Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Warren Buffett trashes GOP tax cuts

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Billionaire Warren Buffett says the Republicans selectively eliminated him and other affluent individuals like him when asking the American public to “sacrifice.”  Buffett places himself in the “mega-rich” category while the rest of us suffer in the economic crisis.  It seems there is something like “carried interest’ that allows this opulent group to get a “bargain” 15 percent tax rate.  Buffett feels protected by conservatives in Congress and is calling for them to stop this “coddling.”

Forecasters agree, warning that the direction of the House Republicans demanding spending cuts without tax increases was the “wrong” thing to do.  These critics are convinced that the stimulation of the economy in the short term will do more to create jobs.  Something like President Obama will introduce Thursday in his speech to Congress.  Another source says revenue enhancement and entitlement reform are needed for the long term.

The fact that Republicans say that raising taxes is not on the table, along with Democrats refusing to touch entitlements leaves only discretionary spending, like education, research, the military and the infrastructure, among others.  Based on the inability of the GOP to move outside its ridiculous ideology on tax increases, it seems this impasse will certainly lead to a partisan standoff that could lead this country into another economic crisis by the end of the year.

Buffett paid $6,938,744 in taxes last year, which he acknowledges sounds like a lot.  But this was a rate of only 17.4 percent, compared to 20 others in his office paying from 33 to 41 percent, an average of 36 percent.  Based on Republican claims that high capital gains taxes tend to discourage investors, Buffett says he doesn’t know of anyone deciding against a good investment because of a high tax rate.

He adds, for those who argue that higher tax rates hurt job creation, a net 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000, as compared to since that period when we’ve actually had lower tax rates with lower job creation.  Two Republicans served as President during that period along with Bill Clinton.  George W. Bush was elected and served as President from 2001 to 2009.  Shortly after entering office GWB enacted tax cuts for the wealthiest citizens in America…including Warren Buffett.

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