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Buffett Rule

Posted on 2012-03-20
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IS IT TIME TO STOP THE SILLY "BUFFETT RULE" NONSENSE?  


http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TAXES_BUFFETT_RULE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-03-20-13-02-33
A bill designed to enact President Barack Obama's plan for a "Buffett rule" tax on the wealthy would rake in just $31 billion over the next 11 years, according to an estimate by Congress' official tax analysts obtained by The Associated Press.


The revenue from this over 11 years wouldn't cover one month of Obama spending.
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Question by:carsRST
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by:Anthony Russo
Anthony Russo earned 12 total points
ID: 37744375
Looks pretty useless to me.
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by:ScottPletcher
ScottPletcher earned 24 total points
ID: 37744910
True.

But it's never been a serious proposal, it's always been a publicity stunt.  For both Buffet and the president.

I'm a libertarian so I'd eliminate 70% of what the fed govt does if I could, but I'd love to see someone write a truly strong "Buffet rule" and see how he reacted.

Something like:

If you own $1M or more of stock, bonds and other convertible assets, then when the assets are sold, 30% taxes must be paid.  The taxes are assessed PRIOR to any charitable contribution, heir or other beneficiary.  That is, the tax *MUST* be paid.

Furthermore, to prevent rich people from dodging their "fair" taxes -- and remember, that's allegedly the point of the "Buffet rule" -- after 10 years taxes must be paid on unrealized gains.  Naturally they can be paid from other money, or by selling some of the assets in q, but ALL taxes MUST be paid EVERY TEN YEARS, even if the underlying asset is not yet sold.  Naturally if the value of the asset drops, then already paid taxes become credits that can be applied to other taxes.

Well, Buffie, what do you say?  Do you support a REAL tax on "the wealthy"?
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by:beetos
beetos earned 12 total points
ID: 37745207
Two things:

1 - if it's so "minimal", then why is it such a big issue to impose?

2 - if 31 billion over a decade isn't much, why is it so important to deprive Planned Parenthood and NPR of their meager millions?

Scott brings up a good point - capital gains.   Brokers who earn millions per year through fund management pay capital gains taxes of about 15% instead of the higher "earned income" rate.
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by:ScottPletcher
ID: 37745255
Planned Parenthood nor NPR should get any tax money.

Of course neither should:

farmers -- corn, sugar, whatever, NO subsidies
businesses
mortgage holders (yes, I have a mortgage, and yes, the mortgage deduction should be ENDED -- it just artificially inflates the cost of houses)
etc. etc.

NO special payments should go to ANYONE by the fed govt.

We should also do away with Dept of Ed (first -- just a Carter payoff to the teachers' unions), NASA, HUD, Ag Dept, HHS and anything else that is not vital and constitutional for the fed govt to do.
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by:beetos
ID: 37745261
You left out oil/gas subsidies.

I'm just curious why it's only what the right perceives as "liberal" causes that come on to the chopping block when they talk about debt reduction.  

And why is it so devastating to cut the defense budget - are you telling me there's no waste or bloated infrastructure and budgets in all of the military?
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by:WaterStreet
WaterStreet earned 2 total points
ID: 37745272
Social Security and Medicare?
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by:beetos
ID: 37745279
Ayn Rand used them herself Waterstreet, so conservatives think those programs are ok.
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by:Anthony Russo
ID: 37745622
Scott,

Who should fund NASA? (This is of special interest to me since I love science and astronomy)

Should there be no space program? We should have never went to the moon? No satellite services like GPS or Direct TV or the hundreds of others?

Where do you expect these technologies to develop and to come from?
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by:carsRST
ID: 37747221
>>Who should fund NASA?

Not Obama.  The community organizer cut funding for NASA.



>> if it's so "minimal", then why is it such a big issue to impose?

If it's so minimal then why impose it?  High income individuals invest in companies that in turn create jobs.  Any money stolen by the government is less money in the private sector.  The government, in turn, invests in companies like Solyndra that go belly up and waste tax dollars - or they invest in union shops like GM, in which tax payers again lost big time.



>>And why is it so devastating to cut the defense budget

Liberals love our enemies and hate the very people protecting us.
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by:ScottPletcher
ID: 37747406
>> Should there be no space program? <<
A govt one, no.  100% waste of money.  Welfare program for scientists.


>> We should have never went to the moon? <<
No.  100% waste of money.  We should have fighting the Soviets directly.


>> No satellite services like GPS or Direct TV or the hundreds of others? <<
?  Not really dependent entirely on the space program.  The big claim used to be computers.   We haven't landed to the moon in 40 years and computers are still progressing very nicely.


>> You left out oil/gas subsidies. <<
How was "NO special payments should go to ANYONE by the fed govt" not clear enough for you?


Soc Sec should be wholly privatized.  Medicare as well.  Get the fed govt OUT of it.  The rates could then be lowered and still provide a better retirement for people.

The feds should stop all contributions to fed govt employee pension plans, EXCEPT for military personnel.  Military personnel do exceptional services and are often underpaid during that time.  They deserve their reasonable pensions.  

Some lard a$$ in congress and his aides and pals at the Dept of Ed or wherever do not deserve their bloated pensions.


The military can and should be cut.  But it should not be eviscerated like Truman, Carter, Clinton and other Dems always do.  It just causes more problems in the world.


We should lift all restrictions on energy development, even suspend EPA rules for coal for two or three years to produce vastly more of our energy.  Only leftists are dumb enough to believe the fiction that the U.S. and Europe destroying their economies with emissions controls will make any real difference when China and India are building huge numbers of coal plants EVERY WEEK.  Surely even a leftist can't be dumb enough to think the Earth can tell the difference between U.S. emissions and Chinese emissions.
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by:leonstryker
ID: 37747542
I would support the 'truly strong "Buffet rule"' as stated by Scott, but would argue as to the tax rate.  The current 15% Capital gains tax seems more appropriate to me.
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ScottPletcher earned 24 total points
ID: 37747581
Ah, but the core of the Buffet rule is that such "rich" (ultra-rich?) should always pay more than their secretaries do on their income.  Buffet's secretary is *very well paid*, and so would fall into the 28% bracket.  Ergo, realistically, you have to charge ~30% to keep the Buffet rule "fair".

But I know Buffet would scream like a stuck pig with this GENUINELY fair version of a tax if we tried to pass it.  

He can posture all we wants because he's giving away most of his money anyway --- or willing it after his death -- in which case he won't get hit with taxes anyway.  He doesn't want *that* loophole taken away.  The rest of the loopholes only hit others, so he's all for that.  That lets him get hugs and kisses from the press and leftists without it actually costing *him* a cent.

[In fact, Buffet's secretary is so well paid she may fall into a higher bracket on the upper end, but she still won't average more than 28% overall tax rate.]
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by:carsRST
ID: 37747682
What's funny is Buffett doesn't pay his current taxes.  He owes the government $366 million now.  


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-09/buffett-s-netjets-is-countersued-by-u-s-over-unpaid-taxes.html
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by:ScottPletcher
ID: 37747996
LOL.  Yep.  As I said, it's all a "the press and the Dems will love me" stunt.

He has NO intention of paying higher taxes.  If we passed something my TRUE Buffet Rule, I guarantee he would leave the country if needed to avoid it.

He's a poser, like Clinton, Gore, Obama, Rangel, Geitner, Daschle, etc..  Dems want everyone ELSE to pay higher taxes.

Clinton took RIDICULOUS deductions to avoid taxes, etc..  

And they don't believe in *personal* charity.  Gore gave $353(!) to charity out of 200K+ in income one year as VP.  I gave way more than that and make less than 100K.  [Of course the next year he made big donations, having been embarrassed the previous year, but you could see what his true giving intentions really are.]

So "caring", etc., for Dems is taking money from OTHER people to give it to people who will vote for those Dems.  That's Dems' idea of "charity".
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by:leonstryker
ID: 37748019
>Ah, but the core of the Buffet rule is that such "rich" (ultra-rich?) should always pay more than their secretaries do on their income.  Buffet's secretary is *very well paid*, and so would fall into the 28% bracket.  Ergo, realistically, you have to charge ~30% to keep the Buffet rule "fair".

Yes, but she pays 28% of earning, while he pays 15% of Capital gains on top of the taxes that the company which earned this money already paid. Technically he is already paying more through double taxation, than the secretary since her salary is an expense and was not taxed at corporate level.

Assuming she is making $100K the government received $28K of that, while are the same time the government received 30% of the $100K at the corporate level and 15% of the $70K when Buffet got it, which works out to roughly $40.5K

I know that the math here is rough and that there are ways for corporations to hide profits and there are plenty of loop holes, but that's a separate discussion.
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by:ScottPletcher
ID: 37748041
Actually, that's all a separate discussion.

The entire intent and point of the Buffet rule is that he pay a rate higher than his secretary -- regardless of the type of income.  As Buffet himself said, "a buck {is / should be} a buck".


>> Technically he is already paying more through double taxation <<

Careful.  Technically, *he* did NOT pay it, the corp already paid, not him.  Yes, he is a shareholder, but he has not *personally* paid anything yet on that money.
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by:ScottPletcher
ID: 37748056
The currently proposed "Buffet rule" would still allow charitable contributions to be deducted.  Buffet himself STILL keeps his dodge.  Friggin' hyprocrite.  If he was geniunely sincere, he would insist that the rich pay their taxes BEFORE charitable contributions.
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by:carsRST
ID: 37748058
>>Careful.  Technically, *he* did NOT pay it, the corp already paid, not him.  Yes, he is a shareholder, but he has not *personally* paid anything yet on that money.

I with Leon.  However you want to look at it - the money is taxed twice.  As part owner, he is in effect personally paying that rate once and then twice on his personal return.
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by:leonstryker
ID: 37748069
> Technically, *he* did NOT pay it, the corp already paid, not him.

Yes, you right. It all depends on the what the meaning of the word "is" is.
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by:leonstryker
ID: 37748186
>The currently proposed "Buffet rule" would still allow charitable contributions to be deducted.  Buffet himself STILL keeps his dodge.  Friggin' hyprocrite.  If he was geniunely sincere, he would insist that the rich pay their taxes BEFORE charitable contributions.

I am not sure about charitable contributions. I can see arguments both for and against.

What is your logic, Scott as to why you should not be able to deduct these from your taxes?
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by:ScottPletcher
ID: 37748195
But Buffet has been very explicit in saying that "a buck should be a buck", regardless of what type of income it is.

I actually agree with him on that one.  The govt claims to be taxing "income" -- well, it should tax income then, regardless.

The cure is to reduce ALL taxes, not carve out this type of income or that type of income for special breaks -- that just gives congress more clout to force bribes -- er, donations -- for its own members.
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by:ScottPletcher
ID: 37748233
Just for the "rich", to make the "Buffet rule" real, and not a P/R fraud.

Buffet already has stated he plans to give 95%+ of his money to charity.  So if he can deduct charitable contributions, the "Buffet rule" is 100% phony.  I say end the phoniness.  He says he wants to pay *his* FAIR share of taxes, well, then he SHOULD.
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by:Anthony Russo
ID: 37748691
>>Not Obama.  The community organizer cut funding for NASA.

Yes and it sucks.

>> Should there be no space program? <<
>>A govt one, no.  100% waste of money.  Welfare program for scientists.

Every major exploration in history was funded by governments. Marco Polo, Columbus, Lewis & Clarke. Without government funding, it don't happen. America never gets discovered at all.

>> We should have never went to the moon? <<
>>No.  100% waste of money.  We should have fighting the Soviets directly.

Only considered one of the greatest achievements of human history.

>> No satellite services like GPS or Direct TV or the hundreds of others? <<
>>Not really dependent entirely on the space program.  The big claim used to be computers.   We haven't landed to the moon in 40 years and computers are still progressing very nicely.

A ton of technology we use every day comes directly from work done at NASA. If the government didn't launch rockets and satellites first these technologies wouldn't be there.

The microwave in your kitchen is there because a chocolate bar melted in a scientists pocket as he walked past a machine emitting microwaves.

MRI that is used to save lives every day was invented through the work of an astrophysicist studying the resonance imaging of the universe and it was later adapted for medical uses.

Without the governments funding exploration and organizations like NASA, we would be living without most of the technology we have today. Then again, ,that is the way lots of conservatives seem to want it. They want the world and society of 200 years ago.
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by:leonstryker
ID: 37748697
So you are not against deductions to charities, but rather against it in this specific case.
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by:carsRST
ID: 37748743
>>Without the governments funding exploration and organizations like NASA, we would be living without most of the technology we have today.

Imagine what shape we'd be in if Obama didn't fund Solyndra.
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by:Anthony Russo
ID: 37748914
>>Imagine what shape we'd be in if Obama didn't fund Solyndra.

NASA is not Solyndra.
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by:carsRST
ID: 37748921
>>NASA is not Solyndra.

Again, your boy, B Hussein, cut NASA's funding.  He'd rather pay off unions and donors than fund space exploration.
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by:ScottPletcher
ID: 37749130
>> Every major exploration in history was funded by governments. <<
Patently absurd claim.


>> America never gets discovered at all. <<
LOL.  You really want to claim that?  Really???
Actually, America had ALREADY been discovered ... several times.


>> Only considered one of the greatest achievements of human history. <<
Yes, the propoganda was incredible.  But what did it "achieve" *SPECIFICALLY* that did us any good?  NOTHING.  Just that we "finally went to the moon".  Big whoop.

We'd have gotten vastly more useful info by going deeper under the oceans and earth.


>> Without the governments funding exploration and organizations like NASA, we would be living without most of the technology we have today. <<

Bull.  What govt exploration and funding was there for telephones?  Huh??  Phones were still invented, and still are being enhanced.  

The govt had nothing to do with Kitty Hawk.  The cotton gin.  The mechanical loom.

The vast majority of great inventions all occurred outside govt.


>> The microwave in your kitchen is there because a chocolate bar melted in a scientists pocket as he walked past a machine emitting microwaves. <<

Yes, DURING WWII.  By that logic, Hitler would have to be given credit for that.  And for:
modern rockets for satellites (NOT NASA, wasn't even around yet; V1)
    [although, of course, basic rockets were fired in the *Revolutionary War* ... but let's not disillusion you too much all at the same time]
microwaves
ICBMs (V2)
guided missiles
modern computers (viz COLOSSUS -- from Wikipedia:
    Colossus was the world's first electronic, digital, programmable computer. Colossus and
    its successors were used by British codebreakers to help read encrypted German
    messages during World War II.)
modern cryptograhy and cryptoanalysis
and so on.



>> Again, your boy, B Hussein, cut NASA's funding <<

Yes, not nearly enough.  Should be zero'd out.  Space stations and Mars are just boondoggles.  As least someone can actually use a "Bridge to Nowhere".  A trip to Mars is just utterly worthless, except to sate some scientists' idle curiosity.
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by:Anthony Russo
ID: 37749535
>> Every major exploration in history was funded by governments. <<
>>Patently absurd claim.

Example?

>> America never gets discovered at all. <<
>>LOL.  You really want to claim that?  Really???
>>Actually, America had ALREADY been discovered ... several times.

Excuse me - Colonized is a better word than discovered.

>> Only considered one of the greatest achievements of human history. <<
>>Yes, the propoganda was incredible.  But what did it "achieve" *SPECIFICALLY* that did us any good?  NOTHING.  Just that we "finally went to the moon".  Big whoop.

It's called dreaming of bigger things. Motivating kids in school to learn engineering and science. They build monuments to astronauts.

"If you want people to build a ship, don't give them wood and tools. Give them a yearning for the sea"

That is what going to the moon did. The entire economy boosted.

http://youtu.be/Xhc25v0DpJc

>>We'd have gotten vastly more useful info by going deeper under the oceans and earth.

Also important scientific work.

>> Without the governments funding exploration and organizations like NASA, we would be living without most of the technology we have today. <<

>>Bull.  What govt exploration and funding was there for telephones?  Huh??  Phones were still invented, and still are being enhanced.  

>>The govt had nothing to do with Kitty Hawk.  The cotton gin.  The mechanical loom.

>>The vast majority of great inventions all occurred outside govt.

Many is better word than most. You are correct

>> The microwave in your kitchen is there because a chocolate bar melted in a scientists pocket as he walked past a machine emitting microwaves. <<

Yes, DURING WWII.  By that logic, Hitler would have to be given credit for that.  And for:
modern rockets for satellites (NOT NASA, wasn't even around yet; V1)
    [although, of course, basic rockets were fired in the *Revolutionary War* ... but let's not disillusion you too much all at the same time]
microwaves
ICBMs (V2)
guided missiles
modern computers (viz COLOSSUS -- from Wikipedia:
    Colossus was the world's first electronic, digital, programmable computer. Colossus and
    its successors were used by British codebreakers to help read encrypted German
    messages during World War II.)
modern cryptograhy and cryptoanalysis
and so on.

That was a demonstration of how attempting one area of science can benefit an entire new technology. I'm very aware NASA did not invent the microwave.

Rockets that could reach orbit was NASA, not just weapons as you point out. Without NASA, funded by the government, we would not have the satellites, and the services they provide we have today.

>> Again, your boy, B Hussein, cut NASA's funding <<

Yes, not nearly enough.  Should be zero'd out.  Space stations and Mars are just boondoggles.  As least someone can actually use a "Bridge to Nowhere".  A trip to Mars is just utterly worthless, except to sate some scientists' idle curiosity.

Again: http://youtu.be/Xhc25v0DpJc
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by:ScottPletcher
ID: 37749587
>> Without NASA, funded by the government, we would not have the satellites, and the services they provide we have today. <<

Ridiculous.  We'd have them.  Maybe they would have taken a few more years to be developed, but we'd have them.

Again, we used to hear this bs about computers and the space program.  "Computers would never have gotten smaller except for the space program."  Baloney.  They're still getting smaller, and will continue to even if we stop wasting money on Mars exploration.



>> It's called dreaming of bigger things. <<
No, dreams are FREE.

>> Motivating kids in school to learn engineering and science. <<
We can do that in other ways, I'm sure.  We don't have to waste trillions just for that.

>> They build monuments to astronauts. <<
Sigh ... so we're wasting even MORE money?  Too sad.
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by:ScottPletcher
ID: 37749597
>> Rockets that could reach orbit was NASA <<

The Soviets ran NASA?  I never knew that :-) .
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by:leonstryker
ID: 37756853
>> Rockets that could reach orbit was NASA <<

>The Soviets ran NASA?  I never knew that :-) .

Both programs were direct beneficiaries from German rocket development after WWII. The entire space exploration program was government sponsored (be it Soviet, German, or NASA)
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