America’s favorite billionaire, Warren Buffett, is at it again with even more hypocrisy.
This time, speaking in an interview with Fortune, Buffett has gone on record as saying that he won’t pay more in either personal or corporate taxes than what he’s required to by law at Berkshire Hathaway.
“Actually, [Berkshire's] tax rate is pretty high if you look at it. But if it could be lower, I would have it lower. I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate,” said Buffett. “For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”
Buffett further explained that he isn’t the only person to not offer his own money to help pay down the enormous budget deficit and national debt levels. He conceded that he tried once, but it didn’t really work out too well.
“I will not pay a dime more of individual taxes than I owe, and I won’t pay a dime more of corporate taxes than we owe. And that’s very simple. In my own case, I offered one time to match a voluntary payment that any Senators pay, and I offered to triple any voluntary payment that [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., made, but they never took me up on it.”
Is it hypocrisy? Perhaps, especially considering that he wants to raises on the affluent in the United States. Buffett published an op-ed piece in the New York Times in 2012 in which he called for a 30 percent minimum tax on individuals that earn between $1 million and $10 million as well as 35 percent any amounts exceeding that.
What’s interesting is that he is suggesting the government to use force to coerce him and others like him to pay more taxes. The reality is that if he wanted to give the government more of his salary then he could just simply write the Internal Revenue Service or the Treasury Department a check for that minimum tax rate rather than use a pretty bad excuse.
In the words of New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie, who is certainly not a fan of the liberty movement, “Write a check and shut up.”
Buffett has been found to be hypocritical in the past. For instance, he is a fan of raising the minimum wage and has agreed that the current wage rates are not liveable. However, he still maintains a certain percentage of workers at Berkshire Hathaway that earn the bare minimum. Why not raise it?
Of course, Buffett is an ecstatic fan of big government and to feed its largesse because he personally profits from it. He has promoted the supposed virtues of central economic planning, deficit spending and higher taxes.
At the height of the economic collapse when the Obama administration started to allocate TARP funds, Buffett, who had endorsed the economic plan, benefitted. One report found that the big investment company owned stocks valued in the billions in the top recipients of the taxpayer funds, including Goldman Sachs Group, US Bancorp, American Express and Bank of America.
Furthermore, another report discovered that the Obama administration spent more than $600 million on rail projects that profited private companies, including BNSF Railway, a firm owned by Buffett.
Hypocrisy and cronyism thy name is Warren Buffett.