Monday, August 15, 2011

Buffett says it again

This is being linked all over and Warren Buffet has said it before, but it really can't be repeated often enough. Shorter: Please tax me, bro.

Slightly longer: He never saw an investor in 60 years who refused to enter into a money making investment because they have to pay taxes on the profits. No, higher taxes aren't job killers. And the numbers here are interesting in the context the entire population of the US in 2009 was 305 million.
But for those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate.
I assume the over $10 million demo includes the fabulous 400 households who are worth billions.

And if you don't have time to read the whole short op-ed, these two bits were new:

"In fact, 88 of the 400 in 2008 reported no wages at all, though every one of them reported capital gains. Some of my brethren may shun work but they all like to invest. (I can relate to that.)"

"Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors."
Useful to remember, it's not really about the money for these guys. It's about the power and the thrill of playing the game. Willing to bet they wouldn't "go Galt" even the rate was raised back to Eisenhower levels. They love the game too much and obviously they can afford to pay to play. As Mr Buffett says, "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."

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