Buffett Calls for Super Rich to Pay their Way

Warren Buffett has once again called for the Super Rich to be made to pay more taxes by Washington. Writing in an editorial piece for the New York Times Buffett declares that it is time the super rich played their part in the needed ‘shared sacrifice’ of our times and called for Congress to increase taxes on ‘millionaires and billionaires.’

In a passionate and persuasive editorial he points out that while most poor and middle class Americans are struggling, the mega-rich continue to enjoy incredible tax breaks. He notes that people like investment managers, who earn billions of dollars, are allowed to class their earnings as ‘carried interest’ which is taxed at a wonderful 15% rate of tax. In addition he notes that others get hold of stock index futures for around ten minutes and then have roughly 60% of their gains subject to tax at that same bargain 15%, as though they were long term investors.

Decrying the fact that Washington seems to be compelled to protect the superrich as if they were an endangered species, Buffett suggests instead that:

“I would leave rates for 99.7 percent of taxpayers unchanged and continue the current 2-percentage-point reduction in the employee contribution to the payroll tax. This cut helps the poor and the middle class, who need every break they can get…

“… But for 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…”

Some people have pointed out the hypocrisy of Buffett calling for these super rich tax increases when only a few weeks before he had been lecturing the President on the fact that he was scapegoating private jet companies and the private jet industry.

But on the whole, most people agree with him and when Warren Buffett thinks the rich should be paying more taxes, it is perhaps time to listen.

Alex is a freelance journalist and financial blogger. He loves to write about baseball and jazz but spends most of his days writing about mortgages, markets and umbrella companies .

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