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Buffett Company Owes Taxes Back To 2002

A news-filled editorial from the New York Post:

Warren Buffett, hypocrite

August 28, 2011

This one’s truly, uh … rich: Billionaire Warren Buffett says folks like him should have to pay more taxes — but it turns out his firm, Berkshire Hathaway, hasn’t paid what it’s already owed for years.

That’s right: As Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson notes, the company openly admits that it owes back taxes since as long ago as 2002.

“We anticipate that we will resolve all adjustments proposed by the US Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) for the 2002 through 2004 tax years … within the next 12 months,” the firm’s annual report says.

It also cites outstanding tax issues for 2005 through 2009.

At some point you have to wonder if Mr. Obama knows anyone who actually pays their taxes and pays them on time?

Obvious question: If Buffett really thinks he and his “mega-rich friends” should pay higher taxes, why doesn’t his firm fork over what it already owes under current rates?

Likely answer: He cares more about shilling for President Obama — who’s practically made socking “millionaires and billionaires” his re-election theme song — than about kicking in more himself.

And by “millionaires and billionaires” Obama means anyone who makes more than $200,000 a year.

Buffett’s free to back Obama, of course. And if his firm wants to keep its tax bill low, well, that’s its right, too. But it would be nice if this “pro-tax-hike” tycoon were a bit more honest about it.

Start, for example, with his grossly disingenuous recent claim that, as he wrote in The New York Times, he paid only 17 percent of his income last year to the government — even as many working stiffs who make far less than him coughed up higher percentages.

Fact is, unlike most other folks, Warren Buffett gets most of his income from dividends and capital gains, which are nominally taxed at 15 percent.

Left unsaid is that much of that is taxed at 35 percent (via the corporate income tax) before he even gets his hands on it. So in effect, he’s paying taxes twice (that is, when his companies actually pay, anyway).

Counting both taxes, his effective rate would really be well north of 40 percent for a big chunk of his income.

Isn’t that odd? Most people exaggerate how much they pay in taxes, rather than down play it.

There’s more. Obama, and co-conspirators like Buffett, claim to want to slap only “millionaires and billionaires.”

But in 2009, for instance, fewer than a quarter-million taxpayers (less than two tenths of 1 percent) reported income over $1 million — and their combined bill was less than $200 billion.

Raise the top tax rate on them by 13 percent, as Obama wants (from 35 percent to 39.6 percent) and you bring in only another $26 billion, tops — and that’s if your tax hike doesn’t stifle the economy and kill jobs (which it surely would). Yet what’s $26 billion in a world of $4 trillion federal budgets with trillion-dollar-plus deficits?

As we have noted before, the federal government spends more than $10 billion a day. So taxing millionaires and billionaires would pay for just a little more than two and a half days of government.

No wonder Obama’s hikes on “millionaires and billionaires” actually start with folks earning as little as $200,000.

Looks like Buffett’s not the only disingenuous one here. But again, that’s clear from their individual behavior: Obama, Buffett and Democrats like Bill Clinton keep saying they want to pay more taxes.

Fine. They can always write checks.

As a public service we will once again point out that Mr. Buffet and those like him who want to give more money to the government can always write a check to the US Treasury. Here is the address: Gifts to the United States, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Credit Accounting Branch, 3700 East-West Highway, Suite 622D, Hyattsville, MD 20782.

Moreover, if they want to specifically contribute to in order to help pay down the federal deficit they can write a check payable to the Bureau of the Public Debt, and in the memo section, notate that it’s a Gift to reduce the Debt Held by the Public. Mail the check to: Attn Dept G, Bureau of the Public Debt, PO Box 2188, Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188.

But somehow it always turns out that when Democrats talk about people paying more in taxes, they really mean ‘other people’ should pay more.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, August 31st, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Buffett Company Owes Taxes Back To 2002”

  1. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    Good commentary but I disagree on one point; he is not shilling for Obama. Obama is shilling for him or his interests anyway. The author fails to go into the motivations of Buffet. The key one being he wants higher corporate tax rates to limit competition by using the police power of government to tax/regulate small and mid size businesses into insolvency. Obama and the DNC are happy to oblige. After all, the local mom and pop businesses don’t higher very many DNC union foot soldiers.

  2. proreason says:

    Buffet is turning into quite the buffoon. It’s hard to figure out what is motivating this guy.

    I know everybody considers him the greatest financial genius of all time, but I can’t help but realize the if you have a few million people flipping coins about the stock market, one of them is going to do the best….and the best might just be a lot better than number 2.

    But it may be just as likely that his billions were earned the old-fashioned way….criminally. In his case, political crime.

  3. untrainable says:

    Buffet came clean about all this when he talked about the rich needing to pay more tax. This is just a more specific explaination of “millionaires and billionaires” being coddled by the government. Personally I’d describe it as criminal tax evasion, but as the left is so fond of changing the meaning of words I suppose that now we’re calling criminal tax evasion “government coddeling”.

    Too bad the government can’t coddle us middle class schlubs. I’d love to skip paying taxes for a decade without penalty.

    And what’s this about “adjustments proposed by the US Internal Revenue Service”. If this concerned any of the aforementioned schlubs there would be “PENALTIES”, but for Buffet and the elite class, there are “proposed adjustments”. What a world.

  4. BigOil says:

    My first thought when I heard Buffet was supporting a Marxist was the man must be going senile. I have since concluded the man is just demonstrating his business savvy.

    Buffet understands being on the inside of the Politburo is a profitable place to be. Much better than just another member of the collective.

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