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Uncas
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25 posted 10-28-2011 03:55 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

quote:
BUffet talks about how the rich needs to pay mopre taxes while he fights the government not to pay the taxes he owes.


Could you clarify this statement Mike, as far as I understand the situation Buffet has in fact paid all his taxes.

.
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26 posted 10-28-2011 05:00 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

LR, your quote says it all. Too bad more people can't understand that...
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27 posted 10-28-2011 05:14 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Berkshire Hathaway, the eighth-largest public company in the world according to Forbes, openly admits to still owing taxes for years 2002 through 2004 and 2005 through 2009, according to the New York Post. The company says it expects to "resolve all adjustments proposed by the US Internal Revenue Service" within the next year.

But The Post doesn't focus on the issue of a major corporation not paying its correct amount in taxes in a timely manner. Instead, the newspaper criticizes Buffett's position that America's rich should be taxed at a higher rate, taking issue with Buffett's claim that he gave 17 percent of his income to the government in 2010. The Post contends that since the majority of his income comes from dividends and capital games -- taxed indirectly through the corporate income tax -- "his effective rate would really be well north of 40 percent for a big chunk of his income."

"And if [Buffett's] firm wants to keep its tax bill low, well, thatís its right," The Post editors write. "But it would be nice if this 'pro-tax-hike' tycoon were a bit more honest about it."
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/29/warren-buffett-taxes-berkshire-hathaway_n_941099.html
Here's another very interesting article, uncas....
http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2011/08/15/warren-buffetts-very-strange-tax-argument/
Uncas
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28 posted 10-28-2011 06:00 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


That's what I thought Mike, Buffet has paid all his personal tax liabilities.


As you point out Berkshire Hathaway is currently in dispute with the IRS, not Buffet. The Company has lodged an appeal with the IRS and not for the first time I might add. Last time, after a lengthy appeal, the IRS admitted that they'd miscalculated Berkshire's tax liability. The chances are high the same thing will happen this time too.

Perhaps your statement should read:

Buffet, who pays all his taxes, talks about how the rich needs to pay more taxes while the Company he's CEO of is involved in an appeal regarding a possible overestimation of tax liability by the IRS.

.
Bob K
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29 posted 10-28-2011 09:44 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

  

     Is Uncas correct, Mike?
Bob K
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     President Obamas' plan was not grandiose, Mike.  It was standard John Maynard Keynes.  Keynes seemed to work pretty well through the Depression, right up to the point when the Republican's began deregulating the economy.  From that point on, we've been having frequent economic problems.

     Grandiose is when you start borrowing money to give to millionaires so that they can sock it away in banks and not put it back into the economy and call that a tax cut.  Everybody but the rich seems to have to pay for it.

     Spending money to help states sustain services and keep people employed helps the economy at a minimum to gain an even keel until other pump priming measures can help get the thing functioning again.  In fact, it did work that way until the Republican scuttled the renewal of the measure.  Remember when people were saying that it looked like the recession was over?  

     That's because those measures were working.  Another renewal probably would have done it.  Probably.  Cutting those jobs and throwing those people out of work shrank the economy again and made the problem larger.  Good for helping Republican election chances, bad for the country.  It made the recession worse.  Why would Republicans want the recession to be worse, for heaven's sake?  What possible good could it do the country as a whole?

     Oh, well, yeah, for the Republicans themselves in particular.  I guess you Republicans have got me there.

     The Republicans do fit the mold Ms. Pelosi set for them in your quote.  Sometime when the thread is right, maybe we can talk about how and why.
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31 posted 10-29-2011 01:00 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The Republicans do fit the mold Ms. Pelosi set for them in your quote.

Thank you, Bob. Now that I see that you and Pelosi agree on making such statements, you make it easy to end the conversation. May the two of you enjoy your common decencies.
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32 posted 10-29-2011 01:20 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Uncas, Buffet still owes taxes for all those years while it is being debated.
You may have me wrong with regards to my feelings about Buffet. I have never had anything against the man at all. He has always had my admiration for the accomplishments he has made. He took advantage of the American dream and made himself the richest man in the world at one point and I don't begrudge him a penny of it, nor do I think he doesn't deserve it. (I do find it interesting that he is a hero to democrats, being one of the "filthy rich". I guess perhaps they are giving him a little pass).

The point that I, and the writer of the article I posted, is this: Buffet IS Berkshire Hathaway.  His income basically comes from dividends and capital gains. Nothing wrong with that, either. Many of the rich and super-rich do the same thing to keep their taxes low.  He has taken the proper steps allowed to him to pay less in taxes, according to the law of the land. That's fine.

If that was all there is, then there would be no issue. What we have, however, is the man taking advantage of the tax breaks doing it that way instead of declaring his earnings as income and THEN delares that people like him should pay more in taxes. He is preaching doing what he does not do. He takes the steps to pay less and preaches on how he should be paying more. That is hypocritical to the nth degree. That's like saying, "I should give my ex-wife enough in child support to take care of the kids but first I'll see how much I can get taken off my earnings statement so I will have to pay less. Is that illegal? No? Is it immoral? You can answer that one for yourself. It did cause the article to say..

"And if [Buffett's] firm wants to keep its tax bill low, well, thatís its right," The Post editors write. "But it would be nice if this 'pro-tax-hike' tycoon were a bit more honest about it."

..and THIS was reported by the Huffington Post, a strong liberal ally.


Bob K
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33 posted 10-29-2011 03:20 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Is Uncas correct, Mike?
Bob K
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34 posted 10-29-2011 03:47 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Perhaps there is some problem among Republicans in telling the difference between Democrat and political points of view that are against Capitalism entirely.  I myself admire people who are capitalists who manage to do it without exploiting other people.  There are people who make a decent product at a fair price and treat their workers well in the process.  This is different from predatory Capitalism.

     I suspect that a large number of Democrats are just fine with Capitalism as a method for running an economy, especially if it doesn't run rough-shod over everybody else in the process.  For that Matter, I can't imagine a lot of Republicans who would be all that thrilled with Predatory capitalism, and I remember some of your postings, Mike, that suggested that you had reservations about companies that do business in a predatory way.  I think that reservation is not a particularly political one, it's more of a human one, though there will be some distinctions about some areas of this.

     Health care is one of the areas where Capitalism has extended itself and the things some of us find predatory or evil, other people may not.  Outside of Drugs and medical care, though, I suspect that you and I wouldn't be that far apart on the notion of being against most predatorty practices.

     Buffet and most other very rich people should be paying more, I think.

     "More" doesn't mean endlessly more, does it?  It means a legally set amount more that is fixed by law and is generally agreed to be an appropriate amount.  It doesn't mean a punative amount more, arbitrarily set by people who have political anger at the man or who disagree with him or who figure that they can tag him for more simply because they're goverment agents.  It doesn't mean give up your right to due process more, does it?

     Yet, in the case of Mr. Buffet, this seems what the Right wing is pushing for.  Is this what they would Urge The Koch brothers to do, or the folks at AT&T or at British Petroleum?  As I recall, the Right supported British Petroleum right through its court fight around the EXXon Valdez and for twenty years thereafter until the court judgement was reduced to a tiny fraction of what was originally awarded.  Same with the MacDonald's Hot Coffee Case.

     Suddenly, with Mr. Buffet, they're on the side of hanging the man out to dry.

     As a MacDonald's stockholder, I had mixed feelings.

     About Mr. Buffet, I'm fairly clear that the upset on the Right isn't about wanting to get the government its fair share, though.  It's about wanting to punish one of the guys who should have been in the church choir for singing some of that sinful rock & roll, and about wanting to send him on a permanent vacation in a place where global warming is known as "air-conditioning."
Uncas
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35 posted 10-29-2011 08:27 AM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


quote:
Uncas, Buffet still owes taxes for all those years while it is being debated.


No he doesn't Mike.

In the first place Buffet isn't Berkshire Hathaway, he may have control of the Company but at the end of the day he's just another employee. The company is an independent entity Mike, the employees aren't liable for the liabilities of that entity.

Even if they were liable the taxes in question aren't yet proved to be owed. As I mentioned earlier this isn't the first time that the company has appealed against the IRS assessment, last time they won, did they owe the tax in that case?


.
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36 posted 10-29-2011 08:58 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

...and the rest of my comment, Uncas? Agree or disagree?
Uncas
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37 posted 10-29-2011 09:48 AM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

quote:
...and the rest of my comment, Uncas? Agree or disagree?


Sorry Mike, I skipped over them because I didn't think they were relevant to the question of whether Buffet paid his taxes or not. I don't mind addressing them though.

quote:
You may have me wrong with regards to my feelings about Buffet.


Disagree. I hadn't even considered your feelings regarding Buffet Mike because your feelings don't alter the facts one way or the other.

quote:
I do find it interesting that he is a hero to democrats, being one of the "filthy rich". I guess perhaps they are giving him a little pass.


Agree. But then again I'm not really interested in what democrats or republicans think when it comes to whether Buffet has paid his taxes or not.

quote:
Buffet IS Berkshire Hathaway


Disagree. Berkshire Hathaway is an independent entity.

quote:
He takes the steps to pay less and preaches on how he should be paying more. That is hypocritical to the nth degree.


Almost agree. It does look hypocritical but the reality is paying more taxes isn't an option, he couldn't do it even if he wanted to. He fills in his tax return honestly (filling it in incorrectly is illegal), the IRS tell him how much he owes and he pays it. If he pays more than he should the IRS are legally obliged to refund the amount overpaid.

If the system doesn't allow him to pay more you can't really criticise him for not doing so. What's he supposed to do? I guess he could donate the money to charity instead.
http://www.ecorazzi.com/2011/07/09/warren-buffett-donates-1-78-billion-to-charity/

quote:
THIS was reported by the Huffington Post, a strong liberal ally.


Agree. Yes it was. I tend to take what the Huffington post says with a pinch of salt though, I don't know whether you've noticed but they tend to have a left leaning bias. In this case it doesn't really matter though because, regardless of what they say, it doesn't alter the fact that Buffet paid his tax.

.
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38 posted 10-29-2011 11:58 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

If the system doesn't allow him to pay more you can't really criticise him for not doing so. What's he supposed to do? I guess he could donate the money to charity instead.

No, there are a number of things he could do. There is a website that John posted where one can send in extra tax money over and above what is required by law. Also, if he feels that strongly about it, he could declare his income as earnings and pay the 40% instead of capital gains and dividends.

Face it. The fellow talks a good game but won't put his money where his mouth is. He could send in a check to the government any time he likes, if he truly feels he should be paying more.

If you are in a restaurant with your boss, or someone you admire, and he tells the waitress, "Gee, I see you have an automatic 15% gratuity added to the bill and your service was so excellent you deserve mopre than that"....and then pulls out his calculator to leave her exactly 15%, how would you feel about the fellow?

That's Buffet.

No, the right has nothing against him at all, with the exception of his hypocracy. There was never an unkind word about him before that.
Uncas
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39 posted 10-29-2011 01:30 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


quote:
There is a website that John posted where one can send in extra tax money over and above what is required by law.


And how much has Buffet given using this method Mike?

.
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40 posted 10-29-2011 02:20 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Apparently, by his own words, none.

Rebecca Quick of CNBC put that question to Mr. Buffett in 2007. His answer: "Well, that's a choice and it's an option . . . If I had to give it to a single individual, or make some young Buffett a multibillionaire, or give it to the government, I'd absolutely give it to the government. I think that on balance the Gates Foundation, my daughter's foundation, my two sons' foundations will do a better job with lower administrative costs and better selection of beneficiaries than the government."

Mr. Buffett is one of the great stock-pickers of his time, and we don't begrudge him a single dollar of his wealth. 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.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903918104576504650932556900
Uncas
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41 posted 10-29-2011 02:27 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

quote:
I'd absolutely give it to the government. I think that on balance the Gates Foundation, my daughter's foundation, my two sons' foundations will do a better job with lower administrative costs and better selection of beneficiaries than the government.


And how much did he give to the Gates Foundation - his preferred option?

.
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42 posted 10-29-2011 02:52 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

How is that relevant with his claim that he should pay more to the government?
Uncas
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43 posted 10-29-2011 03:39 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


How is that relevant?

Well it sort of explodes the lie you're promoting that Buffet doesn't put his money where is mouth is Mike.

When asked why he doesn't give more money to the IRS Buffet explained that he'd rather donate the extra bucks to charitable foundations where, he believes, the money has greater impact. It seems a quite reasonable argument to me and, as you'd expect from Buffet, it happens to make perfect financial sense too.

.
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44 posted 10-29-2011 03:58 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The lie I'm promoting....I see.

The question is why doesn't he give more money to the government if he claims he should. That has nothing to do with foundations, charities, or anything else outside of the government, which is his statement. No one has claimed he is not philanthropic or even stingy. The topic is him saying he should give more to the government....and doesn't. The question was not whether rich people should give more money. not  to foundations, but to the GOVERNMENT. Your dance is why the Alley is little more than a failed experiment.

The lie I'm promoting....ok, I see we are finished here. Have a nice day.
Bob K
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45 posted 10-29-2011 04:29 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     Not only himself, but everybody in his financial situation.  And not a rate defined by people who are attempting to make him appear foolish or who would not make that demand of other people in his tax bracket.  Mr. Buffet was making the suggestion for everybody in his tax bracket.  It was not only be unfair but it would be illegal to set a tax rate specifically for one man, and to do so because of what seems to be Republican animus for that one man seems to me especially troublesome.  As I recall, tax rates have been that high and higher within living memory, my own included, and the prosperity nationwide seemed much higher.
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46 posted 10-29-2011 05:13 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

It was not only be unfair but it would be illegal to set a tax rate specifically for one man, and to do so because of what seems to be Republican animus for that one man seems to me especially troublesome

Bob, you never cease to amaze. You speak of a ficticious event like setting a tax rate for one man (which is pure fantasy  and has never been mentioned) and then blame it on Republican animus. Incredible stuff.....
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47 posted 10-29-2011 05:19 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     Then why demand Mr. Buffet pay a rate that hasn't been set and that nobody else is obligated to pay, or call him names when he doesn't act like it's perfectly okay to assess him at a rate that nobody in his bracket is charged, or call him a hypocrite when he doesn't volunteer to pay the government money that it would be legally obligated to return?

     Sure sounds like somebody's making that demand.

      And the reason behind this behavior is exactly What?  Pure pleasure in Mr. Buffet's success?  I think not.

     Animus fits the bill far more accurately, doesn't it?
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48 posted 10-29-2011 05:43 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

You don't get it, Bob. Nobody is demanding that Mr. Buffet pay anything. Mr. Buffet himself is declaring he should be paying more...and isn't doing it. If you are not going to do something, why make the statement that you should be? Does that make any sense to you at all?

No republican twisted his arm to have him make that statement. He did it of his own free will in support of Obama and even got a bill named after himself. When asked if he was going to pay more to the government he claimed that giving money to family foundations was much better than giving it to the government, who was not as capable at using it wisely. Then why make the statement that he and others of his range should be giving more to the government? He makes no sense at all. He talked the talk but that's all.....and no republican had anything to do with it....sorry to disappoint.
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49 posted 10-29-2011 08:28 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     And Republicans can't tell the difference between  Mr. Buffet saying that the tax rate for very wealthy people should be increased so that he and other very wealthy people would get and be expected to pay higher tax bills and the suggestion that he, in particular, should simply throw money at the government in large unspecified amounts in the hopes that they would simply accept it?  And that the Republicans expect me to believe the same thing?  Gosh, because the Republicans say it's true, then it must be true.  We can put it in the bank, right with the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the Mushroom clouds rising over American cities from Iraqi atomic weapons.  I have trouble enough sorting out the stuff from my own party, without this sort of disinformation.

     My understanding is that Republicans respected Mr. Buffet's business skills, not that they regarded him as a business buffoon.  I think I understand just fine.  I think the Republicans are pretending that Mr. Buffet said something that an idiot would say and not a well thought of businessman, and that they are pretending the statement of the idiot was the actual message instead of the businessman's message that he offered.  Are Republicans actually thinking that Democrats are such idiots as to believe such a line of hooey, and that Democrats have no experience with business or with businesslike thinking?

     The whole set of Republican statements is issued to the sort of people that Republicans seem to imagine Democrats to be when they start talking about people stuck on welfare and jammed in helpless poverty without a clue.  Jimminy Cricket!  
 
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