Warren Buffet Calls Out GOP Over Taxes

Warren Buffet. Image from http://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/10/billionaires08_Warren-Buffett_C0R3.html

Famed billionaire investor, Warren Buffet, called out the GOP for their ridiculous and intransigent stance on taxes in a recent opinion piece he wrote in The New York Times.

Buffet dismissed the typical Tea Party argument that low taxes stimulate investment and create jobs saying, “My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice,” He went on to note that last year his tax bill was $6.9m. “That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income – and that’s actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.

He also talked about the recent debt ceiling fiasco in which Republicans refused to compromise on any tax increases, even for billionaires, and said that their actions had made Americans (and others around the world) fearful that Congress has the ability to deal with the significant fiscal problems faced by this country.

In Buffet’s frank rebuke of Republican policy he also questioned the argument often made by the GOP that higher taxes stifle investment and damage job creation.

“I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone – not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 – shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off.”

The Republicans have repeatedly told us that people like Warren Buffet cannot stand to pay any more tax, that asking them to is blasphemy and such an action must never be put on the negotiating table. They have climbed in bed with the Tea Party, hijacking their misguided cause to justify slashing ‘entitlement programs’ which basically means hacking away at any government program that helps the middle class, or provides health care or education for our children.


They have further disgraced themselves by signing the Grover Norquist tax pledge in which Congress members signed an oath, that apparently trumps their oath of office, to never raise taxes, even if it necessary, prudent or needed by the country. Further the same pledge refuses to allow them even to close legal loopholes where rich people and massive corporations abuse loopholes in the law and tax code to get out of paying what they owe.

When we question the actions of these politicians, we are repeatedly told the same lies, popularized by Ronald Reagan back in the 1980s. Billionaires and millionaires need to be protected, because without these protections we lose the trickle down effect, and also having to pay a few percentage points higher in tax will instantly stop them from creating the glut of new jobs that they have supposedly been creating since the early 2000s when George Bush implemented their tax breaks.

Of course all of this raises an even bigger question. If Republican actions are sound, and make sense for the country, where are all these jobs that are supposed to have been created? Republicans have been implementing their policies for over nine months now, and things have been getting worse not better. We still have the Bush legacy of the tax breaks for millionaires which are approaching a decade old. Yet still the economy is failing.

Now, here is one of the world’s most respected investors telling the Republicans that their philosophy is wrong. He is joining a chorus of other investors and economists who agree that the concept of trickle down economics is bogus, and slashing taxes on the richest 1%, while paying for it on the backs of the middle class, is bad for America and makes no economic sense.

The question is when are the people going to pay attention to what is going on, and boot these idiots out of Congress, so work can begin repairing the damage they have done before it’s too late.