‘Stop Coddling the Super-Rich’, An Insightful Essay by Warren Buffett

'Stop Coddling the Super-Rich', An Insightful Essay by Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett has lived a storied life, starting out delivering newspapers, selling golfballs and stamps, and detailing cars, and no currently being the third richest person on the planet. Right now as I write this, he’s probably my favorite person on earth. Yesterday he wrote a piece for The New York Times titled Stop Coddling the Super-Rich, a poignant, amazing essay that helps me believe that there are sensible people out there. His point is simple and candid, if you make over $1 million a year, you should be taxed much more.

But for those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate.

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.

I also love how candidly he speaks about how much he pays in taxes.

Last year my federal tax bill — the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf — was $6,938,744. 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.

I tip my hat to Mr. Buffett for speaking so honestly and calling upon the politicians we elected to do something worthwhile for the country. I guess we can only hope that the Dirty Dozen members of congress have the smarts to listen to him.

Click here to read the full piece over on The NY Times.


August 15, 2011 / By