From the State of the Union Address to this Piers Morgan interview with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Warren Buffett's plea for higher taxes on the so-called "rich" continues to come up. Governor Christie took the opportunity to remind Mr. Buffett he can submit additional payment to the U.S. government without throwing job creators under the bus. He can simply visit the Treasury website and the address and instructions for submitting payment are right there.
The Buffett situation is clearly a rare example. If it were such a widespread problem, there would have been an army of secretaries at the State of the Union, or perhaps a White House photo op. But of course, most secretaries do not make in the neighborhood of $200,000 per year or more, as Forbes estimates Buffet's employee does. In reality, this is like saying a "waiter" pays more income taxes than a "media personality", without pointing out one works at a high end restaurant in Manhattan and the other is a radio weather guy in small town Idaho.
This situation may be largely irrelevant for meaningful policy changes, however, the President seems to be using it for cover as he looks to implement major hikes in investment oriented taxes. As the Wall Street Journal reports, one of Obama's plans would jack the tax rate on dividends to 44%! While a few "Buffetts" may be hit by this, many investors and retirees who are definitely nont 'super rich' could be crushed by the President's budget plans.
Taxpayers are always the group that sees the bottom line of the political battles in the media. Hopefully tragedy can be averted before a bunch of real secretaries who are investing for retirement are hit with this "Buffett-Obama tax hike."