Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

Warren Buffett is a Tax-Dodging Scumbag and He Is Starving Sick Children

In Opinion on July 10, 2012 at 8:49 pm

The Huffington Post (among other news outlets) celebrates Mr. Warren Buffett’s recent $1,520,000,000 contribution to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  (Link here)

So, Mr The Rich Should Pay More Taxes is instead publicly giving his money to charitable foundations instead of paying it over to Uncle Sam – and he’s even encouraging other billionaires to do the same thing.  Damn it, doesn’t he know we have a deficit and the rich need to pay their fair share?

I’m reminded of the lesson that we should judge people by what they do, not what they say, especially when they’re behind a microphone or running for office.

I agree that Mr. Buffett should be free to do with his money as he pleases.  But, I wonder why he doesn’t seem inclined to grant you, me and other free men/women the same respect and freedom.  Why does he advocate that the government confiscate more of your money?  It’s likely that you, like I, do not have enough wealth to make it worthwhile to set up, and pay the overhead of, a tax-exempt foundation, contributions to which are tax-deductible and which can disperse your and your contributors’ wealth as you choose.  You and I are instead forced to give our money to Uncle Sam so that Nancy Pelosi can decide how to spend it.

Also notice that in recent months Mr. Buffett was reportedly alarmed and dismayed that he paid a lower tax rate than his secretary.  He let the Democrats brand a plank of their tax-the-rich policy platform as “The Buffett Rule.”  Most of the explanation for the difference between Mr. Buffett’s and his underpaid secretary’s respective tax rates is right there in the HuffPost article.  He sheltered approximately $1.78 billion of his 2010 income by donating that many dollars to various charities.*  Had he not dodged so much of his tax bill that way, his effective tax rate would have been much higher, yes? I am certain he didn’t pay his secretary enough to afford her the chance to give Bill Gates $1,780,000,000, aren’t you?

There should be no complaints about Mr. Buffett’s donations or his shameless sheltering of income to avoid $100s of millions of tax liability.  God bless him, and thank God that Mr. Buffett was blessed to have spent his life in a country where he was free to accumulate that much wealth over a life-time.  The complaint is that he wants a different set of rules for everyone else.  Or, did I miss the news story that reported how he is an advocate for disallowing the deduction of such contributions for purposes of calculating his personal tax liability?

The [NEW] Buffett Rule – Do as I say, not as I do.


* By the way, I’m no tax lawyer or accountant, but as I understand the law, Mr. Buffett did more than shelter $1.78 billion of income.  Since most or all of that donation was made in the form of Berkshire-Hathaway stock, he dodged capital gains taxes on the gain he would have realized had he instead sold the stock for, say, lunch money.  We don’t know his cost-basis in the stock he gave away, but it’s likely that it is very, very low, and I’d venture guess of savings in excess of $100,000,000 at today’s 15% capital gains tax.  Add that to 35% X $1,780,000,000, or $623,000,000 in tax savings, and you begin to wonder why the Democrats aren’t screaming something about his failure to pay his fair share!  Three quarters of a billion dollars that he took from the mouths of starving children on the streets of America.  Where’s the shame?  Where’s the outrage?


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