Posts Tagged ‘warren’

Buffett: Tax the Super-rich

Monday, August 15th, 2011

(Awww yea, Omaha’s Oracle makin’ it rain all up in heyah!)

The world’s 3rd richest man put out an op-ed piece in the New York Times saying it is time to stop coddling the super-rich.

It’s not the first time Warren Buffett has played the paragon for other uber-wealthy to follow – last year he urged other billionaires to follow him in pledging most of their fortunes to humanitarian causes.

Buffett starts off his diatribe by highlighting the hypocrisy of the struggling US economy:

OUR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.

[Preferential tax breaks] and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places.

Buffett goes on to note how, despite the what the republican noise chamber may echo, higher taxes don’t necessarily scare away investment:

I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone — not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 — shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain.

People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off. And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know what’s happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation.

To finish off his thesis, the billionaire Buffett laid out his plan:

[F]or those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate.

My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.

Wow! How stunningly refreshing. If more people ended up like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett after amassing such huge fortunes, our world would likely be a more peaceful, prosperous and just place to live.