Crush Liberalism

Liberalism: Why think when you can “feel”?

Warren Buffett and his secretary still misleading America

That poor woman!  She has to pay a higher tax rate than her billionaire boss!  Yeah, about that

Warren Buffet’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek, served as a stage prop for President Obama’s State of the Union speech. She was the President’s chief display of the alleged unfairness of our tax system – a little person paying a higher tax rate than her billionaire boss.

Bosanek’s prominent role in Obama’s “fairness” campaign piqued my curiosity, and I imagine the curiosity of others. How much does her boss pay this downtrodden woman? So far, no one has volunteered this information.

Insofar as Buffet (like Mitt Romney) earns income primarily from capital gains, which are taxed at 15 percent (and according to Obama need to be raised for reasons of fairness), we need to determine how much income a taxpayer like Bosanek must earn in order to pay an average tax rate above fifteen percent. This is easy to do.

The IRS publishes detailed tax tables by income level. The latest results are for 2009. They show that taxpayers earning an adjusted gross income between $100,000 and $200,000 pay an average rate of twelve percent. This is below Buffet’s rate; so she must earn more than that. Taxpayers earning adjusted gross incomes of $200,000 to $500,000, pay an average tax rate of nineteen percent. Therefore Buffet must pay Debbie Bosanke a salary above two hundred thousand.

We must wait for further details to learn how much more than $200,000 she earns. The tax tables tell us about average ranges. For all we know she earns closer to a half million each year, but that is pure speculation.

Look, that meme has been tackled a billion times.  Buffett paid taxes on income, then used that after-tax income to invest…then had to pay taxes again, this time on money generated from his after-tax investments.  When your primary source of revenue is from profits resulting from investments made with after-tax income, your tax rate isn’t going to be the same. 

Capital gains tax rates are lower, and when they were cut during the 1990’s (reluctantly by Bubba), the stock market ROARED to life as investors flocked to it.  As a result of the new influx of investors and investor activity, revenues to the government increased after the capital gains tax rate cut.  Wait…you mean cutting taxes increased revenue to the federal government?  Yeah, go figure.  Turns out that decreasing certain tax rates promotes economic activity and increasing certain tax rates discourages economic activity.  Who knew, right?

So, Warren Buffett pays his secretary between $200-$500k a year in salary.  Good work if you can get it, I suppose.  So I’m thinking that maybe this “my billionaire boss pays a lower tax rate than I do” schtick is just a tad old…and disingenuous.  Besides, Warren Buffett is more than welcome to send more money to D.C., but he hires accountants and tax planners to avoid doing just that…all while complaining that he doesn’t pay enough.  My turbocharged Hypocrisy Tolerance fuel tank is on fumes, I’m afraid.


January 26, 2012 - Posted by | economic ignorance, hypocrisy, taxes, Warren Buffett


  1. I’m tired of the Ovomit being on the telly every frickin’ day with some not-so-new crap. This Buffet the Buffoon is the same thing, more crap from the liar-in-chief and his cronies. By not stating what category the taxes were being paid in, the media lost a lot of credibility(as if they had any in the first place) with the public when the details came out.
    Now it’s a dead horse and the Ovomit continues to use the same tired example in his fight against the American people. Just friggin’ irritating. Like everything else from D.C.
    Liberalism is a mental disorder.

    Comment by J. Guidry, Battlefield, MO. | January 26, 2012

  2. Crush…none of that matters! What matters is the feelings that the deliberate misrepresentation of the tax system can manufacture! Debunk it all you want, but once they get the feelings artificially stoked, the intended reaction is already set into motion….facts…HA. Who cares about those things?!

    Comment by Kevin | January 26, 2012

  3. I guess Warren Buffett’s secretary is the evil 1%? 😆

    Comment by crushliberalism | January 26, 2012

  4. […] Warren Buffett and his secretary still misleading America ( […]

    Pingback by Buffett’s Secretary Mistreated Getting Paid $200,000 to $500,000 a Year | Wis U.P. North | January 26, 2012

  5. Rush has a theory about these wealthy “liberals”. He says people like Buffett and Gates and others, while keeping millions upon millions of dollars to themselves, simply PRETEND to be liberals in order to gain the favor of the left. That way, they can make as much money they want without getting pestered by all the anti-wealthy rhetoric. Pretty fair theory…since Buffett is the very one RESPONSIBLE for his secretary’s salary!
    If he is so distraught at how “unfair” it all is, why exactly does he not pay her more in an attempt to make her life better. Is he the very villain he claims to despise?
    And notice…he claims to object to the tax rate he pays…but he doesn’t OFFER to pay more. He still makes sure to only pay the minimum required? Weird huh?

    Comment by Kevin | January 26, 2012

  6. […] Warren Buffett and his secretary still misleading America ( […]

    Pingback by Warren Buffet Just Wants the Criticism to Stop | THE WESTERN EXPERIENCE | January 28, 2012

  7. […] Warren Buffett and his secretary still misleading America ( […]

    Pingback by A Brief Review of the "Buffett Rule" | Publius Online | February 2, 2012

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