Monday, August 15, 2011

Warren Buffet To Legislators: Stop Coddling The Super-Rich

I'm speechless. You can read the entire New York Times article here.

Warren Buffet's concluding sentence: "My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice."


The Happy Whisk said...

I just can't bring myself to read it right now, but did want to say hello.

Going for a second job, working in a kitchen. Too nervous about that to even wrap my head around more of this other crap.

Is your holiday vacation done now? Back to work and all that?

Aaron E. Steele said...

Hello right back at you. Working in a kitchen? Sounds like fun! Vacation is done, sadly. Back at work and the rain is absolutely pouring outside.

The Happy Whisk said...

Yeah, the fabric shop is good in terms on the girlfriends and the laughing, but the hours keep getting lower and lower and lower. And they hired on another new worker.

So on my ride home from the shop last night I saw a big honkin' glowing sign. Kitchen Help Wanted.

Filling out the application now, along with another kitchen I found looking for help.

Raining here too. Then sun. Then rain. It's more like fall these last couple of weeks.

Aaron E. Steele said...

Bakery? I can't work in the food industry, i'll end up eating what I should be selling.

Considering how much it has rained lately, why isn't my grass greener?!


The Happy Whisk said...

lololol on your grass. I don't know the answer to that one, Paladin. But you did make me laugh.

Yes, a bakery would be hard. I'd eat all the breads.

I used to work in a Chinese restaurant and they were very old school like my Hungarian Grandma. They would send me home with so much food. Anything I wanted.

The one I really want now, is a steakhouse kind of place ... sorta.

I really hate filling out applications. As you may be able to tell by my many many messages on your blog.

Tenkar said...

Best of luck Whisk :)

As for Mr. Buffet, I call "Schenanigains!"

He says this as he nears his checking out age? Where was he 10 years ago? 20 years ago?

Besides, his taxable wage income is negligible... most of it comes in the form of capital gains taxes, which is taxed at a much smaller rate then income tax.

I get my income taxed by the feds, NYS and NYC. Oh, and one of the highest sales taxes in the US. Now the feds want to tax my health care (it's a so called "Cadillac Plan", but I'm a civil servant - go figure)

Of course, it could be worse - I could live in New Jersey ;)

Aaron E. Steele said...

Sales taxes are the worst of the worst when it comes to regressive taxation. It hits hardest the people who earn the least.

ze bulette said...

After more than ten years in Oregon, I'm amazed at the sales taxes people in other states have to pay. If you're in Oakland, CA and were considering buying a MacBook at the San Francisco Apple Store, you could fly here instead, buy the laptop, and pay for your round trip ticket using the sales tax savings. Too bad you have to pay sales tax on a new car based on where you register it.

Aaron E. Steele said...

Alberta sales tax = 0

I'm guessing Oregon is similar...

phf said...

The point is he is saying raise the taxes paid by the rich, including the capital gains. Read the last paragraph or two again.

aka John said...

Mr Buffet can write a check to the IRS whenever he wants to.

-C said...

He does write a check, every year. He's the foremost proven expert at working the world financial markets, and he's saying his check that he writes, and the check of everyone else making over 200,000$ a year is too *low*.

Rebecca Johnson said...

on the super-rich topic, there is a great new book out by Neil Brooks (one of the most prominent tax law profs in Canada) and Linda McQuaig, called "The Trouble with Billionaires". The book is EXCELLENT! See one review below!

Chris said...

Buffett got into US Treasury Bills and Railroad stocks(!) a while back. His agenda is quite apparent when these investments are borne in mind.


Anthony Simeone said...

Ay Tenkar, what's wrong with Jersey?! That's where I was born and raised, and still live there today! You got a problem with that?! ;-) Seriously, I pay crazy property taxes here, among many other expenses. Just another peon being ground into the dust by the Haves. At least I have gaming to fend off depression!

Joshua L. Lyle said...

Sales taxes are regressive with regards to income. They are flat with regards to consumption. They are progressive with regards to utility when combined with a refundable deduction or credit.

We want to encourage savings and income, as they have positive externalities (so long as we have dealt with their negative externalities so as to have a positive net balance). Consumption is all well and good, and it is furthermore good to support a minimum level of it for everyone, but the gains of it are private. Therefore, it is the least socially harmful thing to tax, non-utility considerations notwithstanding.

It bears noting that WB is discounting one of the taxes applied to his income, so his numbers are off, just as if one were to calculate the income tax owed by his secretary while discounting their payroll taxes.

Finally, as a philanthropist, if he believed that the U.S. government was able to make the best use of his money, he could have given it to them (the I.R.S. kindly provides a means for patriotic Americans to do so, over and above the amount they are taxed) instead of his charities of choice (primarily the Gates Foundation); however, he, in his wisdom, did not judge that to be the case, so it seems a little strange for him to call for him to be forced to do what he would not choose to do. I, for one, am more inclined to do as he does than as he says, for I do not trust the U.S. Government to spend my money without producing a lot of death and injustice, while the Gates Foundation seems to do a lot of good while killing hardly anyone.

Aaron E. Steele said...

Joshua, I'd hate for any of my readers to mistakenly conclude that the words "progressive" and "sales tax" are to be found together, other than with an interposing "not equal" sign between them.

Progressive as regards utility? I don't even know what you're saying here.

Much of your comment is unintelligible to me (utility, externalities, etc.), but it's probably because I am a political scientist, not a [insert name of your discipline here].

Not sure what you're trying to say about savings and income. What socio-political goal do you imagine being achieved through the encouragement of savings? How does introduction of a sales tax promote wage increases?

I also don't understand your last paragraph. Are you saying Warren Buffet is impaired, a liar, capricious, inconsistent?

I think Warren Buffet is advocating tax fairness, which is all any reasonable person can be expected to do. How does one reconcile tax fairness with the problem of free-riders in the voluntary (Gates Foundation) tax scheme you envision?

Aaron E. Steele said...

We desperately need to re-introduce civics classes in the education system.

Aaron E. Steele said...

Perhaps I should explain what civics is ... this from Wikipedia ...

"Civics is the study of rights and duties of citizenship. In other words, it is the study of government with attention to the role of citizens ― as opposed to external factors ― in the operation and oversight of government."