Oy! Warren Buffett’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek, will be among the guests in first lady Michelle Obama’s box when President Obama delivers his State of the Union address tonight. You might recall that Ms. Bosanek has become the poster girl for the middle class American who pays more in taxes than the millionaire for whom they work. Ms. Bosanek is also the inspiration for the President's call for wealthier Americans to pay a higher tax rate, known as the “Buffett rule."
Of course it isn't true that millionaires pay lower tax rates than their middle class employees, but it sure makes for a nice applause line. One hopes in the post-SOTU analysis, someone will bring up the fact that this little story was knocked down as a total fabrication by the Associated Press who wrote in a fact-check piece that the real data tells a different story:
On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate, and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall taxes collected by the federal government.
There may be individual millionaires who pay taxes at rates lower than middle-income workers. In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service. That, however, was less than 1 percent of the nearly 237,000 returns with incomes above $1 million.