Monday, September 19, 2011

Pundits verus Public Shills

When Warren Buffett first started to make his claims about who pays taxes in the US I did a post which questioned whether the numbers he was using were in any way correct.   Mark Perry, an economist in DC, published the following table on his blog Carpe Diem which brings into questions Mr. Buffett's claims by using IRS data.

Buffett recently made a deal with Bank of America to create some special stock for his investment which will have an effective tax rate of 10.5% - so clearly his expertise has been in manipulating the tax system.  A lot of the success that Buffett's company has made over the time that I was a shareholder (I sold my A stock when it went to $123,000 per share) has been based on tax strategies which avoid the punitive taxation of estates before the 2001 Tax Act.

One other comment here.  According to calculations from IRS data if you established a tax rate of 100% (Take all their income) for people earning over $1 million you would yield only about half of the current deficit.

I have one other chart which tracks BRKA for the last couple of months as Buffett has made these claims.

Perhaps Buffett is a better investor than public pundit.

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