Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Buffett Slams Tax System Disparities

From the WaPo

NEW YORK, June 26 -- Warren E. Buffett was his usual folksy self Tuesday night at a fundraiser for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) as he slammed a system that allows the very rich to pay taxes at a lower rate than the middle class.

Buffett cited himself, the third-richest person in the world, as an example. Last year, Buffett said, he was taxed at 17.7 percent on his taxable income of more than $46 million. His receptionist was taxed at about 30 percent.

Buffett said that was despite the fact that he was not trying to avoid paying higher taxes. "I don't have a tax shelter," he said. And he challenged Congress and his audience to see what the people who "clean our offices" are taxed, to loud applause.

A populist tone permeated the 70-minute talk with the billionaire investor and philanthropist in Manhattan on Tuesday night. The talk, given to about 600 Wall Street bankers and money managers, raised at least $1 million for Clinton's presidential campaign, the Associated Press reported.

The event comes as public frustration has grown over executive compensation and disparity in pay. It also comes as Congress debates changes to the tax code that would decrease take-home pay for managers of private-equity firms and hedge funds, pools of money for wealthy families and institutional investors. The rich can take advantage of tax loopholes, including one that allows those managers to pay the capital gains tax rate of 15 percent instead of the ordinary top income tax rate of 35 percent. more

The tax system is unfair?!?! Say it ain't so!

Whats sad is that he is taxed 5% lower than I am and this household makes exactly the average American wage. That really makes the flat tax of 20% sound pretty darn fair and equitable to all doesn't it?

Part of me would love to see government reduced to its absolute minimum possible size wuth the states choosing their own tax systems for what they need. But despite all of the Republican talk about making the federal govt. so small that you could drown in a bathtub they had the majority long enough to do it and didn't. Which means it isn't going to happen anytime soon.

So until then I think I'll hope for the ideal and settle with a fairer tax system than what we currently have.