Hey kids, Warren Buffett’s the Good Billionaire™ because he grandstands and writes op eds in the New York Times telling everybody he’d totally take a higher tax rate if only someone would make him pay it. Buffett knows he pays a lower tax rate than his own secretary, and he doesn’t like it, not one bit. He feels your pain!
None of this changes the fact that Warren Buffett’s still a Grade-A dick who made billions touching peckers with Goldman Sachs and Bank of America (just the tip!) and betting on the very failure of millions of average people’s home mortgages and investments. He doesn’t get a cookie from me because he’s right on one fucking issue.
Yet the left, which rightfully calls out the unethical practices of billion dollar corporations, has somehow given Warren Buffett a Steve Jobs Get-Out-Of-Liberal-Criticism-Free Card. Apple makes shiny gadgets, so liberals overlooked the late Steve Jobs’ egomaniacal personality and awful labor practices (thanks to horrible working conditions at China’s Foxconn factory, suicide nets needed to be installed to stop those underpaid and exploited workers making your iPhones and iPads from jumping to their deaths and joining Steve Jobs in iHeaven). And now Warren Buffett gets a liberal pass for criticizing the capital gains tax loophole.
For those unaware, capital gains income is money made from the interest that accumulates on investments. While most middle class people pay around a 30% tax rate on their income from real jobs, capital gains income, where many rich people make most of their money, is taxed at only 15 percent. Conservative economists argue that this is necessary to spur investment. They may be right, but it still seems unfair that income earned from the interest on a giant pile of money is taxed at a lower rate than income earned by people who actually work. President Obama proposed a Fair Share Tax bill, nicknamed the Buffett Rule after Good Billionaire™ Warren Buffett, which would raise the tax rate on all income over $2 million to 30 percent. Which seems fair, because the 15% capital gains tax rate is still in effect for middle class investors, and I find it hard to believe that rich people will stop investing after their first $2 million because they’d “only” get to keep $7 million out of their $2 to $12 million pre-tax income rather than $8.5 million. (Remember, rich people would still only pay a 15% capital gains tax rate on their first $2 million.)
Yeah, I think the Buffett Rule is good, but it’s already been filibustered by Senate Republicans and, anyway, fuck Buffett and his benevolence. If he wants to pay higher taxes (that will in no way put a dent in his lifestyle), the Treasury accepts checks. None of Buffett’s goodwill changes the fact that he made billions off of the suffering of average people by betting the other way on shoddy mortgages and investments. And we’re supposed to think this is okay because he’s a nice billionaire totally willing to pay a little bit more in taxes to help slightly unfuck us.