We have two examples of the “rich” claiming that their employees pay
less more in taxes than they do. First we had Obama’s pet billionaire, Warren Buffett, quoted by many as saying:
Speaking at a $4,600-a-seat fundraiser in New York for Senator Hillary Clinton, Mr. Buffett, who is worth an estimated $52 billion (£26 billion), said: “The 400 of us [here] pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our cleaning ladies, for that matter. If you’re in the luckiest 1 per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.”
Mr Buffett said that he was taxed at 17.7 per cent on the $46 million he made last year, without trying to avoid paying higher taxes, while his secretary, who earned $60,000, was taxed at 30 per cent. Mr Buffett told his audience, which included John Mack, the chairman of Morgan Stanley, and Alan Patricof, the founder of the US branch of Apax Partners, that US government policy had accentuated a disparity of wealth that hurt the economy by stifling opportunity and motivation.
This was in the UK Sunday Times.
Now, rap music impresario Russell Simmons in this exchange with one of my favorite guys, Charles Payne, on FOX News (via Newsbusters):
SIMMONS: I don’t pay as much, I got a check for $100 million, I gave away 10 million in bonuses to my employees and they all pay more taxes than me, and the reason I didn’t pay taxes is because of the loopholes and because of all of the opportunity that-
PAYNE: Well, you could have written an extra check, though, an extra check-
SIMMONS: Why am I gonna write a, that’s a dumb thing,
PAYNE: But here’s the thing, let me ask you this-
SIMMONS: -why am I, ask a question, why am I going to write a check-
PAYNE: Why not?
SIMMONS: -if I’m going to write a check that’s going to support-
PAYNE: You feel patriotic.
PAYNE: But, listen, you have a credit card company, you have a credit card company, and you charge people interest to use those cards. Isn’t that what they’re railing about? It’s not a free card. How did you make $100 million?
SIMMONS: The point I’m making is that I’m not knocking corporations. I’m knocking the game they’re playing. I’m not knocking the players, I’m knocking the game. And what I’m telling you is that this country allows too much access to their politicians by too much interests and too much money. It’s really simple. And I’m happy to pay more taxes, but I’m not going to pay more taxes alone. I’d rather give it to my charities.
So here’s my question. If Buffett and Simmons are so concerned with the “fairness” in the system and, as in Simmons’ case, they don’t want to pay taxes alone, why don’t they just take all the profits from their companies and divide it equally among all their employees?
If they truly believe in the collectivism that they preach, shouldn’t that charity begin at home?
But they aren’t concerned about “fairness”, at least not on a personal level. What they are concerned about is political patronage and keeping the federal cash register ringing.
Buffett now says – oops! Maybe I’m not all that supportive of Obama’s “soak the rich” plan:
CNBC: “Are you happy that the way it is being described. Is the program that the White House has presented a million dollars and over your program? ”
Warren Buffett: “Well, the precise program which will — I don’t know what their program will be. My program would be on the very high incomes that are taxed very low. Not just high incomes. Somebody making $50 million a year playing baseball, his taxes won’t change. Make $50 million a year appearing on television, his income won’t change. But, if they make a lot of money and pay a very low tax rate, like me, it would be changed by a minimum tax that would only bring them up to what other people pay.”
CNBC: “Does that mean you disagree with the president’s new jobs proposal which would be paid for by raising taxes on households with incomes of over $250,000.”
Buffett: “That’s another program that I won’t be discussing. My program is to have a tax on ultra-rich people who are very tax rates. Not just all rich people.
Simmons may appear to support the motives of #Occupy[yournamehere] protests but in reality, he isn’t above making money off the poor and the black community. A company of his is being investigated by the Florida Attorney General, Pam Bondi:
The Florida Attorney General’s Office has issued subpoenas against five prepaid debit card companies claiming they may be forcing consumers to pay hidden fees each time they make a purchase.
Subpeonas were issued against five prepaid card companies including the makers of the RushCard, a company owned by Def Jam co-founder and hip hop mogul Russell Simmons. The investigation, which is being overseen by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi through the Economic Crimes Division, will determine if some of these companies misrepresented their products by promising to improve credit scores.
Think Russell cares about their taxes? Probably not.
This is a prime example of the TINSTAAFL (tin-stoff-el) Principle – There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. These guys are never what they seem, unfortunately for the people who listen to them. There is always more to the story if you dig deep enough. Our media has thrown away their shovels since Obama was elected.
Caveat Emptor works with people as much as it does with products.