Thursday, October 02, 2008

Warren Buffett thinks he should pay more taxes

Warren Buffett was just speaking at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit, and I caught a piece of his talk with the senior editor. It was really interesting to hear what seemed like a very straightforward talk, something that seems rare in these crazy days of bank failures and widespread desperation. Here are some things he said:

It's ridiculous that the cleaning lady who cleans my office every day pays more taxes than I do

When we compare the taxes that the 19 people in berkshire hathaway's office pay, I pay the less taxes of all

The top 400 richest people in the the country had their net worth jump 7 times over the last 20 years, and the american worker has just gone nowhere, inflation adjusted

When you have a billionaire like Warren Buffett saying the people who work for him pay too much in taxes when compared to him, well, I don't know how anyone can refute that.

These particular quotes were interesting to me because just yesterday I saw a comparison of McCain's and Obama's tax plans, and McCain -- judging from his proposed tax plan -- disagrees with Buffett:

Under a McCain administration taxpayers in the Warren Buffett bracket would pay 4.4% less in taxes, the biggest tax break of all, while those Mr. Buffett says currently pay too much in taxes (like his cleaning lady) would get barely any breaks (source: Washington Post)

Let's look at two other tidbits of information about McCain versus Obama...

Obama's plan spends more (than McCain's) BUT cuts taxes less than McCain's, and the people who make less money will get bigger tax cuts (and therefore end up with more money.) Source: National Taxpayer Union.

McCain's plan will spend less (than Obama's), but he will be making bigger tax cuts (and mostly for the very rich), which will in turn make it so the government actually spends more.

Both candidates' plans are fiscally irresponsible, but McCain's plan is more so, by 1.5 trillion dollars. Obama would increase the national debt by $3.5 trillion (or $12,000 per American) over 10 years. McCain's plan would increase the national debt of $5 trillion (or $17,000 per American). Source: Tax Policy Center

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