Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on March 8, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

When it comes to debating tax policy, Barack Obama has two arguments he likes to trot out: Warren Buffett’s secretary and corporate jet owners.  Obama claims that we need to raise taxes on the wealthy to keep Buffett’s secretary from being treated unfortunately for the benefit of the corporate jet set.  As it turns out, Buffett managed to get a cushy tax break for the corporate jet owners rather than his secretary from the Obama administration, as the Huffington Post noticed in a report titled “Warren Buffett Company: Please Hike Cut Our Taxes”:

As the parties battle over taxes, the deficit and economic inequality, two arguments that have been marshaled to advocate for the Democratic position are that taxpayers should not be subsidizing private jet travel and that Warren Buffett’s tax bill is way too low — lower, Democrats and Buffett himself have repeatedly noted, than his secretary’s.

Buffett’s belabored secretary has become such a ubiquitous gambit in the tax debate that she was invited to attend the president’s State of the Union address as an honored guest. Buffett’s pleading with Congress to hike his tax rate has grown so incessant that Republicans routinely suggest the Omaha billionaire should simply, as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie put it, “write a check and shut up.”

But when a Buffett company had a chance to tackle both problems, it chose to do the opposite. And it spent handsomely on K Street to get it done.

Berkshire Hathaway-owned NetJets Inc. spent more than $2.5 million on a squadron of lobbyists who successfully crafted tax legislation to benefit a handful of private jet companies, according to a HuffPost analysis of lobbying disclosure records.

The Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act passed in February after wending its way through Congress over much of the last decade. The bill provides a broad overhaul of national aviation, which includes improving runway safety standards and funding aviation safety research. The bill also advances NextGen, a program to replace the aging radar system with GPS, which the FAA says will reduce delays, accidents and air pollution.

So … Obama and Democrats were against corporate jet owners before they were in favor them, then?  It all depends on who hires the lobbyists, apparently.  (via Jeff Dobbs at VIMH)

 

 

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

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Bishop?

angrymike on March 8, 2012 at 8:06 AM

Limousine liberal hypocrites.

itsnotaboutme on March 8, 2012 at 8:11 AM

Ugh

Dem lobby good

Gop lobby bad

Hypocrites the lot of them

cmsinaz on March 8, 2012 at 8:12 AM

Maybe Fluke could
Work on K street.

newportmike on March 8, 2012 at 8:13 AM

Huffpo got off the plantation. Don’t they know they supposed to concentrate on what is said not what is done.

Grunt on March 8, 2012 at 8:16 AM

Buffett- A pig trough

docflash on March 8, 2012 at 8:17 AM

Not only that, Ed, but if President Obama had spent a day working in business he might understand a very good reason for corporate jets. Unlike our President, who spends all his time in Washington DC, Chicago, and other big cities well served by commercial aircraft, our American companies have plants, distribution centers, etc. in places like Terra Haute, Indiana and Valdosta, Georgia. In an emergency where someone from corporate headquarters needs to get there ASAP, you want to try flying to Valdosta on commercial airlines? Lee Iacocca made that very point 35 years ago when Chrysler was forced to give up its corporate jet as per terms of the loan guarantee they got from the government. Whether or not you agree with the 70′s bailout of Chrysler or not the point is still valid.

radjah shelduck on March 8, 2012 at 8:18 AM

Warren Buffett’s tax bill is way too low — lower, Democrats and Buffett himself have repeatedly noted, than his secretary’s.

His tax bill was lower than his secretary’s?

forest on March 8, 2012 at 8:22 AM

Warren Buffett’s tax bill is way too low — lower, Democrats and Buffett himself have repeatedly noted, than his secretary’s.

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I sincerely doubt this is true; Buffett’s tax rate may be lower than his secretary’s but certainly not her tax bill, which would be the Federal Income taxes withheld during the year plus the amount due at the end of the tax year. Tax RATES and tax BILLS are different. The authors over there don’t know what they are talking about.
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The NetJet thing is another example of Buffett’s cynical “tax me more” words followed by his crony capitalism leeching off the government and fleecing the taxpayers. Fat old Buffett must be laughing himself silly at all the contradictory roles he gets to play while profiting off the socialism of the Federal government. It’s worth a read at the Huff’n'Puff site to get more understanding of the issue but suffice it to say Warren’s tax bill just got lower – again.
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So while Buffett assists Ø in his tax {insert hated social group} increase strategy, Warren is negotiating his own tax reduction again and again. It’s cynical and craven between these two and American taxpayers are none the wiser about it.

ExpressoBold on March 8, 2012 at 8:27 AM

Was this bill passed by the republican house?

Pretty weak Obamamateurism.

FOWG1 on March 8, 2012 at 8:32 AM

the war on them womens continues!!!

ted c on March 8, 2012 at 8:34 AM

Simple solution – pay his secretary less.

OldEnglish on March 8, 2012 at 8:34 AM

Pretty weak Obamamateurism.

FOWG1 on March 8, 2012 at 8:32 AM

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I agree, unless you look at the inter-connectedness of Democrat Øbama who parrots “tax the rich and the private jet users” as an economic solution and then understand that Buffett is enriching himself by playing fast and loose with the tax laws while supporting Ø in his “tax the rich and the private jet users.” Part of the beauty of “Obamateurism” is that it reveals the cynicism of Øbama and his cronies when they say one thing and do another.

ExpressoBold on March 8, 2012 at 8:40 AM

The reason Buffet’s tax rate is so low is because he receives little of his income as wages.

An easy solution is to tax dividend income as ordinary income while making up for the double taxation issue by making dividends paid by a company tax deductible. After all, corporations do not pay taxes, their customers do.

Laurence on March 8, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Limousine liberal hypocrites.

itsnotaboutme on March 8, 2012 at 8:11 AM

Lear Jet Liberals?

coldwarrior on March 8, 2012 at 8:54 AM

If Warren Buffet’s tax rates are so low…why hasn’t he paid on them?

KOOLAID2 on March 8, 2012 at 8:55 AM

So … Obama and Democrats were against corporate jet owners before they were in favor them, then? It all depends on who hires the lobbyists, apparently.

\

This is not unique to Obama. Lobbyists stay employed for a reason and that has been true for almost the entire history of this nation.

But, let’s not leave the issue of those with access to jets quite so quick. Why is it that Michelle Obama gets to go on all those vacations at taxpayer expense? I say if the moose isn’t on an official trip, the family should pick up the entire tab for travel. If that means the moose has to plant her ample backside in coach on a Southwest Airlines flight so be it. There is no reason why the taxpayer who struggles in the Obama recession has to watch this “fluke like” woman jet off to Aspen on the public dime.

Happy Nomad on March 8, 2012 at 9:00 AM

An easy solution is to tax dividend income as ordinary income while making up for the double taxation issue by making dividends paid by a company tax deductible. After all, corporations do not pay taxes, their customers do.

Laurence

This may be an “easy” solution, but it is certainly not a good one–at least for those retired and trying to live from investment income. This really could put grandma on the street.

The real solution is to cut unnecessary programs, eliminate the debt, and work within the parameters of budgetary restrain–concepts totally alien to the Dummycraps.

As to this being one of the less impacting Obamateurisms, it speaks pointedly to the “it’s for thee, not for me” philosophy of the Dummycrap party. This is an outgrowth of the “Big Lie” and results in “tell them what they want to hear and then do what you want to do.” This administration is rife with examples.

Crusader Rabbit on March 8, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Laurence on March 8, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Chris Christie pointed out an easier solution. If Warren Buffet wants to pay more in taxes, he should write the government a check and shut the hell up. It is absurd that he whines about not paying enough in taxes but never gets around to doing anything about it.

Happy Nomad on March 8, 2012 at 9:03 AM

Bishop?

angrymike on March 8, 2012 at 8:06 AM

Nice job. You probably pay your taxes too.

Bmore on March 8, 2012 at 9:04 AM

Just more blather for the cameras.

Kissmygrits on March 8, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Berkshire Hathaway-owned NetJets Inc. spent more than $2.5 million on a squadron of lobbyists who successfully crafted tax legislation to benefit a handful of private jet companies,

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I bet that will never show up in a Repub campaign ad. :(

askwhatif on March 8, 2012 at 10:05 AM

…and since we’re on the topic of Buffett’s secretary..er..executive administrative assistant: She makes approx. $200,000 – $400,000 (estimated by her taxes paid, she will not divulge her actual salary).

I’d gladly pay a higher tax rate than Buffett, if I made $200,000 – $400,000 per year.

Oh yeah, I believe she’s a 1%-er now.

askwhatif on March 8, 2012 at 10:12 AM

The reason Buffet’s tax rate is so low is because he receives little of his income as wages.

Libs don’t want to calculate math, they just want a talking point.
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God knows, if they quote actual numbers, they would lose their base, as people would actually understand their tricks.
Can’t have that now.
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Just suppose, Buffett makes $2,000,000 on interest, per year. He would pay 15% taxes , or $300,000 in taxes. Just suppose his secretary makes $500,000 per year. She would pay 35% tax, or $175,000 in taxes, just about half, but not more dollars than Buffett.
I don’t think for a minute, the libs would dare to bring actual numbers into the conversation.

askwhatif on March 8, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Warren Buffett’s tax bill is way too low — lower, Democrats and Buffett himself have repeatedly noted, than his secretary’s.

His tax bill was lower than his secretary’s?

forest on March 8, 2012 at 8:22 AM

Sure. In the same way that reducing the planned increase in spending from +6% to +4% is actually a 2% spending cut. Ya just gotta understand modern liberal math…

climbnjump on March 8, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Buffett complaining about his tax bill being too low makes as much sense as Ms. Fluke expecting us to pay for her BC pills. In both cases a little bit of personal choice and a sense of personal responsibility would allow them to find solutions on their own without forcing the rest of us to help them out.

climbnjump on March 8, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Buffet is a crony capitalist par excellence.

He was sitting on a huge pile of BOA shares that were underwater. He snapped his finger, the Regime passed a few regulations, and he went from underwater to well into the black in the course of a day.

It was insider trading by any other name.

CorporatePiggy on March 8, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Liberals feast on prattling about “rate” instead of “amount”. The lie has been exposed so often it’s almost impossible to get excited about it any more, except that people who ought to know better (such as Warren Buffett) keep pushing it. So it’s simple: have Buffett and his whatnot release their tax returns for the last three years. If either is unwilling to do so, then they (along with Obama) should shut up.

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on March 8, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Limousine Gulf Stream liberal hypocrites.

FIFY

crazy_legs on March 8, 2012 at 11:12 AM

So the slob Buffett is a hypocrite as well? Well that’s surprising. Maybe we should call him Warren Bullshit.

slickwillie2001 on March 8, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Well, if he is feeling a bit uneasy over his secretary’s higher tax rate, then why doesn’t he pay her in stocks like he pays himself. Problem solved. Well, not exactly. It takes a while before your stocks start paying enough for you to pay your everyday bills. But it is sure hypocritical of him to be spouting off about this when he and the IRS are fighting about his not paying enough taxes. I would love to see all of these billionaires just writing a big check to the IRS to show that they are so magnanamous instead of saying they don’t pay enough taxes. They think they are innoculating themselves from the torches and pitchforks.

BetseyRoss on March 8, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Buffet is so in favor of higher taxes on the rich like himself that he’s fighting the IRS on paying back taxes.

Also, I’ve yet to hear anyone explain how taxing the rich is going to make Buffet’s secretary better off.

Also also, Buffet is a huge crony capitalist/fascist – he made tons of money buying into companies he lobbied the Obama administration to bail out.

gwelf on March 8, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Warren Buffet’s tax rate on wages is immaterial, since he is one of those guys who pays himself like $1 per year. The vast majority of his earnings during a year are in the form of investment returns/dividends. Those are classified, not as wages, but as capital gains, for which the tax rate is fixed, and lower than the rate his secretary pays because he pays her well.

The last time the federal government tried their best to take more money from the wealthy, greedy business owners, Clinton’s admin worked with Congress to create a special, high-rate tax on corporate executive wages. But people who produce goods and generate wealth for a living know how to sidestep that kind of theft, and since then most highly paid executives have restructured their compensation package to take much less in wages, to keep away from that executive tax, and bundle the majority of their annual earnings in bonuses. Simultaneously, they began structuring similar bonuses for most of their employees, so that taxing that would tax everyone, and they know that the libs wouldn’t dare raise EVERYONE’s taxes when they are trying to soak just the rich. So, tax revenue decreased as a result of the attempted tax-grab. Good move, Billy-Jeff.

Mr. Resident, you do not have a government revenue problem. Far more than enough money is brought in with taxes to do what the government is supposed to do. You have an entitlement spending problem, and it is illegal by the Constitution for you to take my money to give it away at your discretion. It is well past time for that to stop.

Freelancer on March 8, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Captain Renault Award Winner!

jnelchef on March 8, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Warren Buffet has become a joke. I am tired of his mug almost as much as I am of the (Vet the)Prez.

jazzuscounty on March 8, 2012 at 4:57 PM