Apparently, Warren Buffett was just getting warmed up when he criticized the upcoming tax cut at the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting. He unloads with both barrels on the Washington Post editorial page today:
Now the Senate says that dividends should be tax-free to recipients. Suppose this measure goes through and the directors of Berkshire Hathaway (which does not now pay a dividend) therefore decide to pay $1 billion in dividends next year. Owning 31 percent of Berkshire, I would receive $310 million in additional income, owe not another dime in federal tax, and see my tax rate plunge to 3 percent.
And our receptionist? She’d still be paying about 30 percent, which means she would be contributing about 10 times the proportion of her income that I would to such government pursuits as fighting terrorism, waging wars and supporting the elderly. Let me repeat the point: Her overall federal tax rate would be 10 times what my rate would be.
Read the whole op-ed. He sneaks in an absolutely brilliant argument about why rich Americans shouldn’t complain about their taxes in the first place as a special bonus.