Buffett to Congress: Don't 'coddle' me

@CNNMoney August 15, 2011: 4:44 PM ET
Billionaire Warren Buffett believes that rich Americans should pay higher taxes and that it won't hurt the job market.

Billionaire Warren Buffett believes that rich Americans should pay higher taxes and that it won't hurt the job market.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, saying he doesn't want to be "coddled" by Congress, says that wealthier Americans should pay higher taxes, and that higher taxes do not dampen job growth.

Buffett, chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA, Fortune 500), wrote in an op-ed piece published Monday in The New York Times that taxes should be raised on Americans who make at least $1 million per year.

"While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks," wrote Buffett, who has mentioned in past interviews that the rich should pay higher taxes.

On the same day it was published, Buffett's op-ed became an applause line for President Obama, who used it to hammer home his call for higher taxes on the rich.

"You're paying more than that," Obama told the crowd at a town hall meeting in Minnesota. "And -- now I may be wrong, but I think you're a little less wealthy than Warren Buffett. That's just a guess."

The philanthropist said that his 2010 federal tax bill, including income and payroll taxes, was $6,938,744.

"That sounds like a lot of money," wrote the Omaha, Neb.-based billionaire. "But what I paid was only 17.4% of my taxable income - and that's actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office."

He added that some investment managers were taxed only 15% on billions of dollars in income. He compared that to the middle class, with its income tax bracket of up to 25%.

He said that 40 million jobs were created between 1980 and 2000, when the tax rate for the rich was higher than it is now. "You know what's happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation," he wrote.

Buffett proposed that Congress impose a higher tax rate on millionaires, and an even higher tax rate on those making at least $10 million per year.

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

Will free trade create or kill U.S. jobs?

Buffett, a Wall Street guru who has made billions during his 60 years of investing, has pledged to donate 99% of his wealth to charity.

In a recent interview with Fortune, Buffett said he still believes the United States is an AAA-rated nation, despite the recent Standard & Poor's downgrade of the credit rating. He said he also continuing to buy stocks, because recent market volatility has created lots of deals. To top of page

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.80%3.88%
15 yr fixed3.20%3.23%
5/1 ARM3.84%3.88%
30 yr refi3.82%3.93%
15 yr refi3.20%3.23%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
Economic Calendar
Latest ReportNext Update
Home pricesAug 28
Consumer confidenceAug 28
GDPAug 29
Manufacturing (ISM)Sept 4
JobsSept 7
Inflation (CPI)Sept 14
Retail sales Sept 14
  • -->

    Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.