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Don’t pick on the Buffetts, Jimmy or Warren

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  • The Buffett Rule is nothing more than levying taxes on the successful to cover the sins of inept politicians. Let’s quit disparaging the good name of Buffett and call it the Obama Rule, the Reid Rule, The Pelosi Rule or anyone else’s rule except a Buffett, Jimmy or Warren.

I am a Warren Buffett fan. I am also a parrothead, therefore, I am an admirer of Jimmy Buffett, too.

They’re both millionaires. Warren’s wealth is measured on a little higher scale than Jimmy’s.  Warren’s affluence is calculated with a b as in billionaire. They both have been successful using their wiles and good old American ingenuity. Jimmy did it wearing shorts and a Hawaiian shirt and strumming a guitar while wailing about blowing out flip flops stepping on pop tops and having no idea where the salt jigger is or how he got tattooed. (My bucket list still contains a trip to Key West and Margaritaville for a parrot tattoo, much to my family’s chagrin.)

Warren is the wily coyote of the financial world. And he has done pretty well for his followers, a fact he seems to enjoy. He is also more than willing to spread his wealth to better mankind with his buddy Bill Gates.

I don’t think Jimmy and Warren are related, but they have been mixed up. A journalist from India got them mixed up. In the era of cost-cutting by publishing companies, simple article rewrites are being farmed out to places like India to save money. That smarts for this curmudgeon journalist.  However, I and my fellow scribes got the last laugh when a news release came from India talking about something Warren Buffett did accompanied by a picture of Jimmy Buffett.

I envy both Warren and Jimmy. I wish I had Warren’s cash and Jimmy’s talent for not only singing, but turning Margaritaville into a multi-million dollar business. I don’t begrudge them their success and wealth. I also don’t believe they should be punished for it. They earned it. The Buffett Rule is designed to take away a bigger chunk of what they’ve earned.

The Buffett Rule is a tax plan proposed by President Barack Obama to heavily tax America’s 450,000 millionaires to reduce the national debt created by Obama and Congress.

It was misnamed “Buffett” because Warren was quoted as saying he disagreed with the rich paying less in federal taxes than the middle class, and supported increased taxes for the wealthy. That doesn’t sound completely like Warren. I suspect he meant that the wealthy should pay the same tax percentage as everyone else and close some tax loopholes for the very wealthy. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid proposed his own version of the Buffett Rule, a 5.6 percent surtax on millionaires to pay for new stimulus provisions, but it failed. Comparing Warren Buffett to Harry Reid is insulting.

The president’s Buffett Rule is nothing more than levying taxes on the successful to cover the sins of inept politicians. It is not even a tax on the rich to help the poor.

Let’s quit disparaging the good name of Buffett and call it the Obama Rule, the Reid Rule, The Pelosi Rule or anyone else’s rule except a Buffett, Jimmy or Warren.

I will never have to worry about any of the aforementioned rules, but I wanted to toss my 2 cents into the fray because I am a Buffett fan. Now that that’s settled, I think I will have a cold LandShark Lager and toast Warren and Jimmy for being the kind of guys I admire who don’t need their name trampled upon with flip flops or brogans.

Discuss this Blog Entry 4

Anonymous (not verified)
on Apr 16, 2012
seriously? (not verified)
on Apr 16, 2012

"While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks," wrote Buffett, whose personal fortune was estimated at $50B by Forbes this year.

Buffett paid $6,938,744 in federal taxes in 2010, which was only about 17.4 percent of his taxable income of about $40 million.

"Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary, an outrage he has asked us to fix."

John (not verified)
on Apr 16, 2012

Warren Buffet is a phoney and a fraud. He has taken banker bailouts and pretends to be a bumbling old man when in reality he is a cobra.

shoddy (not verified)
on Apr 17, 2012

This is weak journalism. Of course it was called the Buffet rule b/c it stemmed from a very notable op-ed the billionaire wrote for the NY Times last August.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html

Just a tidbit...

"But for those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate.

My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice."

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