Mr. Buffett compiled a data sheet of the men and women who work in his office. He had each of them make a fraction; the numerator was how much they paid in federal income tax and in payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare, and the denominator was their taxable income. The people in his office were mostly secretaries and clerks, though not all.
It turned out that Mr. Buffett, with immense income from dividends and capital gains, paid far, far less as a fraction of his income than the secretaries or the clerks or anyone else in his office. Further, in conversation it came up that Mr. Buffett doesnâ€™t use any tax planning at all. He just pays as the Internal Revenue Code requires. â€œHow can this be fair?â€ he asked of how little he pays relative to his employees. â€œHow can this be right?â€
Even though I agreed with him, I warned that whenever someone tried to raise the issue, he or she was accused of fomenting class warfare.
â€œThereâ€™s class warfare, all right,â€ Mr. Buffett said, â€œbut itâ€™s my class, the rich class, thatâ€™s making war, and weâ€™re winning.â€
Some really interesting writing from Ben Stein. Now that Republicans are allowed to break ranks and say what they think, it turns out a lot of them think things you didn’t think Republicans thought anymore.