Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Tax the Rich more and the Poor less ... says US Billionaire

Warren Buffett has today called for the US to make him and his "mega-rich friends" pay more income tax. In an article for the New York Times newspaper, the billionaire investor and philanthropist said the rich should do more to help plug the deficits.

He called for a tax rise for those earning more than $1m (£600,000), and a higher rate for those on over $10m.

In a rebuttal of arguments made by Republicans, he said tax rises would not hurt investment or jobs in the US and he told the Government to "stop coddling the super-rich".

"Our leaders have asked for 'shared sacrifice'," he wrote. "But when they did the asking, they spared me."

Mr Buffett explained that, like many top earners, his income came entirely from investments rather than from employment, which are subject to lower taxes in the US. He said last year he paid an effective tax rate of 17.4%, less than the 33% to 41% paid by the employees in his office.

He dismissed arguments made by senior Republicans, including John Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives, that taxing higher earners more would damage investment and job creation in the US.

"I have yet to see anyone... shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gains," he said, adding "People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off". 

He pointed out that the effective tax rate paid by the highest earners was much higher in the 1980s and 1990s than in the last decade, and yet job creation was much higher in the earlier decades.

His proposed tax rises would not affect 99.7% of taxpayers, he claimed, adding that a 2% payroll tax cut passed in December should stay in place to help the poor and middle classes.

Warren Buffett's message is clear ... tax the rich more and the poor less ... and tax investments more (an example of 'money from nothing') and cut the tax on jobs ... as recommended in my last post ... and Buffett's message is the complete opposite to, and pours total scorn upon, Boris Johnson's and George Osborne's demands to cut the top rate of tax too. 

Their request is nothing to do with boosting the economy ... but everything do with lining their own pockets (they are both multi-millionaires) and the pockets of their ultra-rich friends ... at the expense of everyone else. Buffett's comments also show the hypocrisy of these people, especially when they also use a strap-line like we are 'all in this together' ....

Ignorance is unfortunately not bliss and, as we saw last week, is only going to create more trouble ...