Warren Buffett Can’t Find Anything Big to Buy

Blueneck

Former Staff
Jun 2007
53,794
40,295
Ohio
#23
On that note, here's a question with a funny answer:

Q: If Warren Buffett wanted to match all voluntary contributions to the Bureau of Public Debt that have been made by all individuals since 1996, how much of his net worth would he need to liquidate and send over?

A: 0.065%. Buffet could liquidate 0.0652% of his net worth and send it the Bureau of Public Debt and that amount would exceed the total cumulative contributions from all individuals since 1996.

So someone worth tens of billions of dollars who has pledged to give 99% of it to charity and allegedly thinks more of the rich's money should be sent to the federal government has never actually been willing to contribute even less than a tenth of 1% of his wealth to the Bureau of Public Debt. It would be extremely easy and inconsequential for him to make a donation that would dwarf a quarter century's worth of contributions by all individuals, but he doesn't do that.

This tells us that, regardless of what he alleges, he ultimately solidly believes that private investment is better overall for the country and economy than paying more federal taxes.
I've never believed the wealthy paying taxes would somehow benefit me personally. But more & more we see the government helping the 1% and using the public's money to do it. That pisses me off.
 
Apr 2018
10,013
2,488
oregon
#24
This is why so many people are saying why the fuck not tax billionaires at 70%. This man has 100 billion in cash laying around and he can't find anything to spend it on. Meanwhile average Americans are 3 or more months behind in their car payments and don't have $400 in the bank for an emergency.
That's more of a condemnation of average americans than it is of buffett. $400 doesn't cover shit in the way of an emergency. I recommend at least being $10K liquid at all times.
 

Macduff

Moderator
Apr 2010
93,964
31,757
Pittsburgh, PA
#25
Not surprised. Many of those with off the charts wealth lie about stuff like that. The only reason they donate to charities is just PR, too. I'm sure most of them could care less about anything other than their own bottom line.
I think he's a little more disingenuous than that. He made it look like he was willing to pay more in taxes himself, like he was some magnanimous figure. But the tax increases he was advocating would have had minimal affect on him personally. He makes his money on returns on investments not income.
 
Mar 2012
55,301
36,842
New Hampshire
#26
I think he's a little more disingenuous than that. He made it look like he was willing to pay more in taxes himself, like he was some magnanimous figure. But the tax increases he was advocating would have had minimal affect on him personally. He makes his money on returns on investments not income.
Many CEOs and execs dont take a salary. They then can claim they have a 0 income. The real wealth is in stock and holdings and on paper. Nothing tangible to tax.
 

Blueneck

Former Staff
Jun 2007
53,794
40,295
Ohio
#27
I think he's a little more disingenuous than that. He made it look like he was willing to pay more in taxes himself, like he was some magnanimous figure. But the tax increases he was advocating would have had minimal affect on him personally. He makes his money on returns on investments not income.
He knew his advocacy would have zero effect. It takes a special kind of cowardice & scumbaggery to take a stand when you know it's not going to count.
 
Feb 2011
16,587
5,843
Boise, ID
#28
I've never believed the wealthy paying taxes would somehow benefit me personally. But more & more we see the government helping the 1% and using the public's money to do it. That pisses me off.
In post #13 I argued that we're all more or less on the same ship, in that when the economy is recovering or booming, pretty much everyone is better off relative to the way things are when the economy is contracting or crashing. So if that's the case, even "mostly," then good leaders are going to need to support things that allow the economy to grow, which will always be able to be construed as "government helping the 1%." Just because it's possible to construe everything as a conspiracy theory by the rich to enrich themselves at the public's expense doesn't mean we should actually construe everything that way.

However, partisan operatives will insist things be construed that way because it's really easy to agitate and anger gullible people and then harness that anger to convince them to vote for your candidate.
 
Feb 2011
16,587
5,843
Boise, ID
#29
Many CEOs and execs dont take a salary. They then can claim they have a 0 income. The real wealth is in stock and holdings and on paper. Nothing tangible to tax.
Caveat with this. Equity compensation typically faces income taxation eventually.

Your Stock Award
Restricted stock awards let you take advantage of a so-called "83(b) election," which allows you to report the stock award as ordinary income in the year it's granted and then start the capital gain holding period at that time (caution: if the stock fails to appreciate, you don’t get a refund of the tax you paid when you made your election). Your alternative is to defer paying any tax until the stock is fully vested – but at that point, you'll be paying ordinary income tax (up to 35% through 2012, depending on your tax bracket) on what could be an appreciably higher number.

With stock options, taxes come into play at the time you exercise your options.

Incentive stock options (ISOs) receive special tax treatment as long as you meet certain conditions.

IF: You sell your shares more than two years from the grant date AND more than one year from the exercise date

THEN: The spread—the difference between the strike price and the market price on the date of exercise—is exempt from ordinary income tax. When you sell the shares, any gain is subject to the favorable long-term capital gains tax rate.

CAVEAT: Exercising ISOs may trigger alternative minimum tax (AMT), so check with your tax advisor before you exercise ISOs.

IF: You sell your ISO shares without meeting the holding period requirements—what's called a disqualifying disposition—and if the sale occurs in the same year as exercise

THEN: The spread and any gain from the sale of the shares are taxed as ordinary income.

Nonqualified stock options (NQSOs) are taxed differently. The spread—the difference between the strike price and the market price on the date of exercise—is taxed as ordinary income in the year of exercise and is subject to income and payroll tax withholding.

IF: You hold the shares more than one year after you exercise and sell the shares for a gain

THEN: The subsequent gain is taxed at the long-term capital gains rate (cost basis equal to the share price value at the time of exercise).

IF: You hold the shares one year or less after exercise and sell for a gain

THEN: The gain is taxed at your ordinary income tax rate.
 

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