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):
To me this ‘raise my taxes!” nonsense coming from wealthy hypocrites is exactly like this Global Warming nonsense coming from wealthy hypocrites. How’s this for a compromise: when you start living like the planet’s in peril only then will I stop laughing in your lying hypocritical face every time you open your lying hypocritical mouth.
To have gazillionaires wring their lying hypocritical hands over the plight of Mother Earth from air conditioned mansions as they ply their trade in an entertainment industry that guzzles more energy than Halliburton and Walmart combined, epitomizes a lack of self-awareness so pathetic it should qualify you as being mentally ill.
The headline to a New York Times editorial Saturday sounds like a conservative parody of liberal sanctimony: “The Enlightened Want to Be Taxed.” The content is no better, another boost of the paper's favorite multi-billionaire Warren “tax me more” Buffett, whose crusade was launched on the Times opinion page August 15, while offensively crediting the left-wing threat of property destruction as a reasonable response to “cuts to social welfare programs” in Europe.
Some of the world’s wealthiest people are calling for higher taxes on the rich. They seem to recognize that the burden of the economic downturn cannot be borne entirely by the poor and middle class.
The New York Times is still stirring up news based on an op-ed published in the paper two weeks by billionaire Warren “Tax Me More” Buffett, “Stop Coddling the Super-Rich,” pleading for the government to raise the effective tax rate on wealthy investors like him.
As NewsBusters reported Monday, American media almost completely ignored a report that Warren "Raise My Taxes" Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway has been fighting with the IRS for almost a decade over taxes it owes.
On Tuesday, the organization digging into Berkshire Hathaway's numbers, Americans for Limited Government, estimated the total could be as much as $1 billion:
Two weeks ago, when billionaire Warren Buffett called for higher taxes on rich people like him, the liberal media predictably gushed and fawned.
Yet when Americans for Limited Government revealed last week that Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway has been in an almost decade-long dispute with the IRS over how much taxes it owes, these same press members couldn't care less:
There’s some strange respect shown today for one particular multi-billionaire investor in the liberal pages of the New York Times. Friday’s lead story by Nelson Schwartz, “Buffett to Invest $5 Billion In Shaky Bank of America.” introduced Buffett as “Warren E. Buffett, the legendary investor, is sinking $5 billion into Bank of America in a bold show of faith in the country’s biggest, and most beleaguered, financial institution.” Schwartz also called him “the legendary investor” in a March 23, 2008 story.
In all, Times reporters have referred to Buffett as a “legendary investor” at least nine times in its pages over the last five years, not counting several references to him as a “legendary investor” on the paper’s DealBook blog. No other investor has been hailed as “legendary” in print more than once by the Times.
One of the greatest perversions of statism is the use of taxpayer money to push for ever more government spending and more government intervention. A casual listener to the far-left end of the FM dial, National Public Radio, will quickly conclude that NPR is one of America's leading offenders in this perversion.
Let's just take one show, the August 22 evening newscast "All Things Considered," perhaps one of the most ill-named programs in the history of radio. Conservatism is never considered. It is only besmirched, assaulted, and rhetorically dismembered.
As NewsBustersreported, America's media last week gushed and fawned over billionaire Warren Buffett's call for higher taxes on the rich.
On Monday, Harvey Golub, the former CEO of American Express, responded to the Oracle of Omaha in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that reveals a side of this tax story media refuse to share with the American people:
New York Times reporter David Kocieniewski reported on the front of Tuesday’s Business section reported on the op-ed by billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s in Monday’s Times which has gone viral in liberal circles. Buffett called for higher taxes on rich people like him in the name of fairness, claiming his 17% effective tax rate was lower than anyone else in his office.
Kocieniewski, who in January 2005 took advantage of a book by moderate Republican governor Christine Whitman of New Jersey to attack "conservative hubris" and the Republican party's "lurch to the right,” used the flawed static analysis employed by liberal economists to prove that higher tax rates would automatically lead to higher tax revenues, as if raising rates would have no effect on how people invest their money.
The liberal media are predictably fawning over billionaire Warren Buffett's op-ed in the New York Times Monday calling for new taxes on the super-rich.
This led MSNBC's Pat Buchanan on Monday's "Morning Joe" to challenge the Oracle of Omaha asking, "Why doesn’t he set an example and send a check for $5 billion to the federal government?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
While the media have been hyping rich liberals like Ted Turner and Warren Buffett calling on Congress to raise taxes on Americans earning over $250,000 per year, they've failed to inform the public that the nation's top earners already pay a disproportionately large share of the nation's tax burden, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Fox News's Steve Doocy on this morning's "Fox & Friends" [video follows page break]:
"Well, I'm very glad I voted for him," Buffett said. "That has not changed. I think the problems he has run into are monumental, particularly in terms of the economy. I mean - we're running huge deficits, which we should be running from a Keynesian standpoint to try and get this economy moving. But they have consequences too. I do not envy the job of being President, but I give Obama high marks."
The magazine criticized Buffett for "doing far more than bad-mouthing climate legislation - he's literally banking on its failure" by adding 1.28 million shares of ExxonMobil to his books and acquiring a railroad that hauls coal.
In an interview on CNBC's Nov. 3 "Squawk Box," following the announcement of his purchase of Burlington Northern (NYSE:BNI), Buffett was asked to comment on the future of news media, in particular newspapers and business news by "Squawk Box" co-host Becky Quick. Buffett is optimistic on the future of business news.
"Our system has just gotten started," Buffett said. "I mean, we've had a couple of hundred years of progress, but we have not exhausted our potential in this country. America's about business and business in America, you know have gone to greatness hand and hand. So, you do not need to worry about CNBC 10 or 20 or 30 years from now. Business will always be important to the American public."
On Wednesday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Anthony Mason made an observation rarely expressed in the mainstream media – that when the rich get richer, they do so by creating jobs that benefit everyone. Mason: "Two-thirds of these billionaires are self-made. They're the pioneering businessmen like Bill Gates who created the companies that have created the jobs and the wealth in this country. So we want them to get richer because when they do, we do."
Mason’s comments came after he had filed a report in which he filled in viewers on the staggering amount of wealth that has been lost by the world’s billionaires since last year. After he concluded by pointing out that "the pain of this recession is unrelenting and everywhere – from the bottom all the way to the top," anchor Katie Couric brought up the sentiment of class envy that many feel toward the wealthy, inviting Mason to explain why it is "short-sighted" for people to rejoice in the bad fortunes of the wealthy. Couric: "Having said that, Anthony, a lot of people aren't going to feel real sorry for these folks, even though on average they lost about 25 percent of their wealth. But you say that's shortsighted?"
The U.S. is at war with the failing economy, according to Warren Buffett, who told CNBC viewers that it had "fallen off a cliff."
In September 2008, Buffett compared the market turmoil to "an economic Pearl Harbor," and on March 9 he returned to that metaphor in a "Squawk Box" interview that began at 6 a.m. and continued through the 7 and 8 a.m. program hours. Buffett also criticized the Democratic majority for losing focus and trying to move on "pet projects."
"If you're in a war, and we really are in an economic war, there's a obligation to the majority to behave in ways to not go around inflaming the minority. If on Dec. 8, or maybe it was Dec. 7, when Roosevelt convened Congress to vote on the war. He didn't say, ‘I'm throwing in about ten of my pet projects,'" Buffett said.
Taking aim at one such issue, interviewer Joe Kernen replied: "You might not have fixed global warming the day after - the day after D-Day, Warren."
Following a segment on Monday’s CBS "Evening News," on Tuesday’s CBS "Early Show," correspondent Chip Reid again touted Obama economic advisor Warren Buffett calling for more taxes on the rich: "Barack Obama met with his team of economic advisers Monday...But there's one who couldn't make it and had to put in his two cents by phone...Warren Buffett, the richest man in the world. Despite his billions, he says the rich are under-taxed."
Reid went on to outline Obama’s plan to remedy that under-taxing: "Obama wants to end the Bush tax cuts for people making more than $250,000 a year and use the money for a tax cut for the middle class." Reid also mentioned John McCain’s economic team: " John McCain is also tapping the minds of business leaders, including Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and Meg Whitman, former head of ebay. They briefed reporters Monday on the importance of tax cuts for business."
Missing a golden opportunity to correct a specious presumption of Barack Obama and his liberal supporters that the wealthy are under-taxed, CBS reporter Chip Reid on Monday night highlighted how “ending the Bush tax cuts for people making more than $250,000 a year and using the money for a tax cut for the middle class” is one of Obama's highest priorities and one supported by “Warren Buffett, the richest man in the world who, despite his billions, says the rich are not taxed enough.” Reid, who later in his story asserted “critics wonder how” McCain could possibly balance the budget “given his support for extending all of the Bush tax cuts,” failed to inform viewers of how the wealthy increasingly pay far more than their fair share of income taxes.
The Tax Foundation reported on July 18 that new 2006 IRS tax data revealed “both the income share earned by the top 1 percent of tax returns,” those earning $388,806 or more, “and the tax share paid by that top 1 percent have once again reached all-time highs.” Gerald Prante pointed out those top 1 percent “paid about the same amount of federal individual income taxes as the bottom 95 percent of tax returns.” The top 5 percent, those making $153,542 or more, earned 36 percent of all the reported income, but they paid just over 60 percent of the total income taxes collected.
In the past when Warren Buffett has spoken out the "super rich" needing to pay a higher tax rate, the media have hung on his every word. But, now that he has spoken out against a windfall profits tax on oil, will they notice?
"I think it is very hard to have windfall taxes," Buffett said. "Steel has doubled in price. Is that a windfall for the steel producers? Sure. Corn is $7 a bushel; soybeans are at $15 a bushel. I don't think any candidate in his right mind with the number of electoral votes in farm states would say you ought to tax farms specially because they are getting a windfall."
The economy plodded ahead at a 0.9 percent pace in the first quarter - slightly better than first estimated - but still underscoring caution on the part of consumers and businesses walloped by housing, credit and financial problems.
On Friday's "Nightline," ABC reporter Bianna Golodryga filed a segment on the "super rich" who are untainted by the tough economic times and once again highlighted left-wing investor Warren Buffett's calls for more taxation. Without ever labeling Buffett as liberal (he has endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president), Golodryga cheerfully proclaimed that the billionaire is "concerned about the burgeoning wealth gap." The ABC reporter then parroted Buffett's claim that his cleaning lady is paying more in payroll taxes then he does on capital gains. "She doesn't have a lobbyist," the investor complained
Of course, neither Buffett nor Golodryga pointed out that the top one percent of earners pay 39.4 percent of all federal income taxes. In fact, Golodryga has touted Buffett's liberal economic policies before. On November 15, 2007, on "Good Morning America," she lauded the investor for coming out "on behalf of fairness in taxes," in relation to his calls to retain the estate tax and (liberally) reform capital gains tax policy. She rhapsodized to viewers that Buffett was on "your side over taxes and fairness."
ABC's "Good Morning America" devolved into outright advocacy on Thursday as the morning program openly lobbied for more taxes, misled viewers about how much the wealthy pay and passed off an economic advisor to Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign as an impartial observer. Correspondent Bianna Golodryga filed a report on liberal billionaire Warren Buffett and his assertion that he pays a lower percentage in taxes than his receptionist. GMA co-host Diane Sawyer turned the story into a class warfare campaign as she promised that the show would be battling "on behalf of fairnessin taxes." The host lauded Buffett for taking "your side over taxes and fairness." Additionally, Golodryga fawned over the billionaire for advocating that Congress should retain the estate tax, another leftist position.
At no point in the misleading report did any GMA host or reporter mention a fundamental fact: The wealthy already pay a disproportionately high amount of taxes. According to information just released by the IRS, the top one percent of earners paid 39.4 percent of all federal income taxes. The top five percent pay almost 60 percent of federal taxes. Golodryga did, however, make time to compare Buffett to Robin Hood, complete with an onscreen graphic, and harass other billionaires over the salaries of their receptionists. Sawyer claimed that most of these wealthy individuals were "hiding" and that GMA would call them on "[Buffett's] behalf."
A billionaire and a receptionist walk into an IRS bar. They each order a beer. The IRS bartender charges the receptionist $2.50 and the billionaire $2,260. Who got undercharged? If you're Warren Buffett or Tom Brokaw, the answer is . . . the billionaire.
As NB Editor Brent Baker has noted, the NBC Nightly News "decided Monday night to base a story on a four-year-old contention by a professor that the middle class is worse off now than in the 1970s, followed by a piece promoting Warren Buffett's claim the rich don't pay enough in taxes."
NBC was back at it again this morning, with a "Today" segment featuring Brokaw's interview with Buffett and his gripe that the rich are undertaxed. Brokaw seconded Buffett's notion, introducing the segment this way:
When you're the world's third-richest man, you can break some rules. Warren Buffett, the "Oracle of Omaha," is going after a fundamental injustice he says touches all Americans [cut to clip of Buffett]: the taxation system has tilted toward the rich and away from the middle class in the last 10 years. It's dramatic and I don't think it's appreciated."