... but Buffett says: Tax the rich

Posted: November 27, 2012

OMAHA, NEB. - Billionaire Warren Buffett is again calling for higher taxes on the "ultrarich," and he's urging Congress to compromise on spending cuts and tax increases.

Buffett expressed his views on fiscal policy Monday in an opinion article that appeared in the New York Times on the same day that Congress returned from the Thanksgiving holiday.

In the article, Buffett mocked the idea that investors would pull back if capital-gains taxes increase. Buffett said that he's never seen that happen, even when capital-gains taxes rose above 25 percent early in his investing career.

"Let's forget about the rich and ultrarich going on strike and stuffing their ample funds under their mattresses if - gasp - capital gains rates and ordinary income rates are increased," Buffett said. "The ultrarich, including me, will forever pursue investment opportunities."

Buffett, who is chairman and CEO of Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has complained for several years that Congress has been coddling the wealthy, and President Obama even called one of his tax-reform proposals the "Buffett Rule."

Buffett said that the current tax system has contributed to the growing gap between rich and poor. He said that he supports Obama's proposal to end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, but he'd prefer setting the point where taxes increase at $500,000 income instead of the $250,000 that the White House proposed.

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