Billionaire interior decorator Michael Bloomberg feels that he and his fellow wealthy Americans pay plenty of taxes, thank you, and that Warren Buffett is a drama queen. "I think a lot of it is just theater," the mayor said today on Meet the Press. "If Warren Buffett made his money from ordinary income rather than capital gains his tax rate would be a lot higher than his secretaries…in fact a very small percentage of this country pay a big chunk of the taxes." Bloomberg would seem to have a point except for the fact that most of the rich don't earn money from wages: at least 60% of their income comes from capital gains.
"I think that it's more than a sound bite economic policy and we should look at what the real data is rather than just go and say one guy pays more than his secretary or doesn't," he continued. Here's some data: Between 1979 and 2005, the income for the top 100th of the 1 percent of the wealthiest group of Americans rose by 480 percent, compared to 21 percent for "mortals." Of course they "pay a big chunk" of taxes: their share of taxes has increased (albeit disproportionally) with their wealth.
Bloomberg then uttered a phrase that will surely get him a standing O at Bilderberg next year: "I think it's not fair to say that wealthy people don't pay their fare share." A quarter of those who make more than $1 million a year pay payroll and income tax rates of 12.6%, well below what most people in the middle class pay. But we don't expect Mayor Bloomberg to grasp these issues, considering his treatment of taxpayer's money during his tenure.
Hizzoner then said that Obama has a good chance of winning in 2012, and that he won't endorse anyone in the race. As for the president's polices: "Some of them I agree with, some of them I don't. I believe he has a vision." A vision that the mayor "would rather not see?"