If you need further evidence of how the 2016 presidential election has become a political Bizarro World, check out the list of billionaires who have disavowed one of their ostensible peers, self-proclaimed – we’re still waiting for the tax return proof – billionaire Donald J. Trump, and opted instead to support Hillary Clinton.
Bizarro World DC Comic panel courtesy DC-Wikia
Meg Whitman, former Hewlett Packard executive and one-time California gubernatorial GOP candidate, says she’s with her, meaning Clinton.
Beaucoup billionaires: She joins fellow billionaires Michael Bloomberg (former New York City mayor and news/investment media mogul), Mark Cuban (owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and “Shark Tank” TV celebrity judge), Warren Buffett (folksy investment savant and founder of Berskshire Hathaway) and Oprah Winfrey (really? I need to elaborate on Oprah?!) in urging voters to cast their ballots for Clinton.
Whitman’s dismissal of her party’s candidate is notable since she’s also a major GOP fundraiser. But her change of heart, as well as Clinton’s support from Bloomberg, Cuban, Buffett and Winfrey, should be noted from a tax standpoint, too.
All these rich folks are going with the White House candidate who likely will cost them more tax dollars.
Buffett noted that possibility on Monday, Aug. 1, when he hosted a Clinton rally in his hometown of Omaha.
The rich are different: The election choices of this group of wealthy taxpayers underscore a couple of things.
First, they are following their conscience, not their bank account bottom lines, when it comes to helping decide who will lead the United States for the next four years. Good for them.
But that also brings up the reality check for my second point. These rich people can afford the added taxes.
That doesn’t necessarily mean they like them. Every rich person has a phalanx of financial experts, including tax advisers, to help them legally pay as little as possible.
Doing that, however, has gotten harder in recent years.
Higher taxes for the wealthy: This week’s featured Weekly Tax Tip looks at five special taxes that the wealthy now face. They include:
a higher ordinary tax rate of 39.6 percent,
a higher long-term capital gains tax rate of 20 percent,
an additional 0.9 percent Medicare payroll tax,
a 3.8 percent net investment income tax (NIIT), and
reduced personal exemptions and itemized deductions.
The tax tip, posted at Bankrate.com, has more on each of these extra wealth-related taxes, which were added as part of the fiscal cliff deal back reached back in late 2012 and enacted Jan. 1, 2013, or as part of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
The taxes could change depending on whether Clinton or Trump is elected in November. For now, though, in this weird and wild election cycle a bunch of billionaires are willing to support the Democrat who is more likely to ensure that they keep paying these, and possibly more, higher taxes.
If you’re like me and totally not affected by these taxes, check them out anyway. It’s always fun to see how the other half lives tax-wise. And we can all be glad we don’t have to deal with these added taxes.
But if you’re like me, you also probably hope that one day you make enough money to worry about such high-dollar tax matters!
You also might find these items of interest:
6 reasons a flat tax is not a good idea
How did $250,000 become the tax definition of rich?
Texas former billionaire Sam Wyly convicted of tax fraud