Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Buffett Should Study the Numbers

Warren Buffett opined today that a minimum tax of 30 percent should be placed on incomes north of $ 1 million, jumping to 35 percent for those with incomes above $ 10 million.  In the same interview he seemed to be either (1) unaware of how Berkshire Hathaway pays corporate taxes; or (2) intent on misleading his audience about the taxes that Berkshire actually pays.  You wonder if Warren is really doing his homework these days.

Buffett argues that the fiscal cliff is easy to avoid.  Simply move tax revenues up to 21 percent and hold federal spending at 21 percent.  Thanks, Warren, but that won't even come close to getting it done.  The entitlements are on a trajectory to consume 40 percent of GDP within the next two generations (that 40 percent rises to over 100 percent eventually).  What's the plan, then, Warrren -- raise rates to a minimum of 60 percent and 70 percent on the way to 100 percent?

Making tax revenues chase entitlement spending is a losers game and ends up with modern day Europe.  There is no reason, Warren, for you to be collecting social security and receiving medicare.  That is the problem.  These programs apply to everyone.  Such programs should be restricted to the truly needy, though, under what you advocate, Warren, the truly needy will be an ever growing percentage of the American population.


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