Executive editor's note: Due to an error made by a secondary source, the piece below incorrectly claimed that Warren Buffett had called for the repeal of Obamacare in 2013. The interview which was cited actually took place in 2010. We regret the error.
When Warren Buffett proposed higher taxes on millionaires in 2011, the media gushed and fawned giving him and his views airtime as if Elvis Presley returned from the dead.
Will they be as fascinating by the Oracle of Omaha stating that ObamaCare should be scrapped?
Media mogul Mort Zuckerman wins this weekend’s funniest line on a political talk show.
Asked by the host of PBS's McLaughlin Group why successful billionaires would invest in a dying business such as newspapers, Zuckerman replied, “Because they no longer wish to be billionaires” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
As NewsBusters has been reporting, liberal media members have been absolutely apoplectic over the thought of the Koch brothers buying the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.
CNN's Howard Kurtz gave a somewhat more reasoned view of such an eventuality on Reliable Sources Sunday saying, "Let's remember that more liberal businessmen such as Warren Buffett have been snapping up newspapers without compromising their journalistic mission" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A search at the Associated Press's national website on Warren Buffett's last name at about 5 p.m. ET returned two recent items which are still present there. Each item (here and here) mentions the Obama Fan of Omaha's idea to "impose a minimum tax of 30 percent on income between $1 million and $10 million, and a 35 percent rate for income above that." Neither mentions the pathetically small amount such a tax would raise while seriously impacting the ability of high income earners who own or run businesses to expand them -- or in some cases causing them to shrink.
It's the same at other establishment press outlets. Two recent New York Times items found in a search on Buffett's full name (here and here, the latter item being Buffett's own op-ed on Sunday) fail to note how little money Buffett's proposed tax hikes would raise. So how little is "little"?
In an interview with Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer was puzzled by GOP opposition to the billionaire investor's call for higher taxes: "One of the ideas being pushed out there by the Right is that if you raise taxes on the wealthy it will have a chilling effect on hiring and investment in this country....Why do you think Republicans are clinging so tightly to that idea?" Buffett replied: "Well, I think they're worried about primaries next time, but I think you're seeing people peel away from that." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Earlier in the discussion, Lauer wondered: "...you favor a minimum tax rate for the wealthy....Do you see the political will in Washington right now to accomplish that and come up with a compromise?" Buffett replied: "I think there's a general feeling among the American public certainly, and even among many in Congress, that the rich like me have been getting away with low tax rates, and that it's time to make the tax rates more progressive."
Billionaire Warren Buffett said Monday that there should be a minimum tax on the wealthy.
Appearing on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, low tax advocate Grover Norquist responded, "If he wants to write a check, he should write a check and shut up about what everybody else should do" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Although it may not surprise NewsBusters readers, it appears MSNBC's Ed Schultz doesn't pay any attention to what he says, what others on his network report, or what is covered by any mainstream media outlet.
What else could be the explanation for Schultz claiming in an interview with Talking Points Memo that the most under-covered story in the country right now is wealthy people not paying their "fair share" of taxes (question in bold):
A truly shocking thing happened on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS Sunday.
The perilously liberal host - with journalistically corrupt ties to the current White House - came out against the millionaires' tax known as the Buffett Rule calling it "bad politics in the long run for Obama" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The mainstream media rarely like the very rich, but billionaire Warren Buffett is the exception. The Berkshire Hathaway CEO remains unscathed, even adored by the liberal news media due to his liberal politics.
After all, it was Buffett who called for higher taxes on millionaires and billionaires. His call for increased taxes was unsurprisingly embraced by class-warfare loving Obama administration and bolstered by the media. Obama has campaigned on the Buffett rule which would require that people making more than $1 million a year pay at least 30 percent in taxes (even if their earnings come from investment and are currently taxed at the 15 percent capital gains rate).
For an ineffectual class warfare ploy to "work" politically, its ineffectuality must stay hidden to most. The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, is doing its part to keep the utter immateriality of President Obama's Buffett Rule designed to go after certain high-income taxpayers hidden.
In the five relevant articles found in a search on the Omaha billionaire's last name at the wire service's national site at 10:30 a.m. ET, only one (the latest) mentions that it might raise $47 billion over 10 years, i.e., the paltry $5 billion per year cited at media outlets ranging from CNNMoney.com to Rush Limbaugh that the rule might raise. Beyond that, if the rule is couple with permanent Alternative Minimum Tax repeal, as is being proposed (HT American Thinker) by Congressional Democrats, the federal treasury will be out hundreds of billions of dollars. None of the AP reports mentions that. Brief excerpts from the five examples follow.
Pathetic. That best describes David Muir’s shoddy reporting on Wednesday’s ABC World News in which he gleefully relayed an obviously ridiculous income tax rate for an office manager for a wealthy hedge fund manager, both of whom served as props for President Obama at a White House event, before disputing as “mostly false” a quite accurate statistic forwarded by the Romney campaign.
“The President appeared in a picture surrounded by secretaries who pay a higher tax rate than their millionaire bosses who were there too by their sides, a direct challenge to Romney, his wealth and his tax rate,” anchor Diane Sawyer conveyed in highlighting the Obama campaign stunt of the day.
“The secretary speaks,” ABC fill-in anchor David Muir excitedly teased at the top of Wednesday’s World News, “billionaire investor Warren Buffett and his secretary, who pays a much-higher tax rate than him. He says not fair. She’s now at the center of a huge debate. What does she think? An ABC News exclusive.” Muir promised that “tonight we hear from the secretary for the first time,” but she merely got to utter one sentence as ABC used her as a poster girl to hike taxes.
Reporter Bianna Golodryga recounted “a hero’s welcome” back in Omaha for “for a secretary thrust into the spotlight” by sitting as a stage prop behind the First Lady at Tuesday night’s State of the Union address. President Obama, Golodryga helpfully explained in advancing Obama’s agenda, called for a minimum 30 percent tax rate on millionaires “after Republican candidate Mitt Romney revealed he made almost $43 million over two years, paying a tax rate of 13.9 percent in 2010, not Debbie’s 35.8 percent.”
Barack Obama’s invitation to Warren Buffett’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek, to tonight’s State of the Union Address is bound to please not only Bosanek’s boss but also the liberal media that has allied with Buffett in his mission to raise taxes on the rich. For over 10 years the Berkshire Hathaway CEO has campaigned to sop the wealthy with burdensome taxes, and his friends in the media have been all too willing to advance his myth that secretaries pay more in taxes than their boss.
The following articles from the MRC’s archive represent just a few of the more recent and obnoxious examples of Buffett and Obama’s friends in the media carrying water for their crusade to soak America’s job creators:
It’s not Buffett's first appearance in one of Kocieniewski’s slanted "tax the rich" stories. Kocieniewski also took time to refute the head of the "conservative Tax Foundation" on eliminating the capital gains tax.
NPR harped on Mitt Romney's "provocative tax detail" on Wednesday's Morning Edition, highlighting that the GOP presidential candidate "disclosed he's in the same low tax bracket as the billionaire [Warren] Buffett." Correspondent Scott Horsley later used clips from President Obama to accent liberals' class warfare spin about the rich paying a lower tax rate than "millionaires and billionaires."
On CBS This Morning, correspondent Jan Crawford also referenced the Buffett tax issue eight minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour, during a report on the Republican presidential race in South Carolina. She used the same label as the NPR journalist: "He [Romney] revealed that he pays a relatively low rate on his investment income. That's the same low rate that billionaire Warren Buffett pays."
One of the leading liberal propaganda outlets in the nation is the website ThinkProgress which specializes in selectively editing news reports and spreading misinformation to receptive media outlets from coast to coast.
America's richest man isn't going to make President Obama, the folks in the Occupy Wall Street movement, or their respective supporters in the media happy.
Appearing on ABC's This Week Sunday, Bill Gates laughed when asked about the Buffett Rule saying, "You can't raise the taxes we need just by going after that one percent...to really deal with the deficit gap we're talking about, that alone just numerically is not going to be enough" (video follows with transcript):
For the second time this month, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough has taken on the extreme liberal bias of Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne.
On Thursday's "Morning Joe," after Mika Brzezinski read part of Dionne's pathetic "Why Conservatives Hate Warren Buffett," her co-host replied, "I like E.J., but he changes every couple of years depending on who’s in the White House" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Following his high-profile speech to the United Nations Wednesday concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it appears Barack Obama has Jews on the brain.
Speaking at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation gala Saturday evening, the President had a little slip of the tongue saying, "If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a Jew -- as a janitor makes me a warrior for the working class, I wear that with a badge of honor" (video follows with transcript):
Republicans have suggested that if billionaire Warren Buffett is going to be the basis of a "Buffett rule" of taxation, then it would seem obvious that perhaps Buffett should be asked to display his tax returns. If he's going to be the exemplar of class inequities, he should lay his taxes on the table. On Thursday night, MSNBC had a mysterious new term for this demand: "Buffett birther."
It has nothing to do with Buffett's birth certificate, but with his tax returns, but don't bother radical-left Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson with demands for precision. He guest-hosted the Ed Show on MSNBC Thursday night, and launched his lame new term:
While most of the media continue to obsess about millionaires supposedly not paying their "fair share" of taxes, the liberal Brookings Institution has let the cat out of the bag concerning just how absurd this whole thing is.
According to the Washington Post's Dana Milbank, he discussed this issue with Brookings' William Gale, and disclosed his findings to Chris Matthews on MSNBC's "Hardball" Wednesday (video follows with transcript and commentary):
During his Rose Garden speech [Monday], President Obama once again fueled the general misperception that people who pay the 15 percent tax rate on their capital gains and dividend income are paying a lower rate than salaried workers who pay at the individual rate (which ranges from 10 percent to 35 percent).
The reality is that capital gains and dividends are taxed at a lower rate at the individual level because this income has already been taxed at 35 percent at the corporate level before it was distributed to shareholders. Both Mr. Obama and his tax advisor Warren Buffett seem unaware that the U.S. has the 4th highest overall tax rate on dividend income among the largest industrialized countries in the OECD at 52.1 percent. Only Denmark (56.5 percent), France (57.8 percent) and the United Kingdom (54 percent) tax dividends at a higher rate.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Let us know in the comments.
It’s good to see the editorial board at the Times Union isn’t even bothering to mask their liberal bias these days. Via a blog known as The Observation Deck, which boasts some of the more prominent members of the newspapers staff, including editor and vice-president, Rex Smith, editor-at-large, Harry Rosenfeld, and publisher George R. Hearst III, the Union has been printing some of the most biased editorials in New York media in recent weeks. Yesterday’s entry was no different - completely lacking in substantiating facts, and holding a unique disdain for economic reality.
The title of the editorial in question parrots the Obama stance on taxes in a nutshell – Class Warfare? No, Fairness. And the opening statement leaves little question as to whether or not the newspaper will be offering valuable criticisms and analysis, or whether they will remain loyal liberal lapdogs:
British-born MSNBC afternoon anchor Martin Bashir devoted his September 20 "Clear the Air" commentary to clouding the issue of raising taxes by citing the clause in Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution's that bans Congress from granting titles of nobility (video follows page break):
President Barack Obama's nicknaming his new tax increases on the wealthy the "Warren Buffett rule" is fitting since the billionaire has spent a decade campaigning for a tax hike, a campaign his friends in the liberal media have been more than willing to join. For over 10 years the media promoted Buffett's complaint that the wealthy in America don't pay enough in taxes, spurred on by a Buffett's anecdote that he pays less in taxes than his receptionist.
But even the AP has pointed out, the idea that secretaries pay more in taxes than their bosses is inaccurate. A review of IRS 2009 tax tables (Link to Excel spreadsheet) shows that those making under $100,000/year pay an average of no more than 12.3% of their income in taxes, while those making above $500,000 pay an average of no less than 26.3% of their income in taxes. However, this fact hasn't stopped the liberal media from happily advancing Buffett's call to soak his fellow rich.
Hours after NewsBusters debunked the myth about the rich paying less taxes as a percent of income than lower earners, and minutes before the Associated Press confirmed our figures, Joe Scarborough said Tuesday, "The average millionaire-billionaire pays eighteen percent in taxes in America."
Going completely contrary to actual Internal Revenue Service data released weeks ago, the "Morning Joe" host added, "If we can get the millionaires and billionaires to even pay 25 percent, there’d be a massive, that would be a massive influx of money" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) doesn't think the President's new "Buffett Rule" to create a higher tax rate for millionaires makes sense.
Speaking on Sunday's "Meet the Press," McConnell said, "With regard to his tax rate, if [Warren Buffett's] feeling guilty about it, I think he should send in a check" (video follows with transcript and commentary):