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October 03, 2011

Buffett: "Higher taxes on the ultra-rich is not going to solve the deficit problem" [Sexton]

According to the description provided by the person who uploaded the clip, Buffett said this at a lunch for Business Wire on Friday. That means it was just a few hours after the comments that caused such a kerfuffle over the Buffett Rule Friday morning:


Having higher taxes on the ultra rich is not going to solve the deficit problem but no one act is going to solve it. We are going to need a lot of shared sacrifice in order to get our fiscal situation where it should be for a country like this.

We're going to ask something from everybody including people that are poor and people that are middle class. Getting an extra $20 billion from about 50,000 people out of 310 million, 50,000 people who are enjoying terrific incomes with very low tax rates.

I actually think he makes a better case for this than Obama ever has. Still, he's really making an understatement of epic proportions saying this won't solve the deficit problem.

In case you're wondering, $20 billion goes into $1.3 trillion (last year's deficit) 65 times. So this new tax would solve roughly 1.5% of our annual deficit last year. Not only is that not a solution it's hardly worth talking about. Which begs the question, why is the President spending so much time and energy on it?

The part about asking for something from poor and middle class people is another significant moment of honesty. When was the last time the President admitted this in public? Maybe he's talked vaguely about shared sacrifice but singling out the poor (who currently pay nothing in federal income taxes)? I don't think those words have passed the President's lips.

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posted by Guest Blogger at 09:37 AM

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