Obama tax lies, Jobs speech, Warren Buffett hypocrisy, Tax Policy Center 46 percent pay no federal income taxes
From the Chicago Tribune September 20, 2011.
“Data: The rich actually do pay more taxes”
“President Barack Obama makes it sound as if there are millionaires all
over America paying taxes at lower rates than their secretaries.
“Middle-class families shouldn’t pay higher taxes than millionaires
and billionaires,” Obama said Monday. “That’s pretty straightforward.
It’s hard to argue against that.”
The data tell a different story. On average, the wealthiest people in
America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor,
according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate,
and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall
taxes collected by the federal government.
There may be individual millionaires who pay taxes at rates lower than
middle-income workers. In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns
with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax,
according to the Internal Revenue Service. That, however, was less
than 1 percent of the nearly 237,000 returns with incomes above $1
In his White House address Monday, Obama called on Congress to
increase taxes by $1.5 trillion as part of a 10-year deficit reduction
package totaling more than $3 trillion. He proposed that Congress
overhaul the tax code and impose what he called the “Buffett rule,”
named for billionaire investor Warren Buffett.
The rule says, “People making more than $1 million a year should not
pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class
“Warren Buffett’s secretary shouldn’t pay a higher tax rate than
Warren Buffett. There is no justification for it,” Obama said. “It is
wrong that in the United States of America, a teacher or a nurse or a
construction worker who earns $50,000 should pay higher tax rates than
somebody pulling in $50 million.”
Buffett wrote in a recent piece for The New York Times that the tax
rate he paid last year was lower than that paid by any of the other 20
people in his office.
This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average
of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income
taxes and payroll taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a
Washington think tank.”
“The Tax Policy Center estimates that 46 percent of households, mostly
low- and medium-income households, will pay no federal income taxes
this year. Most, however, will pay other taxes, including Social
Security payroll taxes.”
Hypocrisy from Obama and Warren Buffett.
From The Blaze August 30, 2011.
“How Much is Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Back-Tax Bill Exactly? About $1 Billion”
“On Monday, The Blaze reported that Warren Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, owes back taxes dating to 2002. The news is significant because in a recent op-ed column for the New York Times, Buffett, one of President Obama’s staunchest supporters, stated that, to now, the “super wealthy” have been coddled and deserve to be taxed at an even higher rate than they currently are.
When Buffett made his revelation earlier in the month, most assumed his company was up-t0-date on its taxes. That assumption has turned out to be incorrect, however — and to a substantial degree perhaps.
According to Berkshire’s 2010 annual report, the company has been in a near decade-long struggle with the IRS over its own taxes. Using public documents, a certified public accountant detailed Berkshire’s tax problems to Americans for Limited Government researcher Richard McCarty, revealing the damage could be close to $1 billion. Netright Daily adds:
According to page 56 of the company report, “At December 31, 2010… net unrecognized tax benefits were $1,005 million”, or about $1 billion. McCarty explained, “Unrecognized tax benefits represent the company’s potential future obligation to the IRS and other taxing authorities. They have to be recorded in the company’s financial statements.”
He added, “The notation means that Berkshire Hathaway’s own auditors have probably said that $1 billion is more likely than not owed to the government.”
$1 billion is not an insignificant chunk of change, even for Buffett, representing about 0.2 percent of the company’s $372 billion in total assets.
The annual report goes on to state: “We anticipate that we will resolve all adjustments proposed by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (‘IRS’) for the 2002 through 2004 tax years at the IRS Appeals Division within the next 12 months. The IRS has completed its examination of our consolidated U.S. federal income tax returns for the 2005 and 2006 tax years and the proposed adjustments are currently being reviewed by the IRS Appeals Division process. The IRS is currently auditing our consolidated U.S. federal income tax returns for the 2007 through 2009 tax years.””
“Ironic, isn’t it? When Warren Buffett penned that op-ed demanding he be taxed more, we assumed that meant he had actually paid his taxes. Not quite the case. Buffett’s famed company, Berkshire Hathaway, owes taxes that are nearly a decade old.”