Thursday, August 25, 2011
Tax Vox Blog, Was Buffett Right? Do Workers Pay More Tax than Their Bosses?, by Roberton Williams:
When Warren Buffett called for higher taxes on the wealthy in a New York Times op-ed last week, the billionaire investor argued that he and wealthy people like him face lower federal rates than the rest of us. Low rates on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends and limited exposure to payroll taxes mean low taxes for the rich, he asserted, while more typical workers don’t get those breaks. He’s right on many of his points but not about the rich paying less tax (relative to income) than average—or even well off—taxpayers. ...
Warren Buffett may be right when he says that high-income taxpayers could pay more, especially given the extremely rapid rate of income growth at the top of the distribution. And he’s certainly correct when he says that the low tax rate on investment income cuts his tax bill well below that of many Americans. But he’s off base when he suggests that all high-income taxpayers pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than their middle-income coworkers.