Billionaire tax-hike advocate Warren Buffet is upset that conservatives are demanding to see his tax return, and the tax return of his secretary, after Buffett has turned his own taxes into a national political issue.
Buffett has written in The New York Times that while his effective tax rate is only 17.4 percent, his secretary Debbie Bosanek's is 36 percent. He told the Omaha World-Herald that any suggestion that he should back his claims up with some facts is "ridiculous." From the World Herald:
Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said the issue isn't Bosanek's income, nor is her tax rate unusually high. "They can't attack the facts, so they attack the person. It's ridiculous."
Bosanek said she's not complaining about her salary or the taxes she pays, nor will she apologize for the home she bought last year in Surprise, Ariz., a Phoenix suburb.
Buffett is just flat out wrong. His secretary supposed 36 percent tax rate is not "unusually" high. It is ridiculously high. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the average effective federal tax rate (including income, payroll, estate, and corporate taxes), is 20.4 percent for the average American. For the top 20 percent of earners it is 25.1 percent. The average effective tax rate for the top one percent of earners, who earn an average $1.9 million a year, is 29 percent.
Buffett wants us to believe his secretary pays a higher effective tax rate than the average millionaire?
Obama has chosen to make "The Buffett Rule" the heart of his reelection campaign. Buffett and his secretary have both agreed to be part of the spotlight. They both absolutely must release their entire tax returns to back up their outlandish tax claims.