What would America do without rich people?
They are our royalty. We love them. We hate them. We all want to be them.
And we think it one day could happen to us, although some folks have some pretty unrealistic views as to how they'll attain their wealth.
So whenever a rich guy talks, we listen.
In the recent tax debate, investing guru Warren Buffet has held our attention.
We sat up when he pointed out that his secretary pays more taxes than he. That's not fair, says Buffett, who then proclaimed that rich people should pay more to the Internal Revenue Service than lower income earners.
Then the president latched onto the Oracle of Omaha's pronouncement. Obama named a proposed millionaires' tax in his deficit/jobs/tax reform plan the Buffett Rule.
Buffett caused a bit of a tax and political stir today by seeming to distance himself from Obama's new tax on himself and his fellow millionaires, billionaires and gazillionaires.
In interviews with the top three business networks, Buffet said he didn't have a problem with his named being used by the prez. But Buffett also refused to specifically say which Obama tax proposals of he supports.
The main reason for his hesitancy, said Buffett, was that he's unfamiliar with the details of the president's plan.
But Buffett did reiterate that he's for a higher tax rate on people who "make money with money only."
That is, Buffett is for increasing the tax rate on capital gains, which now top out at 15 percent. Most of his money comes from such investment profits, and that's why he pays lower taxes than his employees.
"What I'm talking about would not apply to someone that made $5 million a year as a baseball player or $10 million a year on media," Buffett said on Fox Business Network. "It would apply only to probably 50,000 people out of 309 million who have huge incomes, pay very low taxes. There should be a policy that applies to people with money who earn lots of money and pay very low rates. If they earn it by normal jobs what I say would not hit them at all."
And although Obama used Buffett's name, the president's proposed Buffett Rule would affect the people the Berkshire Hathaway head wants to exclude. Obama would create a new tax on the wealthy as an ordinary tax rate.
The issue of capital gains were not specifically mentioned in the prez's plan.
However, it does again call for the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, of which the lower investment income rates are a part.
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