Warren Buffett is no stranger to money. He’s one of the richest men in the world; I think he’s in third place at the moment.When he says the tax code is more lenient to the ultra-rich I’m inclined to believe him. After all, it was a bunch of rich guys who bought the politicians who wrote it.
The very rich in America pay taxes at a lower rate than most working people, and, due to a wrinkle in the tax code, private-equity partners enjoy some of the lowest tax rates of all. At a Hillary Clinton fund-raiser in New York last month, Warren Buffett, no stranger to wealth, told an audience filled with bankers and real-estate developers the system was, in effect, rigged. “This is what Congress in its wisdom did: the 400 of us [here] pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our cleaning ladies, for that matter.” Buffett (who is a director of NEWSWEEK’s parent, The Washington Post Company) offered a million dollars to any fellow magnate who could prove he had higher tax rates than his secretary.
We shouldn’t be surprised by this, but should be pissed off enough to fix it. It’s time to put some people in Congress who aren’t beholden to the rich. Right now there are two types of congress-critters: Those who were brought into office by rich men and those who are rich men. That’s not democracy; that’s oligarchy.
The creepy thing is that these people really do all know each other:
He [Steve Schwarzman] told The New York Times three years ago that he saw Averell Harriman, a financier who became an envoy to Russia and adviser to Democratic presidents, as a kind of role model. When Schwarzman was a brash young Yale student in 1969, he wrote Harriman, asking for an audience (the two had been in the same secret society, Skull and Bones; Schwarzman was a class behind George W. Bush).
Powerful folks all know each other. They keep tabs on each other. They help each other. They go to the same schools; they have access to the halls of power. They are the moneyed-elite. They are The Establishment, The Oligarchy: Your True Masters. Bow before them, peasant.