‘The Beginning of Serfdom’: Beck Exposes the Surprising Hole in the Buffett Rule
Most Blaze readers have, by now, likely heard President Obama’s renewed rallying cries for the implementation of the “Buffett Rule,” which he calls a “common sense” measure that “does not” incite “class warfare.” The rule was spawned by billionaire investor Warren Buffett after he penned a New York Times op-ed calling on Congress to raise taxes on America’s top income earners.
According to The Blaze’s Madeleine Morgenstern, the proposed plan would require those earning more than $1 million annually pay at least 30% in income taxes. It is scheduled for a Senate vote on April 16.
Regardless of his claim that the Buffett Rule does not engage in class warfare, Obama’s words might ring otherwise. During his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama asked, “when it comes to paying down the deficit and investing in our future, should we ask middle class Americans to pay even more at a time when their budgets are already stretched to the breaking point?”
“Or should we ask some of the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share?”
Warren Buffett will likely not be paying his “fair share” anyway. At least not in income tax.
Such a statement might seem unbelievable, but on his Wednesday radio broadcast, Glenn Beck and his co-hosts, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere, explained why some of the country’s wealthiest are actually not paying any income tax at all — and the reason just might surprise you.
While progressives would quickly suggest the reason is because “the wealthy are benefiting from an unfair tax system that rewards only the top ’1%’” — in actuality, Buffett, along with George Soros and likely even Bill Gates, are not actually earning income. Thus, there is nothing to pay income tax on. Rather, long-time entrepreneurs like Buffett and Soros are likely living off their investments. This is different than earned income — such as a salary — and is not subject to income tax.
So, while Buffett and Soros both clamor for higher income tax for the wealthy, it is all an empty display as they would not be effected by an income tax increase on the top income-earners anyway. Both rainmen maintain that an income tax increase will neither effect them nor bother them at all. This, Beck said, is the ironic “truth.”
Beck explained that entrepreneurs who are still building businesses, growing their investments, paying employees’ salaries and collecting a salary of their own, however, still “need their income” in order to operate and would soar to new heights if their businesses were afforded a tax break. “I would hire more people…and make new investments,” Beck said of such a scenario.
“Ten years ago, I was broke.”
“We worked together… as a team to build something amazing.” He explained that while some outlets will report what they claim are his yearly earning, those outlets are in fact reporting what Beck’s entire company earns gross. After paying salaries (including his own), insurance coverage for the business and its employees and covering various operating expenses, Beck still pays income tax on what remains.
He warned that the federal government is “closing the door” on the “dreamers” and “builders” of the world.
“They are closing the door on you,” he said pointedly. “It is the beginning of serfdom.”
Another point of contention discussed during the program was the alleged salary and income tax rate of Warren Buffett’s secretary — the lone woman being used by President Obama to model his entire tax policy after. Yes. One person.
Buffett claims his secretary earns $60,000 per year and pays a 30% income tax rate. While the salary is more than most secretaries earn, the figure, given her longtime tenure with one of the wealthiest men in the world, seems conspicuously on the low-side. Nonetheless, if we were to conduct our analysis based on a $60,000 salary, then Buffett’s secretary would not be paying 30%, but rather 14%. Going one step further, Stu pointed out that the average secretary earns $33,000 a year and thus pays 10% in income tax.
These figures reveal that a lie is being told somewhere. Either Buffett’s secretary is not paying 30% income tax and is rather paying roughly half that number, or, Buffett’s secretary is paying 30% and thus is earning over $250,000 — the proper income bracket to allow for a 30% income tax rate.
For additional insight, visit Stu’s Blog for more on Buffett after watching the segment.
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