Sunday, September 18, 2011

Millyuns and millyuns and millyuns ...

The president seems to have beat a tactical retreat on his odd call for raising taxes on those earning $200,000 ($250,000 for couples) on the grounds that "millionaires and billionaires" supposedly pay federal taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries. (Mr. Obama calls this the Buffett Rule after Warren Buffett, who first made the argument.) Tomorrow he will raise the threshold to $1,000,000. After all, it's hard to whip up class envy against two-hundred-thousand-aires, especially when the president's most devoted followers seem to fall into that income group.

The devil is in the details, of course. You may be sure that, whatever the millionaires' tax is called, in practice it will amount to taxing dividends and capital gains as ordinary income. This ignores the fact (as Mr. Buffett cannily ignores the fact) that dividends have already been taxed at the source, and that capital gains are mostly illusory, generated by government-inspired inflation.

However it works out, it won't affect Mr. Buffett much. Like Bill Gates, he has already socked away his millyuns (billyuns?) into charitable trusts. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford


At 5:44 PM, Blogger Dan Ford said...

The Associated Press does a "Fact Check" on the president's claim that the rich pay taxes at a lesser rate than their employess:

Blue skies! -- Dan Ford


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