Remember Joe Wilson? That night Obama was giving one of his quadzillion speeches, and Joe shouted “You LIE!”
Well, Obama was a liar before Joe Wilson’s outburst and he remained a liar after Joe Wilson’s outburst. And it’s nice that every once-in-a-while a mainstream media outlet such as the Associated Press points that fact out.
FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?
By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER – Associated Press | AP – Sep 20, 2011.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says he wants to make sure millionaires are taxed at higher rates than their secretaries. The data say they already are.
“Warren Buffett’s secretary shouldn’t pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett. There is no justification for it,” Obama said as he announced his deficit-reduction plan this week. “It is wrong that in the United States of America, a teacher or a nurse or a construction worker who earns $50,000 should pay higher tax rates than somebody pulling in $50 million.”
On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate, and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall taxes collected by the federal government.
The 10 percent of households with the highest incomes pay more than half of all federal taxes. They pay more than 70 percent of federal income taxes, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
In his White House address on Monday, Obama called on Congress to increase taxes by $1.5 trillion as part of a 10-year deficit reduction package totaling more than $3 trillion. He proposed that Congress overhaul the tax code and impose what he called the “Buffett rule,” named for the billionaire investor.
The rule says, “People making more than $1 million a year should not pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class families pay.” Buffett wrote in a recent piece for The New York Times that the tax rate he paid last year was lower than that paid by any of the other 20 people in his office.
“Middle-class families shouldn’t pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires,” Obama said. “That’s pretty straightforward. It’s hard to argue against that.”
There may be individual millionaires who pay taxes at rates lower than middle-income workers. In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service. But that’s less than 1 percent of the nearly 237,000 returns with incomes above $1 million.
This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes, payroll taxes and other taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.
Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay an average of 15 percent of their income in federal taxes.
Lower-income households will pay less. For example, households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay an average of 12.5 percent of their income in federal taxes. Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent.
The latest IRS figures are a few years older — and limited to federal income taxes — but show much the same thing. In 2009, taxpayers who made $1 million or more paid on average 24.4 percent of their income in federal income taxes, according to the IRS.
Those making $100,000 to $125,000 paid on average 9.9 percent in federal income taxes. Those making $50,000 to $60,000 paid an average of 6.3 percent.
Obama’s claim hinges on the fact that, for high-income families and individuals, investment income is often taxed at a lower rate than wages. The top tax rate for dividends and capital gains is 15 percent. The top marginal tax rate for wages is 35 percent, though that is reserved for taxable income above $379,150.
With tax rates that high, why do so many people pay at lower rates? Because the tax code is riddled with more than $1 trillion in deductions, exemptions and credits, and they benefit people at every income level, according to data from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’ official scorekeeper on revenue issues.
The Tax Policy Center estimates that 46 percent of households, mostly low- and medium-income households, will pay no federal income taxes this year. Most, however, will pay other taxes, including Social Security payroll taxes.
“People who are doing quite well and worry about low-income people not paying any taxes bemoan the fact that they get so many tax breaks that they are zeroed out,” said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center. “People at the bottom of the distribution say, ‘But all of those rich guys are getting bigger tax breaks than we’re getting,’ which is also the case.”
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was pressed at a White House briefing on the number of millionaires who pay taxes at a lower rate than middle-income families. He demurred, saying that people who make most of their money in wages pay taxes at a higher rate, while those who get most of their income from investments pay at lower rates.
“So it really depends on what is your profession, where’s the source of your income, what’s the specific circumstances you face, and the averages won’t really capture that,” Geithner said.
President Obama has claimed that the “rich” aren’t paying “their fair share” and he likes to use Warren Buffet’s claim that Buffet pays less in income taxes to infer that Buffet’s situation the norm among our wealthier citizens.
Well it isn’t. And, in fact, any number of news organizations have pointed that out today.
President Barack Obama makes it sound as if there are millionaires all over America paying taxes at lower rates than their secretaries. . . . The data tell a different story. On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate, and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall taxes collected by the federal government.
Treasury Secretary Geithner yesterday declined to answer a key question about the president’s proposed ‘Buffett Rule’: How many millionaires and billionaires pay lower tax rates than middle-income families? The answer appears to be this: not many. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has crunched the numbers and found that Warren Buffett and his secretary are the exception to the rule. For the most part, the wealthy pay a significantly higher percentage of their income in taxes than middle-income workers.
There’s one small problem: The entire Buffett Rule premise is false . . . . [N]early all millionaires still paid a rate that is more than twice the 8.9% average rate paid by those earning between $50,000 and $100,000, and more than three times the 7.2% average rate paid by those earning less than $50,000. The larger point is that the claim that CEOs are routinely paying lower tax rates than their secretaries is Omaha hokum.
And the WSJ calls it what it really is:
We rehearse all of this because it shows that the real point of Mr. Obama’s Buffett Rule and his latest deficit proposal isn’t tax justice or good tax policy. It is all about re-election politics.
[W]ith some 14 months until Election Day 2012, Obama’s speech yesterday essentially marked the end of the governing season and the beginning of the campaign. White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer admitted as much to the New York Times. ‘The popular narrative is that we sought compromise in a quixotic quest for independent votes. We sought out compromise because a failure to get funding of the government last spring and then an extension of the debt ceiling in August would have been very bad for the economy and for the country.’ Pfeiffer added, ‘We were in a position of legislative compromise by necessity. That phase is behind us.
If there is any transparency at all to this administration, it is this – there every move is obvious and it is clear this is being pushed out there for political reasons, not reasons having to do with what is best for the country.
Do you know why – even as Obama continually lies and demagogues the rich in his Marxist class-warfare campaign – he never actually says just how much more “the rich” should pay? Because the stock market would completely TANK and remain tanked until the fool resigned from office in the disgust and disgrace he so richly deserves.
So he demonizes in the abstract. Absolutely NOTHING Obama is saying has a single melting snowball’s chance in the basement of hell of becoming actual U.S. policy; this is pure political posturing and pandering as Obama tries to regain some toehold with his disintegrating base.
A president with a conscience would be trying to actually fix the problems in Washington and reach out to enact legislation that could make a positive difference. But “conscience” rules out Obama. The man is a demagogue and a fearmonger to the very core of his being.
Prior to giving his speech before the joint session of Congress a couple of weeks ago, it is utterly incredible to note that Obama made ZERO attempt to contact Speaker John Boehner to work out some kind of deal that would get through Congress and become law. Obama doesn’t want solutions; he wants to demonize and blame other people for the mess that HE and ONLY HE has created. Obama is the president; but the buck stops anywhere but with him.
So blame George Bush. Because even three years after leaving office, George Bush remains more of a president and more of a leader than Barack Obama ever was or ever will be.
That said, let me mention Warren Buffett. It’s funny how this fraud says he wants to pay more taxes. Because first of all, there is NOTHING stopping him from paying more tax to the federal government other than the fact that he is a liar and a hypocrite. EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN can pay as much as they want to the Treasury.
Second of all, if Warren Buffett wants to pay more taxes, the fraud might start off by paying the billion dollars in back taxes he already owes:
Warren Buffet May Owe A Billion Dollars In Back Taxes
Obama’s favorite billionaire isn’t quite ready to practice what he preaches.
by John Hayward
Warren Buffett, President Obama’s pet billionaire, spends a great deal of time calling for tax increases on wealthy people. He began a recent New York Times op-ed, entitled “Stop Coddling the Super-Rich,” as follows:
OUR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.
While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors.
These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places.
That’s right, serfs: anything your benevolent “leaders” in Washington allow you to keep is a “blessing” that has been “showered” upon you. All money rightfully belongs to the State. It’s about time you spotted owls got with the program.
Funny thing is, it turns out Buffett was being… shall we say… disingenuous when he claimed his “leaders” never got around to asking for his “shared sacrifice.” His company, Berkshire Hathaway?, has been fighting the IRS tooth and nail to avoid paying its federal tax bill for nearly a decade.
How much of the State’s rightful money has this hypocrite been clutching in a white-knuckled death grip? Oh, only about a billion dollars or so. Bill Wilson of Americans for Limited Government tallies up the bill:
Using only publicly-available documents, a certified public accountant (CPA) detailed Berkshire Hathaway’s tax problems to ALG researcher Richard McCarty. Now, the American people have a better idea of how much in back taxes the company could owe Uncle Sam.
According to page 56 of the company report, “At December 31, 2010… net unrecognized tax benefits were $1,005 million”, or about $1 billion. McCarty explained, “Unrecognized tax benefits represent the company’s potential future obligation to the IRS and other taxing authorities. They have to be recorded in the company’s financial statements.”
He added, “The notation means that Berkshire Hathaway’s own auditors have probably said that $1 billion is more likely than not owed to the government.”
On top of this tax bill, figure the value of the time IRS agents have invested trying to collect it – they don’t work cheap, and we pay their salaries – and the resources Buffett’s people have invested fighting back. All of which would have been saved if Buffett simply practiced what he preached, and willingly handed over his fortune to the brilliant and compassionate “leaders” he commands the rest of us to support without resistance.
Warren Buffet is no different from the other liars and frauds orbiting Barack Obama?. His hypocrisy just runs billions of dollars deeper. When it comes to “shared sacrifice,” you do the sacrificing, and they do the sharing.
Allow me to add Warren Buffett to the VERY partial list of liberal frauds who inhabit Barack Obama’s orbit of prodigious hypocrisy:
And, of course, Democrats who lecture us on “paying our fair share” while they either welch on their debts, refuse to contribute to charity, cheat on their taxes, or all damn three are a dime a dozen. Let’s have a few prominent examples: Bill and Hillary Clinton, who have largely welched on Hillary’s campaign debts. There’s Charlie Rangel, the man who chaired the committee that wrote the tax laws while not bothering to pay his own damn taxes. There’s “Turbo Tax” Timothy Geithner, the man in charge of the Treasury and I.R.S. who didn’t bother to pay his own taxes. There’s former Democrat candidate for president John Kerry, a millionaire, who tried to wriggle away like the worm he is from paying the taxes he should have paid on his yacht. There’s Kerry’s wife and fellow Democrat Teresa Heinz-Kerry, who in spite of inheriting the Heinz fortune actually pays less in taxes than the median American family. And then there’s a bunch of more garden variety cockroach Democrats such as Eric Holder, Tom Daschle, Bill Richardson, and Claire McCaskill. And the vile putrid bunch of Democrats running Bell, California.
Another thing to recognize – and another example of the disgusting hypocrisy that today is the quintessential defining characteristic of the entire Democrat Party – is that “The Warren Buffet Rule” wouldn’t actually even apply to Warren Buffett. This is because of a fundamental disingenuous misrepresentation that Obama has deliberately peddled conflating income taxes with capital gains taxes.
Warren Buffett pays low taxes because first and foremost, he is a tax cheat who has not paid a BILLION DOLLARS in tax debt and who has been fighting his obligation to the last lawyer even as he hypocritically demands that everyone else pay more taxes like he himself won’t. But it goes beyond that. Another simple fact is that Buffett has structured his income in such a way as to MINIMIZE his income tax liability – just like nearly all wealthy people (and especially the wealthy liberal hypocrite jackasses) – do. Warren Buffett has his assets in trusts and foundations and structures his assets that he takes income as capital gains – with are taxed at less than half the rate of income tax. He doesn’t HAVE to do that; it’s just that this lying fraud chooses to do that to reduce his tax liability as much as possible.
What would happen if capital gains were taxed at the same rate as income tax – as Obama suggests we begin doing?
Kiss investment goodbye. Kiss the U.S. economy goodbye. Kiss millions and millions of jobs goodbye. And kiss the next genuine Great Depression hello.
Whenever a person invests in a stock or a company, there is a very good chance that that person may well lose money. It is a RISK. And if you lose, the most you can deduct is something like $3,500 on your taxes. But if you win, the government currently takes 15% of whatever you gained. It’s a good deal for the federal government, if you lose, you lose and the government loses nothing; if you gain, the government helps itself to your winnings. And the simple fact of the matter is that as an investor loses the ability to profit from his investment – while receiving no similar increase in his ability to be protected from his losses – his or her incentive to invest dries up like cheap plastic in a hot and arid desert.
And unless the poor are going to start risking THEIR money to fund and build businesses that in turn hire workers, the American economy will pretty much just fade away and go poof.
All that to say that unless we start attacking investment by attacking capital gains, the Buffett rule would hypocritically most certainly NOT apply to the very man it’s named after.
Up to this point, Obama’s entire presidency has consisted in making false promises, lying, demagoguing and demonizing his opponents and imposing failed “solutions” that have made what was bad far worse.
And as the Liar-in-Chief goes into full-fledged campaign mode, it appears he is merely picking up speed to accelerate all of the above.