Monday, November 26, 2012

The not-so-great Warren Buffett - Greg Mankiw: "A master of tax avoidance."  "Warren Buffett has an op-ed in today's NY Times on one of his most popular themes: The rich should pay more in taxes.  At first blush, his position seems noble: A rich guy says that people like him should pay more to support the commonweal.  But on closer examination, one realizes that Mr Buffett never mentions doing anything to eliminate the tax-avoidance strategies that he uses most aggressively."

Extra - Corner: "The Buffett Tax Twists".


Anonymous said...

By the same kind of logic, no Senator or Congressman who gets their health care covered can be permitted to reform Medicare, no Governor who opposed the stimuluses can be permitted to accept a dollar of it for their states, and no company affected by a regulation may lobby to remove it.

Eric said...

Warren Buffett has made a cottage industry out of his "altruism" of "tax me more." But as Mankiw details, it's meaningless given Buffett's unrealized capital gains and charity.

Instead of writing NY Times articles, he should just write a big check. For once.

Anonymous said...

You gotta love the way that apostate Warren Buffett always needs to just shut up and write a check... but eliminating Deduction X is always useless grandstanding, because it'll only pay for a small amount of government spending.

Eric said...

Those are two different issues: as the GOP demonstrated, these tax hikes on the rich will pay for nine days of federal spending. Not months...days.

But, hey, if Warren Buffett wants to pay a minimum tax at the same rate as his secretary: GO RIGHT AHEAD. Until then, can we agree that the man is just grandstanding?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, they're totally different. And how many days of federal spending is Buffett's STFU check going to pay for?

"Tax the rich" is such a pointless, idiotic piece of class warfare, that only the one guy we don't like should be obliged to do it. Principles!

Eric said...

Yes, principles. Unlike Buffett's cri de coeur "I'd pay more if the government would just force me."

Also, don't touch my deductions.