January 26, 2012
MEGAN MCARDLE: HOW RICH IS WARREN BUFFETT’S SECRETARY?
In sum, the presentation of these numbers is quite confusing, and I suspect a little bit of cherry-picking to maximize the invidiousness of the comparison. Ms. Bosanek probably does have a somewhat higher effective federal tax rate than her boss, and it may even be much higher. But if so, this is because she is a very unusual taxpayer–exactly the opposite of what is implied by comparing Warren Buffett’s taxes to those of his secretary.
Update: apparently, she makes $60K. So I gather what Buffet is talking about is comparing her federal marginal tax rate, including both sides of the employer tax, to what must be his effective tax rate, since there is no marginal rate of 17.4%. That comparison is beyond bizarre.
About as honest as I’ve come to expect. And let me add: What a cheapskate Buffett is. My secretary at Dewey Ballantine made over $50K back in the 1980s, and he’s only paying his secretary $60K today? Hey, Warren — how about focusing your redistributive efforts a little closer to home?