Thursday, April 19

Higher taxes, but not for me

Shikha Dalmia writes,
Obama’s latest tax returns show that he paid a lower tax rate than his secretary, just like his billionaire buddy Warren Buffett. Buffett created a stir last year — spearheading the Buffett Rule — when he complained in an op-ed that he was not being taxed enough. His secretary paid a whopping 35.8 percent tax rate on her $60,000 annual income, while he paid a paltry 17.4 percent rate on his multimillions. There is some fuzzy math involved in this claim. But if this inequity was Buffett’s real concern — as opposed to doing quid-pro-quo propaganda for the billions in bailout money that he received from Obama — he could have simply gone to the Treasury website and voluntarily paid more taxes.

If Buffett has trouble putting his money where his mouth is, he’s not alone. Obama’s tax returns (released last week) show that he paid a 20 percent effective tax rate on his $790,000 income — slightly lower than his secretary’s and a whole four points lower than the average rate for people in his income category. He could have easily avoided this by filing his tax returns the way he advocates millionaires do — by forgoing all deductions. But he didn’t. Not only did he claim a $47,564 mortgage deduction on his $1.6 million home in Chicago, he also claimed tax breaks on the $172,130 — about 22 percent of his gross adjusted income — he gave to charity...

It almost seems that the president would rather give his money to literally anyone but the government. He didn’t break any laws in the process, but many of his fellow tax-and-spend liberals in fact do. Indeed, Buffett himself is engaged in dueling lawsuits with the IRS over nearly $1 billion in unpaid back taxes. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner conveniently forgot to pay his taxes (even though the International Monetary Fund, his employer, gave him the money to do so). And in 2010, 41 White House aides owed $831,000 in unpaid taxes.

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