Within the past few months, Warren Buffett has been quoted as saying he only paid 15% income tax while his secretary paid much more (I think the number is 35%, but I could be wrong). This "fact" has been used as an argument for raising taxes on the wealthy.
Without having her tax return I know we can only speculate, but are there any clues that can point us to a true or false assumption? The way the US tax code works is on tax brackets, so having an overall tax rate of 35% seems, well, rather foolish (or you need a better CPA)
For bonus points, was Buffet talking about his income as most Americans have (ie, a pay check from some company) or was he including capital gains?
according to this article,
Bosanek [his secretary] pays a tax rate of 35.8 percent of income, while Buffett pays a rate at 17.4 percent.
Did Ms Bosanek have an effective tax rate of 35.8%?