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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Warren Buffet Pays 17.7% Tax Rate; His Employees Pay 32.9%

Interesting report from the Hillary Clinton fundraiser last night:  Warren Buffet complained that he paid a 17.7% tax rate on his $46 million of taxable income in 2006, while his employees paid an average 32.9% tax rate (his receptionist's tax rate was 30%).

Update:  For additional commentary, see

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2007/06/warren-buffet-p.html

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Comments

Holy Something, Batman!! How much does his receptionist make, anyway? (And does he need another one? I'd be available.)

Posted by: JorgXMcKie | Jun 27, 2007 3:34:29 PM

We thought we would be living large when my wife went into business for herself, charging a hefty per hour rate for IT consulting and then discovered that she had to pay her payroll taxes out her business profits and then her income taxes (around 30%) - as Frank Barone used to say "HOLY CRAP!!!!!" How many more people could be working in this country if businesses could afford to hire them without having to shell out so much for hiring them in the first place?

Posted by: AT | Jun 27, 2007 3:35:00 PM

Forget his taxable income, let me have a little piece of his _non-taxable_ income.

Note well that when they fly Buffet's employees pay the landing costs of Buffet's private jet company. And he's managed to transfer parts of his estate tax free to his children via his tax free charitable foundation.

You've got to love the guy -- he's all in favor of taxing that other rich guy, the one over there. When it would matter, he's against changing the tax code.

Posted by: PrestoPundit | Jun 27, 2007 3:36:41 PM

This is a red herring, They include FICA in the secretary's which would make all of us except the uber-waelthy look over taxed.

Btw, that is actually another separate issue. We pay FICA tax of 12% including our employer's share- that should be enough to fund a nice comfortable retirement for everyone (who worked) but the government spends it all - that is why the political class does not want private accounts which they could not squander.

Posted by: aj lynch | Jun 27, 2007 3:43:55 PM

Kinda curious about how Buffett is affected by the 'death tax', which he also advocates.

My guess is that if you have enough money, you can set up a private 'trust', which in name puts the money to public service, but avoids the 30% hit.

I was kinda hoping that when Bill Gates and Buffet die, they could put a big chunk into paying our govt debt. My guess is that they know what a 'black hole' looks like and will stay clear of its orbit.

Love to know what Teresa Heinz paid when her 'only love' died.

Posted by: paul | Jun 27, 2007 3:50:23 PM

Buffett has been moaning about this point for quite some time.

Although I can't find any information on his 2006 return, we're all aware that dividend income, at this point in history, is non-taxable ( And that's a good thing, especially for retired non-billionaires ), as well as the fact that everyone, billionaires included, pay social security taxes only on their first 90K in income.

When you take that into consideration and then lump together a billionaire who earns a salary of $100K/year and about $40 million in dividend income, and a guy earning a salary of $90K per year, is it any wonder you come up with a skewed number like that?

Only one of the richest liberals in the world, who couldn't possibly spend all of his money, would think taxes are two low.

The problem with our tax code is it's complexity.

Posted by: Sean | Jun 27, 2007 3:53:29 PM

Didn't Mrs. Hemsley say: only little people pay taxes?

Posted by: ic | Jun 27, 2007 4:16:03 PM

So how is it that Buffet pays a lower rate than me?

Posted by: Joe Lunchbucket | Jun 27, 2007 4:16:36 PM

How is it that Buffet pays a lower rate than me?

Posted by: Joe Lunchbucket | Jun 27, 2007 4:18:30 PM

I am wondering if this is honest. Is this Warren Buffet paid 17.7%tax raid and his receptionist's salary is in the 30% tax bracket. Did his receptionist pay 30% tax rate?

Posted by: Blaine | Jun 27, 2007 4:19:43 PM

I paid 11% tax in 2004 instead of my normal 30-something% primarily because of tax write offs due to investments. I guess if I did that every year, I'd pay a similarly low rate every year. I'm sure Warren has a similar excuse.

Posted by: proximo | Jun 27, 2007 4:32:21 PM

I paid 11% tax in 2004 instead of my normal 30-something% primarily because of tax write offs due to investments. I guess if I did that every year, I'd pay a similarly low rate every year. I'm sure Warren has a similar excuse.

Posted by: proximo | Jun 27, 2007 4:33:51 PM

This is a half-truth -- at best -- that Warren has been crowing about in his quest to have taxes raised. He's (obviously) smarter than this -- so he's hoping that others aren't.

His argument, you see, is that by reducing the dividend tax rate, rich guys like him are making out like bandits. What he conveniently leaves out, of course, is corporate income taxes -- ie, taxes paid on corporate earnings prior to their being distributed in the form of dividends.

Well, Warren Buffett owns an awful lot of corporate equity. And those corporations he owns earn a lot and pay a lot of taxes. He's not counting these earnings in his $46 million personal income, nor is he counting any of those taxes paid to figure his rate.

I own stock in a number of S Corporations. And, as we know, these are treated differently. Here, all corporate earnings go proportionately on my personal income tax returns and I pay the taxes on what the corporation earned -- whether I received a distribution from the company or not.

In the C Corporations that Warren has so much equity in, it doesn't work that way. The company pays taxes on its income first and then may or may not distribute earnings to their owners -- who then pay the additional 15% tax on those dividends.

I have an idea for Mr. Buffett. I think he should total up his share of ownership in Coca-Cola, Gillette, Washington Post, etc., from that total up his share of their earnings, and his share of what they paid in taxes.

That would be a more accurate reflection of what he's actually paying in Income Taxes. He's making these incomplete numbers up to argue for a tax increase.

Posted by: Scott | Jun 27, 2007 4:35:39 PM

I find it humorous that the Washington Post article said that there was a vibe of populism in the audience when Warren Buffett spoke. Think about that, the third richest man in the world (second richest in America) speaking at a fundraiser that raised a cool million buck for a very wealthy woman - nice trick old Warren turned with that one!

Posted by: pjc | Jun 27, 2007 4:40:51 PM

Unless you're arguing for a no-deductions flat tax here, what's your point? Buffet payed millions in taxes at that rate, more than all the receptionists in all the companies he owns, combined, and, not surprisingly, had lots of deductions which pushed his effective rate down. You're the tax expert around here, so what I am missing?

Posted by: Ron Coleman | Jun 27, 2007 4:42:02 PM

Is this an average rate or marginal rate? Either way, his receptionist must do very well.

Posted by: GV | Jun 27, 2007 4:56:18 PM

I'm the worst money guy ever, but isn't a lot of that "apples 'n oranges?" I mean, a lot of his money probably comes from capital gains which is taxed at what, 15%? And a lot more probably comes from municipal bonds, which if I'm not mistaken is 0% taxed?

So even if you "tax the rich more" the rich can afford to throw more wealth into bonds and not really care about the rates.

p.s. I'm just an IT guy, so sorry if I'm not understanding it right. :-)

Posted by: Dorf | Jun 27, 2007 5:17:28 PM

I have a lot or respect for Buffet's business acumen but he has slipped off the pedestal with his harping on the estate tax while moving the bulk of his wealth into trusts and foundations that exempt it from the tax.

Warren, if the confiscatory death tax is good enough for me and my family why not you and yours? If the government can make better use of my estate why has yours been moved so that you and your heirs can decide how it is used? Do you know better than the feds how to use your money.

Please. Look up hypocrisy in the dictionary.

Posted by: jbubba | Jun 27, 2007 5:47:08 PM

The WaPo article is really a hoot. The "populism" of millionaires for Hillary. I love it. And the odd comment about the receptionist at 30% tax rate. Help me out, but there is no 30% tax marginal rate (at least at the Federal level), so that implies a gross tax of 30%, which implies an AGI of north of 350K for a single filer (I'm not taking into account AMT). And in Buffet's 17.7% case, no doubt that include dividends @15% and maybe some non-AMT munis. I recall that Teresa Kerry had a 15% rate. These guys will just shift to munis if the dividend rate goes to 25% (or whatever), they'll still pay a small percent in taxes.

Posted by: nrk | Jun 27, 2007 5:47:26 PM

Interesting mixture of misinformation and wrong information:

(Contrary to what a someone said above) Dividends are not non-taxable, but they are subject to a special income tax rate of 15%. Since most of Buffet's income is from dividends and capital gains, his effective tax rate should be pretty close to 15% -- which it is. (It would be lower than 15% IF he had a lot of tax exempt income AND you include tax exempt income in calculating the effective tax rate. Opinions differ on whether it is appropriate to include tax exempt income in the calculation. It appears Buffet did not, or had very little tax exempt income, since his effective tax rate of 17.7% is very close to the 15% we'd expect it to be.)

His receptionist gets most of her income from salary, which is taxed at higher ordinary income rates PLUS it is subject to FICA taxes. The combination of these two taxes produce an effective tax rate for most of us wage slaves that is much higher than 15%. Again, it's debatable whether FICA should be considered when calculating the effective tax rate. If FICA is taken into account, the effective tax rate for people making less than $90,000 will be fairly high, but that doesn't tell us anything about what's appropriate policy.

Lastly, someone up thread said that Buffet had managed to transfer millions of dollars to his kids via his contributions to his foundation. I very much doubt that. Buffet's plans (at least what we know of his plans via the press) provide for his foundation to pay to charity the amount of his contribution over a very short period of time. Even during this period, the money will be managed by Bill Gates' foundation -- so Buffet's kids cannot benefit from being hired to run the foundation (which is the most common way of "diverting" foundation money to family). Whatever you think about Buffet, it appears that he's serious about wanting to give his money to charity.

Posted by: David Walser | Jun 27, 2007 5:48:09 PM

How does Warren Buffett make money? He gets $100k from Berkshire, but they pay no dividends and I don't think he sells the stock.

Posted by: Larry | Jun 27, 2007 6:18:57 PM

Warren Buffet has earned income of $100,000 from his Berkshire Hathaway salary, yet while he paid over $8 million ($46mm @ .177) in income taxes, it wasn't a high enough percentage rate because his secretary--who doesn't have $45.9 million in capital gains, dividend, interest, and tax-exempt muni bond income--paid a higher effective rate. Perverse thinking. He needs to figure out how to share the wealth with his employees, so they too can pay the lower rates on unearned income.

Maybe we should ask Buffet to explain insurance company accounting. For someone who claims not to have a tax shelter, that is a very Clintonian "it depends on the meaning"-type response.

Posted by: Forbes | Jun 27, 2007 6:24:39 PM

All he has to do is send the Treasury a check for the amount he thinks he should have paid...so why won't he?

Too bad the IRS doesn't put a line for that purpose in the tax payment block. We'd find out quickly how many of these tax-the-rich-more rich folks would pony up.

Posted by: crazy | Jun 27, 2007 6:27:32 PM

We all know the rules. Compare raw numbers, not just percentages. To do otherwise is intellectually dishonest. How much are the employees making to hit the low to mid 30% tax rates? Well, unless they are being stupid and careless with their trades and capital gains, here's a rough guide to the estimates:

2006 Federal Tax Rate Schedules (per IRS.gov):

$0-$7,550
10% of the amount over $0

$7,550-$30,650
$755 plus 15% of the amount over 7,550

$30,650-$74,200
$4,220.00 plus 25% of the amount over 30,650

$74,200-$154,800
$15,107.50 plus 28% of the amount over 74,200

$154,800-$336,550
$37,675.50 plus 33% of the amount over 154,800

$336,550-no limit
$97,653.00 plus 35% of the amount over 336,550

I think they ALL doth complain too much ~ and Hillary's neo-socialist-congressional rates are quite likely going to be worse, for EVERYONE!

Posted by: REN | Jun 27, 2007 6:39:28 PM

As I posted here - (link), NOTHING keeps Buffett from paying taxes at a higher rate than 17.7%. He could easily do without some deductions that he is taking. He could restructure his compensation so it came in the form of ordinary income instead of capital gains.

And, there is nothing preventing him from sending to the IRS a check for whatever amount would assuage his guilty heart.

But no, he moans and groans and demands that everybody pay more taxes... even though he has yet to step up and cough up the dough first.

Hypocrite, anyone?

Posted by: steve sturm | Jun 27, 2007 6:42:09 PM

If Warren Buffet thinks his taxes are too low, he can always write a check to the Bureau of the Public Debt, and send it to

Attn Dept G
Bureau Of the Public Debt
P. O. Box 2188
Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188

Posted by: Warmongering Lunatic | Jun 27, 2007 6:52:37 PM

Buffett runs this trope out everytime he is involved in some political fundraiser. I would like for him to share with us the numbers and how they are achieved. Do you think he employs lawyers and accountants who help him reduce his burden? Of course he doesn’t pay his secretary enough to afford this luxury. In true fairness he should split his salary equally with his downtrodden admins and provide them free tax consulting to enjoy his benefits. Not very egalitarian of him to walk into to the office each day and reiterate at the morning startup, “ alright the first slide here shows I made $46 million taxable last year (don’t worry about the non taxable stuff you folks wouldn’t understand) and Jane over there , lets see I paid her $46,000 and a jelly of the month membership, next slide Lisa, oh and look I was taxed less too”.

Steve

Posted by: steve | Jun 27, 2007 7:11:21 PM

Has no one informed Mr. Buffet that he's free to pay as much additional tax as he'd like? He could easily make up the difference, if he'd care too.

Why do rich folks on the left keep telling us that they aren't required to pay as much tax as they should, but they never voluntarily achieve that parity?

Posted by: Josh | Jun 27, 2007 7:18:26 PM

First of all, stop complaining about hypocrisy, Mr. Buffet is giving away most of his fortune anyways, right? Second, the current tax structure is not nearly progressive enough, and is regressive in many aspects. Globalization and new technology are growing the pie, those who benefit the most from this trend ought to subsidise those that do not; perhaps not directly, but at least by funding education programs, etc... to help the less fortunate better compete in the global economy. The consequences of failing to do so could be dire; protectionist sentiment is growing, and we can all agree that's a bad thing. Mr. Buffett is right on.

Posted by: AKK | Jun 27, 2007 8:04:03 PM

AKK, How about less taxes and more spending restraint on pork?

Posted by: RRDA | Jun 27, 2007 8:40:04 PM

Give me 48 million and I will be happy to pay 30% tax. I can make that money that back in interest alone.

Posted by: jerry | Jun 27, 2007 8:57:28 PM

They're both overpaying. Get rid of the income tax and reduce everybody's rate to 0%.

Posted by: Lizzard Lipps | Jun 27, 2007 9:09:38 PM

I assume that Buffet receives a lot of income from corporate dividends and capital gains. In such case, he really is paying a higher tax. Unlike many countries, corporate dividends in the US are subject to two layers of taxation -- at the corporate level (35%) and the individual level (15%). Dividends paid are not deductible.

So if the corporation has taxable income of $100 and pays it all out to Buffet, his is paying greater than 15%. Why? The corporation first is taxed $35 of its taxable income. The $65 is paid to Buffet and he pays $9.75. He ends up with $55.25 in his pocket. The combined effective tax rate therefore is closer to 45%.

Capital gains also acts as an inflation tax. Basis is not indexed. So part of the gain is attributable to inflation. If you held the stock a long time, that could be quite a bit.

Posted by: Anthony | Jun 27, 2007 9:10:58 PM

Honestly, I think this is the best argument for a flat tax rate I've ever seen.

Posted by: Eric | Jun 27, 2007 9:12:32 PM

I assume that Buffet receives a lot of income from corporate dividends and capital gains. In such case, he really is paying a higher tax. Unlike many countries, corporate dividends in the US are subject to two layers of taxation -- at the corporate level (35%) and the individual level (15%). Dividends paid are not deductible.

So if the corporation has taxable income of $100 and pays it all out to Buffet, his is paying greater than 15%. Why? The corporation first is taxed $35 of its taxable income. The $65 is paid to Buffet and he pays $9.75. He ends up with $55.25 in his pocket. The combined effective tax rate therefore is closer to 45%.

Capital gains also acts as an inflation tax. Basis is not indexed. So part of the gain is attributable to inflation. If you held the stock a long time, that could be quite a bit.

Posted by: Anthony | Jun 27, 2007 9:15:06 PM

I think they ALL doth complain too much ~ and Hillary's neo-socialist-congressional rates are quite likely going to be worse, for EVERYONE!

Hear hear. She will probably find a way to convince everyone the taxes are being mostly applied to the rich so people are duped into supporting it.

And then we can continue our war in Iraq AND support the failing social security program for a few more years. I can hardly contain my excitement.

Posted by: Brandon | Jun 27, 2007 10:45:50 PM

Buffet's raise taxes is pure self interest.

He picks the bones of small corporations that break up on the death of the owner due to high death taxes.

When he asks for higher taxes what he really means is that he wants more business opportunities.

Posted by: M. Simon | Jun 28, 2007 1:25:25 AM

Buffet's call to raise taxes is pure self interest.

He picks the bones of small corporations that break up on the death of the owner due to high death taxes.

When he asks for higher taxes what he really means is that he wants more business opportunities.

Posted by: M. Simon | Jun 28, 2007 1:26:49 AM

It makes me worried to read most of the posts here. Josh seems to be on track... Read some history people, it is the middle class that are supported by higher taxes. A progressive tax would get those who make more to pay more for the support of infrastructure. This is a good thing. Read some Greg Palast or David Sirota for more info. If you are middle class, you really want progressive taxes. Look up the "New Deal" and you will understand why. And no, the government is not perfect. And lobbyists are ruining our country.

Posted by: Sean | Jun 28, 2007 9:54:54 AM

This is why we need a national sales tax instead of an income tax. It would hit people equally across the board.

Posted by: Mr Mambo King | Jun 28, 2007 12:00:09 PM

Most of these comments are about as dishonest as they claim Mr. Buffet is being.

Statistical evidence is non-existant. There are no documents that reveal individual ACTUAL income and the ACTUAL amounts that they pay into taxes. There are plenty of misleading tables all over the IRS website. Some claim the average income tax in 2004 was 12.1%. But any numbers on the IRS site are skewed. They do not include any non taxable income or income from unrealized capital gains.

A wealthy person who earns $20 million dollars in taxable income and $20 million dollars in non taxable income but only pays $4 million in taxes on the taxable is NOT paying 20% in taxes. I don't care how you kick, scream, name call, what have you it is STILL only 10% of his income.

As for the unrealized capital gains this should be a non-issue. BUT when a person dies, their stocks are RE-VALUED at the closing price on the day they die. Effectively GIVING the beneficiary ALL of the taxes earned (and left compounding for all the years) on the unrealized capital gains. Like this, your great uncle Sully bought 1 million shares of Microsoft at $1 a share and never sold it. He died yesterday. Microsoft (MSFT) closed yesterday at $29.87 (we'll make it 30 for easy math). Therefore Sully's income from this investment is $29 million dollars (30-1=29, 29 x 1 million = 29 million). However, he died and never sold it. He left it to you. For tax purposes the stock is valued at the closing price of the day of death. You therefore inherit $30 million dollars, Uncle Sam gets NONE of the taxes for the $29 million dollars in income that Uncle Sully earned over 20 years.

So please explain to me how the rich are being treated unfairly?

Posted by: B | Jun 28, 2007 12:37:19 PM

Mr. Buffet can simply elect to not be aggressive regarding his tax deductions.

For example, nobody is forcing him to deduct his home mortgage.

He is not permitted to fill out the 1040EZ form, but he can fill out the 1040 Standard Form and not deduct investment expenses, his mortgage, his medical, his business expenses, his charity contributions, etc… Additionally, he doesn’t have to fill out the forms to declare his dividends as qualified – he can pay the non-qualified rate!!!

All that extra work, and certainly additional fiduciary requirements to hire the best tax avoidance attorneys and living trust experts is not actually mandatory for Mr. Buffet. Without them he would simply pay the 28% flat tax we call the AMT!!!

At that point he could probably attain the magic 30% bracket that he feels is appropriate.


Posted by: Boghie | Jun 28, 2007 12:37:36 PM

For everyone that thinks he should just write a check to cover what he thinks is fair, that's not going to solve the problem. Sure, he could give the gov't an extra couple million dollars this year. Woop-de-doo. That's absolutely meaningless to how much money our tax dollars account for and what happens when he stops writing those checks?

Posted by: mb | Jun 28, 2007 1:23:30 PM

Tax reform?

I am reminded of a circumstance I noted over 20 years ago. While I do not now remember the tax rate, I recall that my father, who made $40,000 annual income at the time, paid income tax at the same rate as the Campbell's Soup Company, which had a net income of $40,000,000.

Posted by: Frank | Jun 28, 2007 1:39:00 PM

Someone needs to get this secretary a new accountant. I made $63,000 dollars last year and after deductions and earned income credit for my 3 kids, I paid about a 1% tax rate.

Posted by: scott hill | Jun 28, 2007 2:03:15 PM

Scenarios like this are EXACTLY why we need to get rid of the overbearing tax code and IRS and enact the FAIRTAX! Check out www.fairtax.org for more info.

Posted by: Rebecca | Jun 28, 2007 2:04:48 PM

There is a certain amount of robbery in the system - legally. We call that robbery, taxes.

This is not some magic money - it is acquired by theft.

Now I admit a certain amount of this is needed to make civilization work.

However, I'd prefer the amount of theft was minimized - even on the rich.

Theft is unseemly - no matter what you call it.

Invested money is what makes American jobs high paying compared to El Salvador. Let the rich invest. Keep government to a minimum.

Posted by: M. Simon | Jun 28, 2007 6:20:52 PM

Regarding how many more people would be working if taxes were lower, the answer is very few. We've got the lowest unemployment rate in many years right now. I know you can't tell from the news, but the economy is doing phenomenal.

Posted by: MattieShoes | Jun 29, 2007 2:21:48 AM

He is giving his fortune away to the gates foundation so I think it is VERY safe to say that his money will be put to use more effectively than in the hands of vote buying politicians and grossly incompetent bureaucrats.

Posted by: Paul | Jun 29, 2007 11:21:28 AM

I'm confused. Isn't his income subject to AMT?

Posted by: Sachin | Jul 9, 2007 7:55:05 PM

It is absolutely remarkable to read this board. Unless it is being filled up with the posts of very wealthy people (which is statistically unlikely), then I am truly amazed at the dogmatic ideologues that populate my homeland. There seems to be nothing worse in the mind of the most Americans than higher taxes even if those taxes are only to be paid by a small and very wealthy percentage of society.

That same small and wealthy segment of society paid far higher taxes than they do now from the 1940s to the 1970s. Contrary to the prevailing wisdom of right wing free market economists and their boosters (who have had such a loud voice over the last 30 years), lower taxes on the wealthy do not produce the fabulous results that have been promised ever since the Reagan Administration. Indeed, the period from the 1940s to the 1970s with its high taxes, high unionization rates and high wages was the period during which America experienced the greatest sustained economic boom and increase in the standard of living in the history of this country.

The cheerleaders for the low tax utopia of private jets and dilapidated school buildings that our country has become should take comfort in knowing that their "elected" representatives have been victorious in making their dreams come true. We are now far closer to a world in which the only things that the government pays for are bombs, bullets, prayers and police.

Posted by: Cloud | Oct 29, 2007 7:29:31 PM

$0-$7,550
10% of the amount over $0

Is that for real? People who earn less than $7,550 still pay 10% taxes in the U.S.?

Having lived in that bracket, all I can say is that's brutal!

Posted by: Thursday | Nov 4, 2007 1:33:23 AM

Most of criticisms on Buffet's observation are based on the faulty assumption that dividend should not be counted as income. Why? "Income" is "all" the money that one earns, dividend or wage.

All "income" should be subject to the same progressive tax schedule so that what happened between Buffet and the poor won't happen. Progressive tax "IS" a kind of double tax, and it is necessary to spread the income and keep the demand broad and strong, in turn keep the economy robust.

Dividend should be changed to pretax basis. But income higher than 1 million should be taxed at around 70% (progressive tax).

Take a look at http://zfacts.com/p/318.html to see that a nation's fiscal condition is much better under progressive tax than under tax-cut of Bush and Reagan. When you spread the income around, the economy is stronger.

Every time the Republican cutting tax the national debt skyrocketed. And remember, a debt is a form of delayed tax.

Posted by: RIcky Lyn | Nov 15, 2007 5:21:26 AM

Income is not spread around, it is earned!

Posted by: SteveL | Nov 15, 2007 1:04:54 PM

This is the closest thing to the truth in all this nonsense(by Sachin):

It is absolutely remarkable to read this board. Unless it is being filled up with the posts of very wealthy people (which is statistically unlikely), then I am truly amazed at the dogmatic ideologues that populate my homeland. There seems to be nothing worse in the mind of the most Americans than higher taxes even if those taxes are only to be paid by a small and very wealthy percentage of society.

That same small and wealthy segment of society paid far higher taxes than they do now from the 1940s to the 1970s. Contrary to the prevailing wisdom of right wing free market economists and their boosters (who have had such a loud voice over the last 30 years), lower taxes on the wealthy do not produce the fabulous results that have been promised ever since the Reagan Administration. Indeed, the period from the 1940s to the 1970s with its high taxes, high unionization rates and high wages was the period during which America experienced the greatest sustained economic boom and increase in the standard of living in the history of this country.

The cheerleaders for the low tax utopia of private jets and dilapidated school buildings that our country has become should take comfort in knowing that their "elected" representatives have been victorious in making their dreams come true. We are now far closer to a world in which the only things that the government pays for are bombs, bullets, prayers and police.

Posted by: fury | Nov 20, 2007 10:57:58 AM

Sachin - the only thing that is absolutely remarkable is your logical fallacy...

"the period from the 1940s to the 1970s with its high taxes, high unionization rates and high wages was the period during which America experienced the greatest sustained economic boom and increase in the standard of living in the history of this country."

Don't you know? Correlation does not imply causation, statistics 101.

Posted by: ad hoc | Feb 4, 2008 5:58:43 PM

If I made his millions, I'd smile while writing the check to the IRS even if my tax rate was 90%.....Still more than I could spend in several lifetimes.

Posted by: I'dSmile | Oct 14, 2008 11:37:27 AM