The Omaha billionaire owns an estimated 1.7 million shares in the Post that could yield him about $17 million. This gives new meaning to Obama's oft-repeated "Buffett rule" that he used in his past campaign to excoriate those who, like Buffett, paid income taxes of 15 percent because most of their income came from stock dividends.
Buffett, who supported Obama, also calls for raising the capital gains tax rate, though he's no doubt happy to get the Post's early tax avoidance Christmas gift.
The rush to escape higher taxes next year isn't confined to just the super-rich, either. In a front page story Tuesday, the Washington Post says investors overall "aren't waiting for a 'fiscal cliff' deal," but "shifting assets to limit effects of looming tax hikes" and "taking preemptive action to get out of harm's way."
"Americans are moving to sell investment homes, offload stocks, expand [tax deductible] charitable donations and establish tax-sheltering gifts before the end of the year," the Post said.
The spreading fear of higher taxes, especially on investors, comes in the midst of an increasingly weak economy: in declining economic growth that may have slowed to 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter, meager job creation that is not keeping pace with population growth, a dangerously shrinking work force, a growing trade deficit, Europe in a recession with double-digit unemployment, and the government on track for its fifth consecutive trillion dollar budget deficit in 2013.
The news media's ballyhooed treatment of last month's lower 7.7 percent unemployment rate belied the troubling numbers behind it.
The Obama economy produced a puny 146,000 jobs in November, far below what is needed to bring the jobless rate down to more normal levels anytime soon.
Last month's jobless rate decline was in large part due to 350,000 long-term unemployed people dropping out of the labor force, saying they were no longer actively looking for work. That meant they weren't counted as unemployed and thus the jobless rate fell. The number of Americans who told the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics they had a job actually shrank by 122,000.
If adult labor force participation were the same today as it was in October 2009 -- when unemployment was at it's peak -- "the unemployment rate would be 9.7 percent," said University of Maryland business economist Peter Morici.
Add in more than 8 million part-time workers who can't find full time jobs, and the real jobless rate is 14.4 percent, he said.
The job climate is so bad that BLS said it reduced its estimates of jobs created in September and October by a combined 49,000.
The front page headlines read "unemployment down to 7.7 percent," but the statistics behind that number pointed to a stagnant economy at best and one in decline at worst.
The only reporter taking a really close look at last week's jobs report was Chris Kirkham of the Huffington Post. And it's not a pretty picture.
The BLS jobs report "is masking a deeper truth: many of the jobs being created aren't the kind of high-paying ones needed to bolster an economic recovery," he writes.
"More than half of the jobs created last month were in lower-wage industries, such as retail and hospitality," he found. Better paying construction and manufacturing jobs saw no growth at all.
Obama has failed abysmally to spur faster, job-creating economic growth which is sorely in need of a booster shot from private capital markets -- the very investors he wants to tax into oblivion in 2013.
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