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Okay, I'm not. But...

I remember my time as an assistant to John H., Operations Manager at a small credit union. John is an ambitious, hard-working, cool nerd; I liked working for John.

One time he asked me to copy his taxes; I peaked, the cool nerd had a six figure income and I suddenly became a little bitter he had only given me a $50 Starbucks gift card for Christmas (which I mostly spent buying his coffee, every assistant knows bosses hardly ever pay back for coffee and lunches). I don’t know what his tax rate was but every time I hear the Buffet Rule, I know the Johns of our nation need to pay more.

As the Operations Manager, John frequently visited the credit union branches, so he got a company car. He needed access to his emails, so his Blackberry was paid for. On these frequent branch visits, he took the branch manager to lunch, a working lunch he was reimbursed for and he never went to McDonald’s.
I hated math as a child but as an adult, I appreciate my knowledge of simple arithmetic.

The John’s of the world must pay more. Here’s why. On a monthly basis, I spend this munch on:

Car payment - $ 350.00
Car Insurance - $ 120.00
Gas & Tolls - $ 150.00
Cell Phone -  $ 80.00
Home Internet - $ 50.00
If I went out for lunch 3x/week - $ 100.00
Total - $ 850.00

Because John used his cell phone to call the office, he got his entire cell phone bill paid for. I could only afford the cheapest phone/data plan. Because he drove the company car, he didn’t pay the insurance, gas, or maintenance of the vehicle, and aside from driving it home, he used it on the weekends and got reimbursed for tolls. And although he had his Blackberry, he got his home internet paid for because straining his eyes to read his emails on his Blackberry was not happening.

If I were reimbursed $ 850.00 a month, hell I’d be a homeowner and my student loans would have been paid for long ago. Plus at the time, $ 850.00 was just $ 75.00 shy of my two-week paycheck.

I’ve moved on from the credit union but everywhere I’ve been, it’s the same and the perks only get bigger and better. This is why the 1% really needs to pay more than Warren Buffet’s secretary.

Disclaimer: I don't know the tax system.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Restructuring write-offs ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carol G, Joan McCarter, ybruti

    is key to reforming the tax code, not just purely upping taxes on brackets.

    •  I only know to file my taxes (0+ / 0-)

      I'm ignorant to the whole taxing system. I know my boss did not add these "perks" to his income and that is really unfair.

      •  Carol - you are not Buffett's secretary (0+ / 0-)

        in another fashion, his secretary has a six figure income which is higher than Buffett's salary as CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Buffett's salary has been $100,000 for nearly 30 years.  If Buffett had a typical CEO compensation package of $5-10 million he would pay higher taxes than his secretary. It's because he takes so little salary and his income is primarily dividends and capital gains that his tax rate is so low.

        The Buffett rule is for taxable income of more than $1 million a year and Warren Buffett does not support it. He believes it should not apply until someone has income of $5 million.

        My guess is that your boss had a six figure income that started with a 1. Unless he has sizable investment income he is paying plenty of taxes and isn't close to the top 1%. The Buffett rule would have no impact on him.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 09:11:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you, may I have another :) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BlackSheep1

          You're right, I make nowhere near as much as Buffett's secretary. I don't know if my former boss would've been affected by the Buffett rule or not. I wish I would have been clearer in my diary, but what I wanted to get across is that the bonuses and perks and the rest must be crazy for the Vikram Pandits, surely it would't break their bank to pay a little more.

          •  Pandits Tax rate is likely quite high (0+ / 0-)

            The bonuses and exercises of stock options and salary are going to be taxed at the 35% Federal plus state income tax plus New York City income tax.

            I would not be surprised if he was paying a 40% rate in total.

            The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

            by nextstep on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 12:13:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Agree. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Unit Zero

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 08:46:02 AM PDT

  •  Sure. But It Depends Some On the 1st of His 6 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Unit Zero, Carol G, greengemini

    digits.

    If it's 1 or 2, he's not even close to the real problem with our tax rates. But he did pay more in the 60;s-70s, around 30-40% for the past equivalent of that.

    If he's mid to upper 6 figures though, he'd have paid a lot more. The 50% top marginal rate kicked in around $370,000 of today's dollars. The main idea isn't to harvest huge amounts of revenue from the top end, but to discourage seeking and paying so much compensation that the entire peoples' economy lives in private sector austerity. If he's taxed at 50% marginal, he's not going to take so much, and with business taxed more, the business is going to invest more in better wages for staff, better prices for suppliers, and investment in the business long-term.

    All that comes off the profit line before taxes so individual and business income taxes encourage investment and hiring & compensation.

    As to those deductions of his, I sure don't get to deduct all my auto expenses, only those when used in the business. Same for my house, I can only deduct costs for the fraction of the house I can prove is used full-time in the business.

    But I'm only a sole prop not a corporation. I wonder if he's fudging; it certainly is easier to do if you're a business owner like me compared to being a wage employee as I've been in my past.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 08:47:05 AM PDT

  •  Personal use of company car (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, coffeetalk

    At one time I was given use of a car in lieu of salary increase. I'd have preferred the cash, especially since a few years later a new boss decided someone else was more worthy of that perk, but whatever.

    I had to log all trips and miles driven, and those that would count as "personal" (to and from work, weekends, etc.) were reported as taxable income.

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 09:43:00 AM PDT

  •  I know what you mean about tax rates, but I was (0+ / 0-)

    reading too quickly I guess...when I got to

    I know the Johns of our nation need to pay more.
    I had to go back and re-read that paragraph.

    “Science is like sex: sometimes something useful comes out, but that is not the reason we are doing it.” – Richard Feynman (-9.00,-8.86)

    by Jonathan Hoag on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 11:56:49 AM PDT

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