Mike the Mad Biologist

Don’t Worry, Sen. Ben Nelson Is Still an Idiot

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.

Comments

  1. #1 dominich
    September 16, 2009

    I know numbers aren’t usually among politicians’ strong points but they should at least be able to accurately recognise a THREE letter word :p

  2. #2 Troublesome Frog
    September 16, 2009

    And what would those mysterious “other ways” be exactly?

    Jeez, Mike. Don’t you know anything about economics? You just cut taxes to zero and revenue goes to infinity.

  3. #3 Umlud
    September 16, 2009

    Mike, didn’t anyone tell you that platinum-crapping magic ponies make “sausage-shaped” platinum bars? (Or am I thinking of the white-gold-crapping magic ponies?)

  4. #4 SLC
    September 16, 2009

    I would point out that the employee mentioned by Mr. Buffet is not paying 25% of his/her income in Federal Income Taxes (I am specifically excluding FICA from this discussion) on his/her salary from Berkshire. 25% is the marginal tax rate on salary above a certain threshold (I don’t recall as we sit here today what that threshold is; income below that threshold is taxed at a lower rate). When the personal exemption and, say, the standard deduction are figured in, he/she pays much less then 25% of his/her income in Federal Income Tax.

  5. #5 mk
    September 16, 2009

    I’m for raising taxes on the wealthiest and using “other ways.” Like sending the ISS into a death spiral until it splashes down in the Pacific Ocean… and scrapping any leftover Shuttle missions.

    Leaving Iraq is a winner, too!

  6. #6 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    September 17, 2009

    I don’t think anybody needs to “raise” taxes. What they need to do is ‘Uncut’ them to where they were when Reagan was Prexy. That was the best of all times for the rich anyway, right?

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