Letters to the Editor for Feb. 1, 2012
Buffett, and other people's taxes
To the editor:
Recently we have heard a great deal about Mr. Warren Buffett and his advice on taxes. He thinks that taxes should be increased, especially on wealthier taxpayers. Mr. Buffett is considered by many to be America's best investor and is one of the wealthiest so his words carry some weight. He has become a great favorite of President Obama. His secretary sat right beside Mrs. Obama at the State of the Union address.
Now we often hear that Buffett pays less in taxes than his secretary. How can this be explained? Either his secretary is very highly paid or Buffett pays very little tax. The truth is that Buffett has never liked to pay taxes. His principal source of wealth is his ownership of Berkshire Hathaway, a company that he bought many years ago for a few dollars a share and which is now selling for $115,000 a share. The company has never paid dividends since he has controlled it. Owners who receive dividends on their shares have to pay taxes on the dividends. Horrors! Buffett doesn't like to pay taxes. He wants other people to pay (more) taxes.