Dear Warren, If You Feel Undertaxed, Write a Check

Wall Street Journal: Buffett's plea for higher taxes doesn't tell full story
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2011 12:15 PM CDT
Dear Warren, If You Feel Undertaxed, Write a Check
Warren Buffett isn't convincing the Wall Street Journal editorial board.   (AP Photo/ Mustafa Quraishi, file)

(Newser) – Warren Buffett is again calling for higher taxes on himself and other rich people, and the Wall Street Journal would like him to put a sock in it, please. In an editorial today, the newspaper suggests Buffett isn't telling the full story. For instance, he complains that he pays only 17.4% of his income in taxes even as regular joes pay more. But he neglects to mention that most of his income comes from dividends and capital gains "already taxed once as corporate income." This amounts to a "double tax" that brings the actual tax rate on that income to 45%.

"Mr. Buffett is one of the great stock-pickers of his time, and we don't begrudge him a single dollar of his wealth," says the Journal, which points out two more examples of what it sees as Buffett's "dodges" on the issue. "We only wish that, having already made himself rich, he weren't so intent on making it harder for others to become rich too. If he's worried about being undertaxed, we'd suggest he simply write a big check to Uncle Sam and go back to his day job of picking investments." (Read more Warren Buffett stories.)

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