On Tuesday there was an editorial in the Wall Street Journal about Warren Buffett and his taxes. I am not linking to the article because it is a subscribers only article.
The editorial staff of the Wall Street Journal points out that despite the fact that he is a strong cheerleader for increasing taxes on the wealthy, Warren Buffett does not practice what he preaches. Recently Mr. Buffett invested in Bank of America. Under normal circumstances, Berkshire Hathaway pays a top federal income tax rate of 35 percent. However, corporations can exclude 70 percent of the dividends they receive from an investment in another corporation. Because of that law, Berkshire will pay a tax rate of 10.5 percent on the $300 million in dividends it will receive each year from Bank of America. The shareholders in Berkshire Hathaway may appreciate this, as well they should, but it really doesn’t sound like the actions of someone who believes that the rich should pay more taxes. Maybe Mr. Buffett thinks that the ‘other’ rich should pay more taxes.