Financial Regulation

Matt Welch Discusses the Buffett Rule and His Favorite Beatles Songs on Varney & Co.

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Reason magazine Editor in Chief, Matt Welch appeared on Varney & Co. to discuss Warren Buffett's confusion between income tax and capital gains tax and why debt is not a revenue problem but a spending problem. Welch also reveals his favorite Beatles songs. Air date: January 26, 2012.

Approximately 2.34 minutes.

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  1. how did teh wealthy con matt into paying them to carry their piss pots?

    1. better boosch – is romney creating teh [JOBZ] with his caymen money?

      1. Romney created jobs with HIS OWN MONEY, which singularly sets him apart from both Barry and every other Repub candidate. There are things with which to disagree about Mitt, but job creation ain’t one of them.

        1. u mean except for the retirees dumped on the taxpayers

  2. Let It Be.

  3. BTW, the secretary reportedly makes $60,000 a year, according to National Review….

    1. May we assume that none of his various $10,000 an hour call girls pay any taxes?

      1. Hey, there’s a tax on liquor! They don’t do their jobs sober, you know.

    2. other reports say she makes 200K minimum. Seems that if POTUS wants to use her as a prop, disclosure requires her salary to be made public. Wonder how much she gets in stock options, the things taxed at the rate Warren pays.

      1. Exactly. I’m not going to believe this claim until Warren and his secretary release their tax returns. If you want to base major public policy on some anecdote, at a minimum you’ve got to put the actual information on the anecdote out there rather than just some hearsay. How does Warren even know what his secretary pays? Does he do her tax returns for her?

      2. And the other thing we haven’t heard in this great debate is how much Warren actually makes. It’s entirely possible that he has very little income (wage or otherwise). As I understand it, nearly all his wealth is in Berkshire Hathaway stock, which doesn’t pay any dividents. So, unless he sells stock, he has no income. I have no idea what salary he takes, but I bet it isn’t much and maybe is even less than his secretary.

    3. At 35.8%? That is utterly impossible.
      Unless her number includes all her other taxes and buffett’s don’t. Of course that wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

  4. The Buffet rule? ” Keep the line moving and don’t take all the meatballs.”

    1. He’s talking about the Buffett rule: never feed a parrothead into your home.

      1. feed invite

  5. I would like to know how many Berkshire shares Buffett’s secretary has been granted in her 37 years with the company. If she has been given even 10 A shares over that time she is a millionaire. The obsessive focus on wage income in this instance is ignoring the fact that she very likely has substantial liquid assets that place her well into the 1% when it comes to net worth.

    1. ignoring the fact
      ————————
      that is the salient phrase regarding all things Obama. Facts just get in the way of whatever narrative he’s putting forth on a given day.

      1. Drudge Report rots the brain.

        I read it every day obsessively, so I know where you guys get your “facts.” It is horrifying to think that people approach those kinds of sources thinking everything there is gospel truth.

        1. no one needs Drudge to recognize bullshit when they hear it:
          –Mr. I-favor-all-energy, except apparently for Keystone, which actually is shovel-ready
          –“fair share”, which no liberal is willing to put a number on. If Obama dislikes the tax code, there are plnety of Repubs willing to work with him on that. Hells bells, plenty here would support him on that. What does he do? Talk rather than act.

          Going on is both pointless and repetitive. The man will say anything, confident that dogwashers like you will lap it up as gospel. He has failed, tony, in epic fashion.

          1. keystone is a poar radio meme since that crap oil/tar is ALREADY piped to the mid-west market…where is commands discounted prices

            1. bullshit. If it were, POTUS’ minions would be making that claim. They are not. Canada cannot pipe shit over the border unilaterally.

            2. Re: triple asshole,

              keystone is a poar radio meme

              In Texas we hunt them poars with bows and arrows or airguns or rifles, as their poar meat is delicious. You should try our Texas famous poar barbecue ribs and sausages.

              since that crap oil/tar is ALREADY piped to the mid-west market…where is commands discounted prices

              Never mind the fact that most refineries are on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. For triple asshole here, transportation is not a cost, it would seem.

          2. I’m sure you’re all bent out of shape about that. I’ve never seen such a vicious salivating desire on the part of people to see a president fail. As horrifyingly awful as Bush was, I didn’t want him to fail. I cared enough about the country not to want that. It’s so obvious that you want Obama to fail because the country matters less to you than you and Sean Hannity being proved right about teh librul conspiracy.

            The Keystone pipeline was rejected because the Republicans demanded an arbitrary deadline in order to play political games with a tax cut. But nice to see you have their talking points down.

            The Republicans refuse to raise taxes on the wealthy by a single cent, ever. It’s their raison d’etre. They’ll talk about closing loopholes but what they won’t do is raise any revenues, not a cent, in the process–because otherwise how would they be able to starve the beast and destroy Medicare?

            You seem like a nice guy but everything you believe is wrong because you don’t understand how to approach sources with a critical eye. Stop watching FOX, it makes you stupid and that’s been proven.

            1. the president is failing on his own; you simply refuse to see it. Some of us hoped that this allegedly super-hyper-smart man might learn than if Course A is not working, he ought to stop using it.

              Like the typical liberal, you come here with nothing more than “fox, hannity, hate….” and all the rest for a simple reason: you cannot defend Obama. I don’t blame you. No other president has worked as hard to lessen the country, to foster dependency on DC, and to piss on business.

              I’m all for closing loopholes, for everyone and every business. Institute a rate that everyone pays. But the notion that a tax hike will inspire the govt to do the right thing and pay down the debt has no basis in reality. Congresses of both parties prove repeatedly that there is no amount of money they are unable to spend.

              1. Taxes are at their lowest rates in generations and corporate profits are way, way up. What exactly is Obama doing to piss on business?

                A tax hike is simply the least painful way to address the budget deficit. If you don’t want to raise any taxes, then be prepared to defend destroying access to medical care for millions of old people in fixed incomes.

                All I want you to do is say you prefer to do that than to bother billionaires with a pittance in tax increase. Just lay your morality out there so we can see it. Stop trying to pretend there is no choice in the matter.

                1. Re: Tiny,

                  Taxes are at their lowest rates in generations[…]

                  Not if you consider the effective rate they’re not.

                  and corporate profits are way, way up.

                  What corporate profits? You’re such an imbecile, Tiny. Some average only shows that some industries have been luckier than others, but it is still a meaningless statistic.

                  What exactly is Obama doing to piss on business?

                  Obamacare and Dodd-Frank, for starters.

                  A tax hike is simply the least painful way to address the budget deficit.

                  Like a bite is the “least” painful way for a vampire to feed.

                  You sure have a crooked way of looking at things, Tiny.

                  If you don’t want to raise any taxes, then be prepared to defend destroying access to medical care for millions of old people in fixed incomes.

                  You can’t destroy “access” to medical care, numbnuts, unless you decide to kill all the doctors. The ONLY thing that would happen if Medicare goes bust (which it will, sooner than you think) is that doctors will sharply reduce their transaction costs by simply asking the customers for cash.

                2. raising taxes to address the debt implies a belief that Congress will use the money for that purpose. Absolutely nothing in Congressional history supports this happening.

                  Corporate profits are up because expenses are down; that happens whey payrolls are cut. Profits are not up because business is booming; they’re up because companies are treading water with less overhead.

                  What is Obama doing? A raft of regulation, perpetuating the world’s second-highest corp tax rate, attacking income from cap gains, his non-stop rhetoric that casts any private biz as being bad. Billionaires are not the problem; govt spending is.

            2. You are 100% correct. I want him to fail.

              1. In any case, what does it matter what anyone here wants to happen. We are not going to make Obama fail by making snarky comments on the internet. What I want has almost nothing to do with what actually happens.

            3. The Republicans were surely putting on a bit of theater for their sheep constituents. But there was plenty of time and information for the President to have already made a decision. His hands aren’t clean when it comes to theater for his sheep constituents either.

            4. I’ve never seen such a vicious salivating desire on the part of people to see a president fail.

              I have a vicious salivating desire for the bear to fail when the bear desires to have me for lunch.

        2. It is mathematically impossible for her to have a tax rate of 35.8% and be “the average citizen who needs a voice”. That equals an income of between 200k and 500k. SO either she makes a shit ton of money (hello 1 percenter) or that percentage she is quoting includes her ss and medicare taxes too. Even then it puts her in the high end of earners as someone who makes 50k has a total tax rate of 18%.

          In other words, there was no need for me to go to fox or drudge (barf) to figure out that Buffett, his secretary, and you are lying out of your fucking mouths.

  6. Welch also reveals his favorite Beatles songs

    Let me guess…rEVOLution #9?

  7. Isnt everyone’s favorite Beatles songs from the acid period?

    Does anyone fucking like the silly love songs?

    1. I thought that was with Wings.

      1. The song with Paul making fun of the early Beatles work was with Wings.

    2. The Beatles were already slightly behind the curve with the sexless pop music they started out with. But that was their thing.

      Then they jumped on the psychedelia bandwagon, behind the curve again, and became a bunch of pretentious douchebags, puking all over rock music with vaudeville and tinkly piano.

      Fuck the Beatles. Most overrated band in history.

      1. Your unoriginal commentary is behind the curve.

        D-

      2. Fuck you buddy, I’ll rate them however I want to.

    3. I love Silly Love Songs, and I love She Loves You. But the acid, uh, peaks were higher.

  8. Debt, is always a spending and revenue problem for an established noun.

  9. “Debt is a spending problem not a revenue problem” is a matter of opinion. In fact a huge contributor to current deficits reduction in revenue, both because of massive tax cuts that weren’t offset and the massive recession.

    If you can’t entertain the idea of raising taxes one cent for purpose of servicing debt, then you aren’t being serious about it, you’re just on an anti-tax ideological crusade.

    Grover Norquist compares raising taxes on the rich to the Holocaust. Yet you guys and nearly every Republican are on his leash. A despicable unelected crank ideologue. What gives?

    1. the tax, as they ALWAYS DO, resulted in revenue to the govt INCREASING. Of course, spending kept going up which pretty much kills the foundation of your argument. Any recent drop in revenue may have something to do with this thing called a recession. Perhaps you’ve heard about it; it’s been in all the papers and all over the interwebz.

      No one trusts govt to actually use higher taxes for debt reduction. Why? Because it is impossible to generate more money than Congress is able to spend. But, of course, you cited Norquist so that solves everything.

      1. first line should read ‘tax CUT…’

      2. No tax cut has ever been shown to increase revenue. What you’re talking about is a tax cut coinciding with increasing revenue occurring because of economic growth. Every credible economist, EVEN THE ONES WHO WORKED FOR BUSH, say that without the tax cuts revenues would have been higher.

        The Bush tax cuts are the single biggest policy contributor to current deficits. “Tax cuts increase revenue” is not only an affront to arithmetic, it’s been debunked a thousand times and anyone with the slightest interest in facts would know that.

        1. Letting people keep their own money is bad?

          1. Empty, meaningless question begging. If it’s taken in tax revenue, it’s not their money is it?

            The only point is that if you actually care about deficits and debt, you have to be OK with revenue increases from time to time. Otherwise we’ll just be cutting and cutting forever until there’s no government left, which, of course, is what you guys actually want.

            I don’t understand why libertarians (who aren’t running for public office for the most part) can’t just say that instead of playing the Republican game of pretending we have no choice but to eliminate Medicare, when we clearly do if we are just willing to raise taxes a little from their current historically low point.

            1. Re: Tiny,

              Empty, meaningless question begging. If it’s taken in tax revenue, it’s not their money is it?

              “If the thief takes his wallet, it’s not the victim’s money, is it?”

              Tiny Logician still tiny.

              1. Taxation isn’t theft, it’s the legitimate power government has to raise money to do the people’s business. If you don’t like it, vote for antitax ideologues. You’ll still be able to blame the ensuing third-rate do nothing country they’ll deliver on Democrats, I’m sure.

                1. No one will ever convince Tony and his ilk that taxation is theft. Remember, they believe that all wealth belongs to the State in the first place.

                  If anything, they think that you are the thief because you keep part of your paycheck and spend it on yourself.

                  They may perhaps complain that my characterization is unfair. But as writers like Frank Chodorov have pointed out, the income tax couldn’t even exist without the presumption that the State owns all wealth.

            2. stop with the Medicare straw man. Paul Ryan suggested a plan; your side painted him as grandma killer and never bothered to suggest some means of keeping it viable. And why do we have to be okay with tax hikes? Why can govt never be okay with cutting spending? Why are you against govt doing like everyone else and living within a budget?

              1. Because Obama has proposed and passed many large spending cuts already (he got attacked on some of those too–remember the hysteria over Medicare cuts in the ACA?) Now it’s time for your side to move a single centimeter in the direction of compromise. That’s lots of spending cuts on Obama’s side, zero tax hikes on the Republican side. Who is being unreasonable here?

                Paul Ryan’s plan pretty much destroyed Medicare as we know it (voucherization and block grants are cowardly Republican method of destroying perfectly good federal programs) while INCREASING THE DEFICIT because he didn’t allow for any revenues and in fact cut taxes more on the rich.

                Republicans don’t care about deficits! If they did, they wouldn’t have been the worst deficit spenders in history under Bush. They care about an ideological crusade to destroy the safety net, and all you have to look at to know that is Paul Ryan’s budget.

                1. no one here has defended the spending record of Bush. Do you ever actually read the material here before posting talking points? The problem is SPENDING; it is a bipartisan disease that no amount of increased taxation can cure. It is that goddamn simple.

                  1. So stop saying “spending” as a catchall and say “medical subsidies for old people on fixed incomes” because that’s what everyone means. Say you would rather cut that than raise a billionaire’s taxes one cent. That is what you’re saying, right?

                    1. God damn you are retarded. There is not one fucking reason why we can’t return to spending what we did in 2000. Name one.

                    2. The state of the economy–lots more people are enrolled in safety net programs (including unemployment benefits and welfare) because lots of people were put out of work during the Bush recession. You’re completely ignoring economic reality and choosing an arbitrary number we should base policy on, just because. The only way to reduce deficits and debt is to return to strong growth and full employment–now what do you propose to do about that? Cut more taxes?

                    3. The only way to reduce deficits and debt is to return to strong growth and full employment–now what do you propose to do about that? Cut more taxes?

                      And what industries are this “strong growth and full employment” going to come from, Tony? What exactly is going to pull up the employment to population ratio back to the 64% levels that occurred during the dotcom bubble?

                      You’re still living under the fantasy that economic recessions will never happen and that it’s possible to have perpetual growth.

                2. Because Obama has proposed and passed many large spending cuts already (he got attacked on some of those too–remember the hysteria over Medicare cuts in the ACA?)

                  Spending cuts? LOL–budget submissions have gone from $3.6 trillion to $3.7 trillion, and the debt has gone up by $1.7 trillion, $1.7 trillion, and $1.2 trillion each year he’s been in office. How exactly is that passing spending cuts?

        2. are you daft? Look at Kennedy, Reagan, Bush…revenue increased each time that taxes were cut. So did spending. Ergo, the problem is spending. The point is not even debatable. The empirical data of lower taxes leading to more revenue is voluminous. Try looking some of it up. But when spending keeps growing, levels of taxation become irrelevant.

          1. Revenue increases as economic growth increases regardless. The relevant question is whether revenues would have been higher without tax cuts, and in every instance the answer is yes. You are believing in magic in order to justify a certain policy platform. You literally believe that raising more money = raising less money. It’s absurd. Yes there are marginal effects that complicate the picture, but they certainly aren’t important enough to make basic addition and subtraction meaningless. Why don’t you try looking it up… and avoid ideological sources.

            1. Re: Tiny,

              Revenue increases as economic growth increases regardless.

              You believe in THAT correlation yet you believe there’s no correlationbetween economic growth and less taxation?

              The relevant question is whether revenues would have been higher without tax cuts,

              The relevant question is if you would care if they weren’t.

            2. The relevant question is whether revenues would have been higher without tax cuts,
              ————————-
              this is a question no one can answer; in short, you are attempting to prove a negative, one of Obama’s favorite tactics. It’s like saying he prevented a depression. That is unprovable.

              1. If that’s true, then so is your claim that tax cuts caused higher revenues.

                1. no tony….chart after chart after chart documents the causal relationship between reducing taxes and increased revenues to the Treasury. Your premise rests on a supposition: IF tax rates had been left alone, then…..

                  My claim covers three different administrations, one of those Dem, though even JFK would recognize the party todya.

                  1. You’re confusing correlation with causation. Revenues increase with economic growth. What you’re trying to say is that tax cuts cause more economic growth and thus more tax revenue.

                    But here’s Andrew Samwick, Chief Economist on Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, 2003-2004, talking to people claiming the Bush tax cuts caused higher revenues:

                    “You are smart people. You know that the tax cuts have not fueled record revenues. You know what it takes to establish causality. You know that the first order effect of cutting taxes is to lower tax revenues. We all agree that the ultimate reduction in tax revenues can be less than this first order effect, because lower tax rates encourage greater economic activity and thus expand the tax base. No thoughtful person believes that this possible offset more than compensated for the first effect for these tax cuts. Not a single one.”

            3. Tony, do you really think that tax rates have no effect on the economy? I think that the effect it has may be exaggerated by some, but there is certainly some effect.

        3. No tax cut has ever been shown to increase revenue.

          Tony, proving once again that despite his best attempts to suggest otherwise, doesn’t have the slightest inkling of what he’s talking about.

          The Bush tax cuts are the single biggest policy contributor to current deficits.

          “Debt is a spending problem not a revenue problem” is a matter of opinion.

          Team Blau ?ber alles! Their opinion is always fact.

        4. Re: Tiny,

          No tax cut has ever been shown to increase revenue.

          Except for those that did

    2. You think Reasonoids are on Norquist’s leash?

      No, you’re just being disingenuous. You know full well that we see income taxation as theft, and would like the rate to be 0% for everybody.

      1. Yes, you’re your very own special brand of anti-tax ideologues.

        1. And why should I have to PAY for the “privilege” of providing food and shelter for my family? Or do you really think the government should supply all of those things for people?

      2. Exactly. The income tax is the biggest fraud ever committed. Check your 1040 booklet and see the word “voluntary” regarding the income tax. Or check out Peter Schiff’s father, Irwin Schiff. Great man.

    3. Re: Tiny,

      If you can’t entertain the idea of raising taxes one cent for purpose of servicing debt, then you aren’t being serious about it, you’re just on an anti-tax ideological crusade.

      If you can’t entertain the notion of reducing the spending one cent to service the debt, then you’re not being serious about it, you’re just on a pro-spending ideological crusade.

      Grover Norquist compares raising taxes on the rich to the Holocaust.

      He’s exaggerating, of course. Raising taxes on the rich is like bailing out the Titanic with a styrofoam cup.

      1. There are plenty of spending cuts I favor. Cut the Pentagon budget in half for all I care. And massive tax cuts that weren’t offset are pretty much the same as expenditures, so cut those too.

        1. Re: Tiny,

          There are plenty of spending cuts I favor. Cut the Pentagon budget in half for all I care.

          In half only? You spendthrift.

          And massive tax cuts that weren’t offset are pretty much the same as expenditures, so cut those too.

          Must be the fact that you’re so tiny, you see some token tax cuts as “massive”. Everything must be massive from your perspective.

        2. why only the Pentagon? The real money is in the entitlements yet you leave them out. And again, you fail the test re: taxcuts with nonsense about “offsets”. It’s not the govt’s money. How about we stop spending like bailouts and loans for favored constituencies and pet projects?

          1. Oh, Tony still wants the Democrat style “targetted” tax cuts for his president’s cronies.

          2. I think we should have a larger “entitlement” system so we can reduce overall healthcare costs. Every other advanced country in the world has universal healthcare and pays about half per capita what we do–the problem of spending in healthcare is that our system is too private. That’s just a fact, whether it squares with your antigovernment ideology or not.

            Yes the real money is in Medicare and Medicaid. That’s the whole point. To attack deficits you either destroy those programs or you raise taxes. The choice you makes doesn’t depend on your concern over deficits, it depends on your idea of what government should be doing. I just wish politicians would be more honest about it and stop telling us we don’t have a choice. We only don’t have a choice if we act like Grover Norquist’s poodles.

            1. “the problem of spending in healthcare is that our system is too private.”

              No, the problem is that we have a stupid, ugly public-private hybrid. Insurance companies really have little choice about what coverage they offer and what they charge because they are so tightly regulated. Yes, true universal healthcare systems can cut costs. But so can freeing up the market in healthcare.

              1. You have any evidence for that last claim? Where is the advanced country with a free market in healthcare that provides it universally and cheaply?

            2. a larger entitlement system would have the opposite effect re: costs. When a service is perceived as free, as in you do not reach into your wallet to pay for it, more people will use and abuse it.

              The other countries you reference are introducing free market models, having discovered that “free” is anything but. They also lack the perpetual dependency class that the US has, with the exception of England where households where no one has held a job for a generation are becoming more common.

              No, you don’t have to raises or lose programs. It’s always alcoholism or prohibition with you folks; there is never an alternative route. How about not granting blanket entitlements to people because of an arbitrary reason, like hitting a certain age? Means testing? Shuttering the Ed Dept since schools are a local/state matter? Doing away with TSA? To say that a 4T budget cannot stand cuts beyond the Pentagon is demagoguery.

        3. Yes, Tony. When taxes were cut spending should have been cut too. Do you think anyone here disagrees with you on that?

    4. So long as government is doing trillions of dollars of shit that we either don’t value (NEA wankery) or are actively opposed to (the drug war), any deficit problem is based in spending, to us. Why should we care that you ran out of money to continue your program of oppression? Fuck, better that you’re cut off from borrowing and inflation as well, so that you’re forced to drop it.

  10. The Keystone pipeline was rejected because the Republicans demanded an arbitrary deadline in order to play political games with a tax cut.

    So let me get this straight, Tony. The prez was going to approve keystone (which would play well to his union base, but then the Rethuglicans told him to do it so he threw a temper tantrum (and held his breath?) and rejected it instead?

    By God, Obama sure showed them bastards who’s boss around here, didn’t he?

    Looks to me like he’s not just incompetent, but childish as well.

    1. But it wasn’t childish to use the pipeline as a bargaining chip in a debate over a payroll tax cut?

      They demanded the review take place on their arbitrary timeline. At that point everybody knew it would be rejected. It was a purely political move on their part. Well, not purely–a fair amount of the usual whoring for Big Oil is always part of the mix.

      1. when the Repubs said “extend the payroll cut for a year” and Obama wanted two months, what was that? Stop lying about an arbitrary timeline. Keystone was studied to death, but whoring for the enviros prevented POTUS from doing something no conservative or pro-jobs person could criticize.

        1. The pipeline is not a good idea regardless, but Republicans wanted it to be an election-year issue and Obama didn’t. Neither side is innocent of politicking, but when Republicans attached it to the payroll tax cut, everybody knew it would be rejected. Their shock and dismay is feigned, trust me. Yours seems to be genuine, which is sad.

          Drilling for more oil is not a jobs program. If Republicans cared about a jobs program, why don’t they pass a jobs program? It’s just whoring for Big Oil and slapping a sticker on it that says “jobs.” The keystone pipeline may create a couple hundred jobs in the long run. To say it has anything to do with the employment crisis is, again, cynical politicking.

          1. Hey Putin, we have your “New Soviet Man” right here. His name is Tony. Treat him any way you want, he’ll love it.

    2. tony hopes that people are too stupid to know that 1) the project was studied for more than three years and 2) the State Dept gave it the go-ahead, or that they are too lazy to find this out for themselves.

      The Dem base is largely comprised of the massively uninformed who refuse to call bullshit on anything this man says and who reflexively believe any Repub initiative is evil.

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