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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 01:37 PM
Original message
Buffett releases tax figures to GOP
Edited on Wed Oct-12-11 01:41 PM by cal04
Source: The Hill

Warren Buffett replied this week to a Republican request that he reveal his tax returns, revealing he made more than $62 million in income last year while paying $15,300 in payroll taxes.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) sent an open letter last month to the billionaire investor, who has become the big business mascot for the Obama administrations plan to raise taxes on the wealthy, demanding that reveal his tax returns.

(snip)
According to Huelskamp in a view expressed by other Republicans including Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) if Buffetts views on tax rates are going to serve as the basis for the White Houses proposals, Congress should be allowed to examine the basis of his argument. Buffett cited his own tax rate as being lower than that of his secretary when making his case for raising taxes on him and his ultra rich friends.

Buffett revealed in a letter sent to Huelskamp that his adjusted gross income was $62,855,038 last year and that he paid $15,300 in payroll taxes, as reported by CNN Money. He also claimed, as he had in an op-ed previously this year, that his federal income tax bill last year came to $6,923,494, or about 17 percent of his $39,814,784 taxable income.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/187075...



http://money.cnn.com/2011/10/12/news/economy/buffett_ta... /
Buffett made $62,855,038 last year
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett this week showed a little more leg in his campaign to get Congress to raise taxes on the uber-rich.
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abelenkpe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 01:42 PM
Response to Original message
1. Republicans will just claim he's lying since his figures
don't support their narrative.

Or they'll invent a sex scandal to discredit and distract.

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mainegreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. A Buffet sex scandal?
That's like a... um...
give me a sec here...

Ah, got it!

A Buffet sex scandal would be like a Weird Al Yankovic sex scandal; hard to conceive off, likely to be scoffed off, and very disturbing to visualize.

:D
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Schema Thing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #12
29. hard to pull off since he stayed married to his wife but openly

had a relationship with another woman with his wife's consent.
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 03:02 AM
Response to Reply #29
56. Weird Al or Warren Buffett?
Either one is welcome to join in the club of consensual non-monogamy that most of us just shorten to "poly".
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Schema Thing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 07:03 AM
Response to Reply #56
59. Warren

Although I don't think he or his wife would consider themselves part of a "poly". If I have it right, they simply parted ways, but did not divorce. They seem to admire and care for each other, but perhaps just as co-parents?
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #59
60. Too bad
It's a nice life for those of us who mesh with it. I enjoyed being able to wish my husband's girlfriend a good first day at her new job this morning. I look forward to her staying with us on the weekends (she cooks, for God's sake, what's not to like?). I like having my boyfriend and my ex-husband in the same house even though they share the same name. Just add a last initial and it's fine. Our dog loves having so many people to love on him. So does my autistic son. He thinks it's fun to see different people kiss different other people. He just doesn't want them kissing him!

And so on. I'm feeling like a really happy poly this morning. But that might just be because I get the bed all to myself today. Heh heh!
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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 09:28 PM
Response to Reply #12
51. Well, that sort of thing isn't unheard of
Consider the Newt Gingrich sex scandals.
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dogmoma56 Donating Member (329 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #1
39. or talk some mentally ill kid into shooting him in the face..
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OneTenthofOnePercent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. I hope he provided the return electronically AND finely shreadded...
It'll make it easier for them to stick that in their pipe and smoke it.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
3. I like how they raise the percentage
"Buffet paid 17% of his taxable income"

Yet he apparently had $23,000,000 of income that was not taxable, because of deductions?

He really only paid about 11% on his income. And that does not even include the money he made in "tax exempt interest" which is line 8b of the 1040 and not included in Adjusted Gross Income.


It might be nice to see a study though. If municipal bonds were not tax free, then the interest rates would go up, leading to more costs for local governments, paid by higher local taxes. Would the people come out ahead if that interest income was taxed and the state and federal governments could compensate the local governments a little bit for their extra expenses.
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The Croquist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Muni bond tax info
Mostly speculation warning.

People who buy municipal bonds take into account the federal, state and local tax rates so my guess is that on the surface it would be a wash overall but as you said it would help the feds while hurting the states / locals.

HOWEVER

Most if not all states only allow municipal bonds to be considered tax-free if they are for that state. For example, If you are a Georgia Resident and you buy a New York municipal bond you pay Georgia state income tax on the interest you earn. Obviously this means that if you are a Georgia resident you will probably buy a Georgia bond but people move and if they move out of state they loose the state tax exempt advantage of the bond. 30 years ago I dealt with municipal bonds and at the time they were difficult to sell and I doubt things have changed. They're not like US treasuries. Each bond is tied to a specific state or municipality, rated by the credit of that state or municipality, often backed by the revenue expected to be generated by the use of the bond funds such as a stadium or toll road and as stated above not considered attractive by out of state investors. In short munis are not easy to sell and that means that the broker will take a bigger cut.





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David Sky Donating Member (586 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #9
65. Many brokerage houses like E-trade enable one to buy and sell muni's
on-line. I own and have bought and sold them on-line, usually within 24 hours, in lots of 10 bonds or more, with NO COMMISSION OR FEE!

Of course, you have to know what you're doing, what city and state bonds ratings are, and if they are insured at par.

That info is available on-line.

I have never had a problem liquidating high quality insured muni bonds.
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joeglow3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. I would be charitable contributions.
Either way, it would be interesting to see the entire tax return looks like, as there is no other way to see the picture clearly.
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mactime Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #3
62. not adding up
Something I am missing, but it does seem awfully low
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Downwinder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
4. Did they get Rupert Murdoch's?
Must be "in the mail."
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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
5. Sweet! /nt
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denverbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
6. Well this should create a tidal wave of Republican scandal-mongering.
I'm sure every O'Keefe-wannabe in the Republicker ranks will be scouring this return for months trying to find any sort of error so they can charge him with fraud.

IMO, his tax rate should be closer to 11%, since nearly 1/3 of his income was apparently non-taxable. I'm assuming most of that is coming from tax-exempt bonds or something which most average Americans don't own.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
7. Now it's a Throw Down. Nt
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xxqqqzme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Exactly - he showed you his
When do they release theirs? Or do they share tax accountants w/ clarence thomas?
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former9thward Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
8. If only Buffett's company would pay their own taxes
On page 54 of the company's report they admit that as of December 31, 2010 they have over a billion dollars in "unrecognized tax benefits". That is corporate double speak that the IRS has demanded they pay back taxes and Berkshire Hathaway has not paid. http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/2010ar/2010ar.pdf
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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. A tax benefit is just the opposite
A tax benefit means that they have $1 billion that is deductible from their income, however they cannot be certain of the timing of the deductible so they cannot recognize it yet. (i.e., they could not be certain if it would be in 2011 or in 2010 when they closed the books.)

They paid $5.6 billion in taxes in 2010 on income of $19 billion, a tax rate of of 29.4%. However, if they could have recognized the entire $1 billion tax benefit, they would have paid on $4.6 billion on that same income, or 24.2%





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former9thward Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. Not at all.
It is a challenge from the IRS. Their own accounts say it is more likely than not they will have to pay the tax. Maybe if you read page 54 of their own statement you would realize that.
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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #19
30. I'm an accountant and put these sorts of publications together for a living
I also read the page in question.

The whole paragraph is a big qualification that says if their future unrecognized deductible were not allowed or became non-deductible, they would then have to accelerate tax payments to the government because the expected deductible is not allowed anymore.

>>>
The remaining balance in net unrecognized tax benefits principally relates to tax positions for which the ultimate
deductibility is highly certain but for which there is uncertainty about the timing of such deductibility
. Because of the impact of
deferred tax accounting, other than interest and penalties, the disallowance of the shorter deductibility period would not affect
the annual effective tax rate but would accelerate the payment of cash to the taxing authority to an earlier period.
As of
December 31, 2010, we do not expect any material changes to the estimated amount of unrecognized tax benefits in the next
twelve months.
<<<

They're saying that while it is highly certain these items were deductible, if they were to somehow not be deductible (i.e, due to a change in tax laws), they would then have to accelerate tax payments to the taxing authority.
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former9thward Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #30
40. Interesting what you left out before the sentence you underline.
This is it: "At December 31, 2010 and 2009, net unrecognized tax benefits were $1,005 million and $926 million, respectively.
Included in the balance at December 31, 2010, are $774 million of tax positions that, if recognized, would impact the effective
tax rate."

The sentence you underlined only refers to the "remaining balance" That is about 230 million. The vast amount (774 million) is what they know they will likely have to pay but are contesting it.

Just as Buffet has shielded his estate from the estate tax he is using every legal method to avoid paying taxes for as long as possible with his company.
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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #40
49. can you tell me where they are contesting the amount?
deferring taxes does not mean you're contesting them - it's usually because you can only take deductions up to a certain amount in a given year, so anything beyond the set amount is deferred to the future to offset the taxes in the coming years.

For example, if Bob's house was robbed today and he suffered $6,000 worth of losses that were not insured, he can only deduct $3,000 of losses in the current year, 2011. The remaining $3,000 is deferred until 2012 where it will be a benefit on his 2012 return because it will lower his taxable income in 2012. (and, if his losses were $15,000, he would be deferring $9,000 to 2013 and $6,000 to 2014 and $3,000 to 2015.)

However, in a $136 billion corporation like Berkshire Hathaway, they likely have dozens, if not hundreds, of tax benefits and tax penalties that they incur each year, with the net effect being a $1 billion benefit.
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former9thward Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #49
66. The term "unrecognized" means the amount is in contest.
It means they are trying to take a deduction the IRS says is not valid.
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #8
32. Excellent point! nt
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tclambert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
13. Warren Buffett is cool.
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stockholmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #13
54. no, not 'cool' at all
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Beavker Donating Member (784 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
14. Two things in my book:
First, if the GOPigs want to insinuate that a Billionaire would LIE about how LITTLE he actually pays in taxes, then I suppose that would be a ridiculous in and of itself.

Second, you don't have too see the tax return to get the basic gist of the issue and see exactly HOW IT IS VERY POSSIBLE that folks like Buffet COULD (and do) pay diddly squat. It's in the code. You don't really even need to see it.

Though I'm glad he did all that. I'd love to see more returns from more of the 1%. I'm sure Soros would submit, no?
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #14
38. Fantastic Point
They keep saying that rich people should pay lower taxes. So, Buffet pays the taxes on the rate the law allows, and they would complain he doesn't pay enough? How dumb is that?

Also, he already said that if the rate were increased, he'd gladly pay it. He only pays at that rate because that is what the law allows. If they raised the rate and reduced the reductions, he'd just pay more in taxes and not complain.

They've got nothing to criticize.

Good post!
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JohnnyRingo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
15. Good for Warren Buffet. Never thought I could like a venture capitalist.
but he's certainly one of a kind.

I imagine these senators, who refuse to turn their backs on their corporate overlords, wil fall back on the standard comment that "Buffet can pay more if he wants, but the rest of 'us' are struggling to make ends meet".
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stockholmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #15
53. Buffett is an oligarch, a hypocrite, a manipulator at all levels, defo not a hero
Do 'hero's' do things like this?


Buffett trading on inside information steals $3.7 billion from the American taxpayer.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-18/buffett-genera...

"Warren Buffetts Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) has made about $3.7 billion, including paper profits, from its $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) at the depths of the financial crisis in 2008.

Goldman Sachs today said it will pay $5.65 billion to redeem preferred stock it sold to Berkshire. The price includes the original investment, plus a 10 percent premium and first- quarter dividend. Berkshire still holds warrants to buy $5 billion of the New York-based banks common stock with a strike price of $115 per share, which have generated a paper profit of more than $1.9 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Buffett invested in Goldman Sachs following the collapse of rival securities firm Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Under terms of the deal, Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire collected a $500 million annual dividend on the preferred stake. Goldman Sachs closed at $159.96 today on the New York Stock Exchange, compared with $84.39 at the end of 2008..................................."


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

key quote "Goldman Sachss redemptions are unwelcome, Buffett said Feb. 26 in his annual letter to shareholders. After they occur, our earning power will be significantly reduced"

In other words, Buffett wants to keep his hand further in the Goldman Sachs till, as they continue to financially rape and pillage.

flashback video

Charlie Munger (Buffett's long time Berkshire partner), tells the US people that "Thank God that bank bailouts came before handouts" to them and that the Americans need to just "Suck it up and cope"



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYHQLNb3zGA

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What bailouts you might ask? The $700 billion in Tarp? No no no, how does over $23.7 TRILLION (much to foreign banks) sound?

U.S. Rescue May Reach $23.7 Trillion, Barofsky Says (article from 2009)

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=...
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now, many said that this figure would NEVER come into play, that at most the totals would be another 700 billion (similar to TARP).

well.......................................... HELLO:

http://sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=9e2a4ea8-6e...

Senator Bernie Sanders: The FedRes Audit U.S. Provided a Whopping $16 Trillion in Secret Loans To Bail Out US And Foreign Banks

http://sanders.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/GAO%20Fed%20Inv... (go to page 144, 3 of Buffett-related banks,Wachovia, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo, got over $1.1 TRILLION in guarantees and zero or near zero interest loans)

and this

(another disclosure, different from Bernie Sanders' audit)

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/08/the...

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-21/wall-street-ar...

Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2 Trillion in Feds Secret Loans

http://www.bloomberg.com/data-visualization/federal-res...

Goldman Sach's (whilst Buffett was a significant share holder (see above), got around $70 Billion in bailouts and loans, Wells Fargo, another $45 Billion, and Wachovia got $50 Billion. That is another $165 billion to Buffett-related banks.


Between just these 2 Federal Reserve disclosures, 3 of the Buffet-related, partially or majority Buffett-directed received almost $1.3 TRILLION in secret bailouts, guarantees, and zero or near zero loans (which they turned around and leveraged out for billions in skimmed profits.)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Buffet and Drug Laundering Money:


Wachovia (now Wells Fargo under Warren Buffett) laundered $378.4 BILLION in drug cartel money, yet paid a fine of only $160 million.

That is equal to laundering a million, and paying a 423 dollar fine. A speeding ticket is more than that in certain cities. Buffett was completely involved in the negotiations to lower the fines.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/04/wachovia-paid-tr...


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Warren Buffet (through Berkshire Hathaway) owes a billion dollars in back taxes. You practice, whilst he preaches.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/29/warren-buffett...

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=45889

http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/2010ar/2010ar.pdf

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 companys potential future obligation to the IRS and other taxing authorities. They have to be recorded in the companys financial statements.

He added, The notation means that Berkshire Hathaways own auditors have probably said that $1 billion is more likely than not owed to the government.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Buffett and the Mortgage Fraud Class Action Lawsuit (Buffett now has massive shares in 2 Huge Banks, Wells Fargo and Bank of America that are squarely in Schneiderman's Target Zone):

Buffett Is Betting Against Eric Schneiderman


http://www.thestreet.com/story/11231295/1/buffett-is-be...


Perhaps. But, if so, the next time banks get government help won't go down like it did last time.

Warren Buffett announced Thursday he will take a stake in Bank of America, paying $5 billion for 50,000 cumulative preferred shares, each with a liquidation value of $100,000.

This investment has already raised red flags in the investment community, with the announcement coming days after Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan vehemently denying that the bank needed capital. Also, the terms of the deal -- specifically the outsized dividend -- have led at least one prominent analyst to declare: "There's no way the bank can make money." http://www.thestreet.com/story/11230870/1/buffett-to-in ...

So what exactly are Bank of America(BAC_) and Warren Buffett up to?

They're betting against New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Schneiderman is investigating the foreclosure practices of major banks; http://www.legalnewsline.com/news/233633-schneiderman-r... opposing any mortgage/foreclosure settlement that gives banks a release from criminal investigations in exchange for civil fines.

In this sense, he's a lone wolf, getting booted from multi-state mortgage-settlement talks http://www.thestreet.com/story/11229482/1/new-york-ag-b... while facing pressure from the Obama administration to accept "blood money" in exchange for banker immunity. http://www.thestreet.com/story/11226640/1/obama-wants-s... .

The proposed settlement of $20 billion would protect mortgage servicers such Bank of America, Wells Fargo(WFC_), JPMorgan Chase(JPM_), Citigroup(C_) and Ally Financial from further mortgage investigations. For perspective, the laughably small settlement is less than a single year's Wall Street bonus pool.

clip
-----------------------------------------------

my thoughts

The $20 billion settlement is is actually 7 and a half times less than Wall street paid itself in bonuses for just 2010.($150 billion) http://moneywatch.bnet.com/economic-news/video/wall-str...

Buffett despises a true investigators like Schneiderman, and actively worked, along with the other bankster oligarchs behind the scenes to pressure his removal.

Furthermore, Buffett, per the terms of his $5 billion investment in Bank of America, gets paid back before ANYONE else, even the US government, in the event of BOA's demise.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Buffett also played his typical disinfo campaign in regards to the rating agencies (talking trash about them, but reaping huge profits through his large holdings in Moody's, as they blatantly mis-rated mortgages in the sub-prime debacle.

http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2010062202/warren-b ...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Buffett and derivatives:

Lets Hold Benedict Arnold Billionaire Warren Buffett Accountable


http://www.alternet.org/story/146795/let%C3%A2%E2%82%AC ...


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Lastly, let me turn to Buffett and his widely played remarks calling for higher taxes on the rich for capital gains and dividends.

Buffett owns HUGE shares in companies, he cannot easily pull out of a stock without destroying its market value. He also is known for long term holding, and reaping huge profits, and if his companies get in trouble, he goes running to the government to bail him out.

So, what better to ensure a stock's price than raising the penalty on ALL OTHERS for pulling out by taxing that capital gain at a much higher rate. He is actually calling for the government to force people to stay in stocks much longer than they would have, due to tax penalties. Meanwhile, he completely benefits, as this captive group of investors now is much less likely to abandon the firms that he holds huge shares in. Meanwhile Buffett and his fellow ilk will use ultra-complicated (and previously illegal) accounting methods to offset the increase in taxes he would have paid via losses that he will say he incurred.


I completely agree the truly rich should pay more, as the US tax system is designed to smash small and medium sized firms, whilst the big multinationals, who basically wrote the tax code through lobbyist pressure, pay next to nothing. But Warren Buffett's plans are a sham, a scheme, and also will hurt, once again the small investor and small businesses, who employ 70% of all Americans.


--------------------------------------------

If Warren Buffett, (a billionaire who has consistently used his privileged position to suckle off a bastardized version of crony capitalism which has morphed into corporate fascism through its confluences with the deepest cores of state power) is a 'hero', then........... HOW LOW the thresholds for the heroes of our age have fallen..........
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JohnnyRingo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #53
63. Yes, he's good with money
he's also modest enough to still live in the house he bought back in the '50s before he met his fortune. I'm not saying he's the kind of guy I could hang out with, but along with Gates and such a select few, he remembers his roots and voices commpassion for the working class.

Contrast him with lightweight money mongerers like Bill O'Reilly.
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Ezlivin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
16. Now let's see Jimmy Buffett's tax figures!
I want to know how expensive it is to live in Margaritaville.





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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 04:22 PM
Response to Original message
18. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator.
 
renate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. I see your point, but why should he write a check to the IRS?
Giving money to a well-run charity is much more efficient.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=55...

And Warren Buffett is all about making wise financial decisions. As far as I know, he didn't do anything wrong in amassing his fortune, unlike so many of the Wall Street 1%, so I don't begrudge him one penny of his fortune, nor do I blame him one bit for pointing out how (relatively) little he pays in taxes and how ridiculous that is, while choosing not to make a basically empty gesture. He's spoken out for a long time about the unfairness of the tax code--I think he's fantastic.
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CopingBarker Donating Member (46 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #20
26. I'm with you 100%, he'd be a fool to hand over more than he has to
and by getting with Mr Gates and his foundation, he can direct those monies to where he thinks they'll be most effective.

I don't begrudge the man his wealth at all either.
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shraby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. Why should he? The money is his to do with it as he wants.
He was bringing out the point that he pays less than an employee of his, and the tax rate for the wealthy should be higher. Logical argument.
If he should be criticized for not cutting a check, so should 100% of the 1% who do the same thing.
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a2liberal Donating Member (381 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. Wow, seriously?
The whole "why don't people advocating raising taxes cut a check to the government?" argument is ridiculous bullshit and you know it. I won't even waste my time explaining why but on the off-chance you actually believe in this argument, consider that it is just like telling businesspeople advocating for minimum wage laws to just shut up and implement them in their own businesses instead of dictating what others do.
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CopingBarker Donating Member (46 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. Yeah, pretty much
And actually, it's very much the same argument. If a business owner thinks that minimum wage is too low, he can pay his employees more. I believe that particular argument has more to do with base pay and taxes than actual wages paid but that's another story.

Please, waste your time explaining it to me; I'm thick.

I'd be a lot more convinced of someone that said "I don't pay as much as my poor employees, that's not fair so I'm going to either a) pay the difference in their taxes or b) pay their rate" than someone who says "Gee, I sure got over, you all should put in a rule to stop me from getting so dang rich. In the meantime however, I'm off to the bank!"

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FlaGranny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 05:39 AM
Response to Reply #27
58. If he paid someone elses
taxes, you do realize that the recipient would owe additional taxes on the amount he gave them as it would be additional income?
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a2liberal Donating Member (381 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-14-11 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #27
69. sorry
I don't really have the energy right now to get into it fully but I'll try briefly since you seem to be asking in good faith. Basically, taxes only work if they're enforced on everybody. Buffet throwing in a few million/billion extra is a drop in the bucket and theoretically puts him at a competitive disadvantage. I know it's hard to feel sorry for a billionaire being put at disadvantage, but think about it this way. If you believed you should pay more in taxes, would you voluntarily send the government a check without anyone else having to pay more?

This is a lot easier to see in the minimum wage case. Let's say I'm a small business owner who thinks minimum wage should be a living wage, say double what it is now. If I start paying my employees that and nobody else does, I now have to price everything higher and have limited my customer base to socially conscious moderately well-off folks. The whole "the market will punish businesses that aren't socially responsible" doesn't work when everyone is so poor that they HAVE to buy the cheapest goods they can. Same thing if I decide to voluntary limit pollution/emissions, costing me more and raising the cost of my goods. On the other hand, society, including myself, can recognize that everyone is better off with a higher minimum wage or lower pollution, and force everyone to be on a level playing field so that those who want to be socially responsible don't all go out of business.
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leahcim Donating Member (56 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #18
23. So you do not contest at all...
So you do not contest at all that he is making a ridiculously low tax rate. He has successfully proved that then the rich pay a lower tax rate than the poor, and republican claims that they are being taxed into oblivion are false.

Discussions of what he should be doing that that extra money are nice, but aren't refutations of the fact that he definitely has it.
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CopingBarker Donating Member (46 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. I never said he (or other rich people) wasn't paying a low tax rate (payroll tax)
but that wasn't the point. The point is, if he thinks he should be paying more money to the government in taxes in which he has no control over said tax's distribution (unlike his own charitible donations), I'd be a lot more prone to believe in his altruism if he went ahead and sent in the difference anyway, trusting in the government's ability to put them to good use.

Bottom line is he isn't doing that, so I just wonder what his real motivation is. That's all.
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leahcim Donating Member (56 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #28
36. But that was the point.
Republican party line is, "rich people pay punitive tax rates". Buffet says, "That's not true. Here's my example as proof". Republican party changes the subject instead of even trying to contest.
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trekbiker Donating Member (724 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #28
48. altruism??
more like common sense. Buffet realizes the Republican ideology is destroying this country. Starting with that asswipe Reagan reducing the top tax brackets drastically while upping SS tax rates then raiding the SS trust fund and increasing borrowing to help offset the huge tax breaks for the wealthy.. Buffet knows that destroying the middleclass which the GOP idiots are doing will ultimately destroy the oligarchs such as himself

1. "Payroll tax" is SS tax. 6.2% (12.4% for Buffet most likely), taxable limit $106K. The argument here isnt over payroll taxes or charitable donations, its over Fed income tax and the debt. Buffet's was 17%, lower than most working middle class americans, for instance mine is around 27% on adjusted gross inc. His is so low probably due to dividend income taxed at 15%. the majority of the 99%'ers dont have dividend income. 15% tax rate on divs is a major giveaway to the rich. Dividends should be progressively taxed just like income.

2. NOBODY trusts the government (especially a GOP govt) to put tax dollars to good use. We are 14 TRILLION in the hole and borrowing like mad to pay for GOP wars and tax breaks to the wealthy. Buffet would be a fool to trust the govt and without a higher tax rate on all wealthy americans (and corporations) his "cutting a check" for the difference would make no effective difference on the debt at all.
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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #28
50. This is a bologna argument
And I suspect you know it and post on anyway.

You can write the IRS extra checks, sure. But they just send it back to you. They I have had several of my returns edited and corrected, when I make a math error or I miss a deduction or something. Ive had 2 made smaller and one made larger. So you are not free to just send them more cash if you feel taxes are too low. And I suspect that the IRS takes a closer look at Mr Buffets returns than mine.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #18
24. He's already donated over $11 billion to charity
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14074481

The point is, which individualists never seem to comprehend, that he is saying "I, and people like me, should be paying more tax". He's saying that all billionaires can afford to pay more.

I'd trust him to set tax policy before you, if your post above is typical of your reasoning. Of course, the majority of Americans want the rich to pay more tax too.
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CopingBarker Donating Member (46 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #24
31. There's a big difference between donating to charity and paying more in taxes
I truly hope you understand that. I completely comprehend that he's suggesting other rich people pay more, maybe because he doesn't trust their ability to be philantropic? If that's his point, then make it. He could say "look, I don't pay much in payroll tax but I give billions in charity. These other selfish loosers in the Billionaire club? Not so much. You should take more money from them, and me too I guess"
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 03:58 AM
Response to Reply #31
57. You were the one who brought up his charitable donations
I truly hope you understand that. He does say "look, I don't pay much in payroll tax. These other selfish loosers in the Billionaire club? Not so much. You should take more money from them, and me too". But he doesn't use his charitable giving as an excuse, and neither does he say 'I guess', because he's clear he's in the bracket of 'should be told to pay more'.
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DFW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 04:53 PM
Response to Original message
25. if his gross income was $63 million and his taxable income was $40 million
I want to know what non-taxable category that last $23 million was!!
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #25
34. mortgage deduction?
Edited on Wed Oct-12-11 05:34 PM by valerief
:shrug:

:rofl:
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DFW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #34
55. Go ahead and laugh
But I know of a guy in Florida (Republican supporter and fundraiser until he went bust) who borrowed
$35 million from a bank for his business, and then built this house for $25 million:



I don't know what his mortgage deduction was, but I know Warren Buffett lives in a modest house in Omaha
that he paid for with his own money. On the other hand this guy in Florida used money that wasn't his to
build this perverse excuse for a "residence."
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klook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 05:29 PM
Response to Original message
33. Class warfare
Why are they attacking a poor lil' old billionaire? These Republicans must hate Job Creators.
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Turbineguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
35. Warren Buffett is a wealthy man because
companies he owns sell products to the middle class. He knows that destroying the middle class is not in his interest. This is something that these GOP yaboes do not understand.

When I buy my Wife a box of See's chocolates, maybe a penny or two goes in his pocket. I'm OK with that.
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begin_within Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
37. He released his tax figures to the GOP? And not to anyone else?
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Heywood J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #37
42. I believe he did to PBS last year. (NT)
He seems to do so whenever he's seriously asked.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
41. heh
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Qutzupalotl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 06:30 PM
Response to Original message
43. Now THAT's a gross income.
Glad he's speaking up.
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Firebrand Gary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
44. Murdock needs to show us his?
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #44
64. I agree, Buffet challenged Murdoch to do the same.
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SoapBox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 06:37 PM
Response to Original message
45. Let's see the KKKoch Brothers returns! Or Murdoch's!
...the chicken shit GOPBaggers will never release theirs.
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EC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 06:57 PM
Response to Original message
46.  They'll audit him now
and say he didn't pay enough and cheated the government.
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
47. Yeah, but where's the long-form birth certificate?
I'm still waiting for the one for that poor critter on Trump's scalp, too.
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DemoTex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 09:51 PM
Response to Original message
52. I knew - and really liked - Armand Hammer.
But Warren Buffett is fast becoming a tycoon I can live with. He just kicked the GOP's ass.

Hammer, if you have forgotten, was a friend of Russia when Russia had no friends in the USA (of course, it was mostly about Occidental Petroleum). Hammer bragged that he had been the only man in history friendly with both Vladimir Lenin and Ronald Reagan.

And then there is the art.


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Brother Buzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #52
67. Ironically, Occidental Petroleum was just a chance accident he stumbled into for a tax break
He and his wife, positioning themselves for a comfortable retirement, each dropped $50,000 into a small Podunk California wildcat drilling operation for tax purposes. They punched into the Mother of all gas fields, Armand Hammer came out of retirement, and the rest is history.

His autobiography merits a read.
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saras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 10:30 AM
Response to Original message
61. Maybe Anonymous needs to release the tax returns of the rest of them
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Supply Side Jesus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-11 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #61
68. +!
:thumbsup:
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