The sound of crickets chirping is what you hear when you ask President Obama what his plans for lowering the deficit are. Mark Steyn wrote a wonderful article in the National Review today encapsulating the current budget debate. He points out that the Buffett Rule the President keeps touting will balance the budget in 514 years. Wow! Fiscal responsibility at its best!
The article gives us some perspective on the amount of the federal debt and what the Buffett Rule would accomplish:
.,..For what Obama’s spending, there aren’t enough of them, or us, or “the rich” — and there never will be. There is only one Warren Buffett. He is the third-wealthiest person on the planet. The first is a Mexican, and beyond the reach of the U.S. Treasury. Mr. Buffett is worth $44 billion. If he donated the entire lot to the government of the United States, they would blow through it within four and a half days. Okay, so who’s the fourth-richest guy? He’s French. And the fifth guy’s a Spaniard. Number six is Larry Ellison. He’s American, but that loser is only worth $36 billion. So he and Buffett between them could keep the United States government going for a week. The next-richest American is Christy Walton of Walmart, and she’s barely a semi-Buffett. So her $25 billion will see you through a couple of days of the second week. There aren’t a lot of other semi-Buffetts, but, if you scrounge around, you can rustle up some hemi-demi-semi-Buffetts: If you confiscate the total wealth of the Forbes 400 richest Americans it comes to $1.5 trillion, which is just a little less than the Obama budget deficit for a year.
The article reminds us that President Obama has been saying horrible things about the Paul Ryan budget. The President’s budget was defeated in the House of Representatives by 414 to 0. Where is his alternative plan?
Please follow the link to the National Review to read the entire article. Mark Steyn has a very entertaining way of explaining where we are in terms of spending and taxing and what we need to do about it.
We all heard about the excessive tax burden of Warren Buffett’s Secretary (who makes more than $200,000 per year), but my sympathy for this lady is running a little thin. I am glad she makes what she makes, but the fact that she is overtaxed has nothing to do with what Mr. Buffett pays in taxes–it has to do with the fact that the government is overspent.
Yesterday The Smoking Gun pointed out that this poor overtaxed lady just bought a second home in Arizona, complete with a swimming pool and a “professional PGA putting green,” according to real estate records.
The article reports:
The principal Bosanek residence is in Bellevue, Nebraska, several miles from Buffett’s corporate headquarters in Omaha. The couple’s 2568-square-foot home, built in 2000, also has four bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths. But the modest property, which Sarpy County assessors last year valued at $217,716, offers no outdoor amenities for swimmers or golfers.
All of us are overtaxed. Mr. Buffett is not undertaxed. The government is overspent.
On Friday the Washington Examiner posted a transcript of an interview of Warren Buffett on CNBC where Mr. Buffett stated that he did not support President Obama’s new tax pollicy. Howeber, Mr. Buffett did state that Counselor to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner had called him to ask his permission to use his name for President Obama’s new tax policy.
The transcript states:
CNBC: Does that you mean you disagree with the president’s new jobs proposal which would be paid for by raising taxes on households with incomes over $250,000?
Buffett: There is another program that I won’t be discussing. My program is to have on ultra rich people who are paying very low tax rates. Not just all the rich people. And it would probably apply to 50,000 people in a population of 300 million.
It doesn’t sound as if Mr. Buffett is totally on board with the White House. The thing to remember here is that there is only so much money you can actually get by taxing the ‘rich.’ The rich have tax lawyers and CPA’s to help them avoid paying any more taxes than they are required to pay. When the government decides it wants more money coming in and does not want to cut spending, eventually it works out that the middle class pays more taxes because that’s the tax bracket that encompasses the majority of Americans. The best example of that is the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) which was originally only supposed to impact a very small number of Americans. In 1970, only 19,000 taxpayers owed an AMT. It is now estimated by the Congressional Research Services that if the cuts to the regular income tax are made permanent, the number of taxpayers subject to the AMT will increase from about 1.8 million in 2001 to over 41 million by 2013. We need to remember as the President’s tax proposals are debated, that even when we are told that taxes are only going to impact the rich, they eventually impact the rest of us. New taxes are always a bad idea. Fiscal responsibility on the part of Congress and the President is what is needed.