President Obama in his State of the Union Address last month renewed his calls to return fairness to the U.S. tax code, echoing the chants of the "Occupy" movement that the richest 1% pay their fair share.
"We need to change our tax code so that people like me, and an awful lot of members of Congress, pay our fair share of taxes," he said. "Tax reform should follow the Buffett rule: If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes."
The Buffett rule is named for billionaire investor Warren Buffett who has championed a change in the tax code by highlighting the fact that his secretary pays a higher tax rate than he does. In 2010 Buffett paid $7 million in taxes or nearly 17.5% in income and payroll taxes.
The majority of Americans support Obama's and Buffett's calls for tax reform. And among the top earning 1% in the country, Buffett is not the only one who wants to raise taxes on the rich. Nearly 70% of people making $1 million or more support higher taxes on themselves, according to a survey from Spectrem Group taken last fall. And roughly 60% of those making $5 million or more agree that they should be paying a higher tax rate on their income.
Millionaire venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, and the author of The Gardens of Democracy, falls into this group of wealthy Americans who supports higher taxes. He was recently interviewed by The Daily Ticker (See: Millionaire Investor Calls for Higher Taxes on the Rich).
However, successful comedian and celebrity Adam Carolla, host of the number one podcast "The Adam Carolla Show" and author of the new e-book Rich Man, Poor Man, is tired of paying so much in taxes and does not want to pay anymore.
Carolla joined The Daily Ticker's Daniel Gross to talk about the "Occupy" movement, arguing that the movement needs to stop attacking the richest 1%.
"I've noticed this division over the last few months and years in this country where somehow guys who work hard, make a good living and pay a ton in taxes have become demonized," he says in the accompanying interview, referring to himself and those like Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
The former Massachusetts governor has come under fire for the amount he pays in taxes. Between 2010 and 2011, Romney will pay $6.2 million in taxes on $42.5 million of income. Romney will pay an effective tax rate of 13.9% in 2010 and a 15.4% rate in 2011.
"I've been paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes over the last fourteen or fifteen years and then I have to have people point at me and say, 'when are you going to start paying your fair share?' My answer to your fair share query is I pay way more than my fair share and get the exact same service you get," says the comedian who does not give any credence to effective tax rates. Bottom line for him is that he's paid his fair share in dollar terms, as has Romney, and should not have to pay any more.
Admitting that these comments and position make him sound like a "capitalist pig," Carolla goes on to tell Dan why the U.S. tax system in this country is "the world's worst casino."
Carolla is also widely known for his start on the radio show Loveline, his stint as co-host of Comedy Central's The Man Show and his frequent appearances as a contestant and judge on Dancing with the Stars. He is a contestant on the newest season of Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump.
Take a listen and tell us what you think!
- Warren Buffett
- Adam Carolla
- President Obama