So what does Warren Buffett's secretary make? Neither Buffett nor Debbie Bosanek are spilling, despite a flurry of speculation after her star turn at the State of the Union address. "They can't attack the facts, so they attack the person. It's ridiculous," Buffett tells the Omaha World-Herald. Of her salary, Bosanek would say only, "I feel like I'm treated fairly at Berkshire." A Forbes blogger speculated yesterday, based on Bosanek's 35.8% tax rate, that she must make between $200,000 and $500,000, though other bloggers (including another at Forbes) almost immediately said his calculation and assumptions were flat-out wrong.
Buffett said none of the online speculation has been correct and complained that it deflects from the real point: "I'm saying she is being treated unfairly in the tax code, as are tens of millions of others, compared to me," he told the newspaper. "They shouldn't change the rates on all the other people. They should change mine." Adds Bosanek: "It's not like I look forward to paying taxes, but I don't mind paying taxes as long as everybody's treated fairly. I'm not saying anyone should feel sorry for me or lower my taxes. I never even thought about it until he wrote the article." (Read more Warren Buffett stories.)