Warren Buffet, the world’s second richest man, met with some senators and told them that the wealthy need to pay more in taxes:
“He said rich people are not paying enough taxes,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). “It was interesting to see someone who is such an aggressive capitalist, who believes so much in our capitalist system, saying we’ve got the scales way too heavily toward people who are very, very wealthy.”
Buffett told lawmakers that because of the cuts to the capital gains tax passed under former President George W. Bush, he pays taxes at a lower rate than some of his company’s employees.
It is an argument the investor has made before. Buffett said he paid a 16.5 percent tax rate on all his income because the tax rate on investment dividends and long-term capital gains is only 15 percent.
By contrast, a single employee at Buffet’s firm, Berkshire Hathaway, who earns between $33,000 and $83,000 must pay a 25 percent federal income tax rate.
But don’t worry! Whenever there’s a Senate budget discussion, Ben Nelson will be there to bring the stupid:
Sen. Ben Nelson, a centrist Democrat from Nebraska, said he wasn’t sure whether Buffett’s chat would embolden his colleagues to raise taxes.
“I don’t know that people will move toward tax increases,” he said in reference to healthcare reform funding. “Tax is still for a four-letter word, and I think there are other ways to pay for this than raising taxes.”
And what would those mysterious “other ways” be exactly? Magic ponies that crap bars of platinum? (Sure, this sounds painful, but they are magic ponies). Or maybe will finally withdraw from Iraq? Or maybe former healthcare executive and current Senator Nelson will propose some kind of surcharge on health insurance companies?
I say bet on the ponies.