scheme to get around  his own  rule. If it passes, he's then going to make another fortune marketing that to estate planners for the wealthy. 

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 21:49 | 2172056 non_anon
non_anon's picture

let us all feast on the Buffet, where shall it be?

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 21:47 | 2172063 navy62802
navy62802's picture

That WWII tax rate always amazes me ... above 90% for a few years there. It's truly shocking to look at.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 21:51 | 2172069 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

nobody paid them.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 22:31 | 2172152 chunkylover42
chunkylover42's picture

the tax code was loaded with deductions back then, so effective rates were much lower

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 21:59 | 2172087 loveyajimbo
loveyajimbo's picture

Buffet is as crooked as Blankfein and Dimon, he just rubs some manure in his hair and says "aw shuckins" alot.  Lloyd naturally smells like shit and says "Oy Vey" alot... doesn't seem to work as well...

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 22:05 | 2172092 Xkwisetly Paneful
Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

I love when the ultra wealthy blatantly use the poor and middle class as $2whores to advance their agendas. There is no better way to keep the common man down than inflation/taxation and declining wages.

 Love the chart showing rates nobody paid or pays.

Also, adore how pretty much all forms of local, county and state taxation are at record peaks.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 22:14 | 2172111 linrom
linrom's picture

I love the logic of this 'puff piece'. "If it rains in Denver, it must snow in Miami." Who can forget Casey Research's another brilliant analysis of post Soviet Russia. The report summed up Russia as a land mass populated by drunks and slavish Slavs. In contrast the report presented ex-Soviet Muslim republics as industrious with Muslim men sipping coffee and reading books in order to educate themselves.

On one hand ZH lambastes the government for issuing  phony economic data; but on the other, it itself presents phony articles written almost exclusively by money mangers that distort economic reality and facts.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 22:28 | 2172149 palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture

It's an All You Can Cheat Buffet!

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 22:59 | 2172196 TradingJoe
TradingJoe's picture

Yeah, that old fart Warren, give me a break, gees!!!

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 23:59 | 2172304 Benjamin Simon
Benjamin Simon's picture

Buffets philosophy  "pull the ladder up behind me"!

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 05:11 | 2172553 Dorky
Dorky's picture

When we finally get to be as rich as Warren Buffett, we will all be just like him.

Human race is inherently selfish.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 05:44 | 2172555 Coldfire
Coldfire's picture

Whorin' Warren, the folksy face of fascism.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 07:23 | 2172614 machineh
machineh's picture

'Biz-gov partnership,' biTchEz!

But you need a billion to get a seat at the conference table ... :-(

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 06:23 | 2172582 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

I thought the "Buffet Rule" is "Don't double dip your shrimp in the cocktail sauce".

Good thing I read ZH to keep up on the current trends of psychopathic behavior and proper ponzi etiquette.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 07:26 | 2172597 NuYawkFrankie
NuYawkFrankie's picture

The Venerable Warren - patron saint of Corporate Welfare Queens - shouts his virtue from the rooftops giving back chump-change (Buffet-Rule my ass - LOL!), whilst robbing the taxpayer blind (via the Goldman, AIG... bailouts et al). - and all the while putting on this shuffling, "aw schucks - I just wanna help out..." show for for the dupes.

No doubt about it: the sheer bare-faced effrontery &  self-promoting, in-your-face hypocrisy of this old toad boggles the mind - but you gotta give credit where it's due:

For someone who's sucked so much outta the taxpayers tit that his lips are permanently puckered, he's the best conman out there - bar none!

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 08:24 | 2172653 Davalicious
Davalicious's picture

Buffet's cock is on the president's lips.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 09:24 | 2172700 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Obama's dividend tax will kill the stockmarket.
Dividends are already so low and now he wants half of that income?

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 12:53 | 2172921 JuicedGamma
JuicedGamma's picture

Actually he wants to destroy the capitalist system by taxing it to death.  United States of Europe here we come.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 16:52 | 2173533 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Where's this "capitalist system" you're talking about?  Can you point to an example?

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 10:45 | 2172761 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

When Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline it harmed the environment, destroyed tens of thousands of jobs, will ensure that Canada's oil goes to China, and is driving the U.S. to greater dependency on MidEast oil.  But, it means billions in Buffet's pockets because the oil from Canada and the Bakken will have to be transhipped by Buffet's railroads.  How cozy. 

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 11:18 | 2172782 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Altruism is spending OPM (other people's money) to buy SNAP cards for Ghetto Geeks !  Compassion is sending them to North Korea for extreme potty training !  Monedas  2012  I´d like to see the CNN cameras on Warren Buffet taking a bicycle/water buffalo tour of North Korea !

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 11:17 | 2172787 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Socialism =  Command Control Economy...............Capitalism = Demand Control Economy...................Libertarianism =  Common Man Control Economy.................Obamaism = God Damned Control Economy       Monedas  2012   Command Performance For Pompous Socialists

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 11:30 | 2172797 Alex Kintner
Alex Kintner's picture

    Leave Warren ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    How fucking dare anyone out there make fun of Warren after all he has been through.!

    He lost his aunt, he went through a divorce. he had two fuckin kids.

    His wife turned out to be a user, a cheater, and now he's going through a custody battle. All you people care about is….. readers and making money off of him.

    HE’S A HUMAN! (ah! ooh!) What you don’t realize is that Warren is making you all this money and all you do is write a bunch of crap about him.

    He hasn’t performed on stage in years. his song is called “Give me more money” for a reason because all you people want is MORE! MORE-MORE, MORE: MORE!.

    LEAVE HIM ALONE! You are lucky he even performed for you BASTARDS!

    Perez Hilton talked about professionalism and said if Warren was a professional he would’ve pulled it off no matter what.

    Speaking of professionalism, when is it professional to publicly bash someone who is going through a hard time.

    Leave Warren Alone Please…. !
    Leave Warren Buffet alone!…right now!….I mean it.!

    Anyone that has a problem with him you deal with me, because he is not well right now.


Sat, 02/18/2012 - 12:16 | 2172860 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Chris Crocker is too funny ! The perfect antidote after having to think about Warren Buffet !  Monedas  2012  Thanks, I needed that !

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 13:00 | 2172926 _atlien_
_atlien_'s picture

It's always interesting to visit smart sites like this and see dumb racists (the majority of posters sometimes) posting about Black people when it's white guys making everybody poor.

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 13:26 | 2172993 GMadScientist
Sat, 02/18/2012 - 15:00 | 2173203 Winston Smith 2009
Winston Smith 2009's picture

"Although no one can be sure of Buffett's motives"

Yes, we can.  Not long ago, I read an extensive article that I wish I could find again detailing how how every seemingly "populist" move or statement by Buffet directly or indirectly resulted in major financial gain for HIM.

Buffet's motives relate ENTIRELY to BUFFET'S best interests.  Big freaking surprise, no?

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 21:43 | 2174073 matrix2012
matrix2012's picture

To what i read, Warren Buffet is running a very simple life. To a man of this immense wealth, he is basically living out of the material world.... far from luxurious life, no woman affair ever heard, just plain and simple!

If this kind of lifestyle constitutes a fact, then i have no idea at all about this man... and can hardly say anything bad to this mortal man.

In contrast he's living like a saint in this far-from-beautiful mundane world. 

(unless i'm a victim of a very good PR and image creation :))

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 22:13 | 2174124 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Warren is being a hypocrite, not a saint.

If he truly believed in the "God-like" benevolence of the state to redistribute a portion of his earnings properly, he wouldn't have sheltered it from them all these years.

The hypocrisy comes in where he tries to shame others for what he is unwilling to do to this very day. All he has to do is cut the federal government a check to assuage his own guilt.

I can say plenty bad about this man.

Sun, 02/19/2012 - 01:11 | 2174357 matrix2012
matrix2012's picture

should one ENTRUST the DC gubmint to take care all the money/fund expenditure/wealth distribution through the tax collection or the other way???

Do the various whitehaus residences & their gangs show such credibility???

Are the gubmint trustworthy to take care the money???

if i were WB i wouldn't do such foolishness :), i prefer to do st good (of my money) by my own means


Is WB living in a castle? Fly in his private jet? Sailing in his personal luxurious yacht? Driving in his luxurious car? sugar daddy with many chicks? and other long list of material indulgence as enjoyed by the wallst residences?


folks should NOT ignore the facts the he (WB) doestn't indulge himself in the material wealth! Show me if you hv different facts with regard to this material indulgence!

Sun, 02/19/2012 - 04:39 | 2174486 NuYawkFrankie
NuYawkFrankie's picture

Re folks should NOT ignore the facts the he (WB) doestn't indulge himself in the material wealth!

Ok - so he's a  miser as well.  I'm sure we can now all breathe a sigh-of-relief with that one!

Psssttt... nice try Becky ;)

Sun, 02/19/2012 - 07:34 | 2174559 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"should one ENTRUST the DC gubmint to take care all the money/fund expenditure/wealth distribution through the tax collection or the other way???"

1) The government was not set up to nor was it ever given a mandate to redistribute wealth.

2) Seeing as how the government was at one time trusted and has subsequently lost the trust of the people (see whichever polling data suits you), what exactly have they done to earn that trust back? 

3) Warren Buffet is listed in the top five wealthiest men in the world. He also used to own a four million dollar house, in a "gated community", in Laguna Beach California. He has 24/7/365 access to his companies private jet so he doesn't have to dig into his own pocket for fuel, maintenance and someone to fly him around.

To summarize, he didn't get wealthy by allowing his earnings to be redistributed by an untrustworthy government which he is now advocating for everyone else, but on the other hand still refusing to engage in himself, which O'Barry and statists everywhere are not telling you.

Yes, you have been smoked by a PR campaign, a poorly run ad hoc one at that.

Mon, 02/20/2012 - 01:57 | 2176887 matrix2012
matrix2012's picture

thanks for taking effort to explain, nmewn :) i appeciate it

+ 1

Sun, 02/19/2012 - 21:07 | 2176341 q5251355
q5251355's picture

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