Mr Buffett said that he was taxed at 17.7 per cent on the $46 million he made last year, without trying to avoid paying higher taxes, while his secretary, who earned $60,000, was taxed at 30 per cent. Mr Buffett told his audience, which included John Mack, the chairman of Morgan Stanley, and Alan Patricof, the founder of the US branch of Apax Partners, that US government policy had accentuated a disparity of wealth that hurt the economy by stifling opportunity and motivation.
I read this article today and I think it really says something about this country and about Warren Buffet. He is a great man who has donated 37 billion dollars to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – which is dedicated to bringing innovations of health and learning to the global community. Even with all his money Buffet doesn’t think of himself as better or more worthy of consideration than the average American.
America has a huge disparity in income between its richest and its poorest citizens. In 2000 the richest 5% made 19x more than the poorest 20%. Studies show that Income disparity makes a huge difference in a person’s health and happiness. (Stanford’s own Prof. Salposky)
Most people still say that America is a land of opportunity – that if you work hard, you can fashion a great life for yourself. But the heavy taxes that affect the middle class all but assure that you’ll never become super-wealthy.
It seems like those who can afford to pay higher taxes are the ones that don’t have to. Too bad. I’m glad someone wealthy is talking about it.