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  1. Wealth
August 15, 2011

Warren Buffett: Tax Me More!

By Spear's

Warren Buffett has written an editorial for the New York Times asking for himself and his fellow billionaires to be taxed more. In a witty, self-deprecating piece, he says: ‘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.’

Warren Buffett has written an editorial for the New York Times asking for himself and his fellow billionaires to be taxed more. In a witty, self-deprecating piece, he says: ‘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.’

He complains that tax benefits 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,’ ironically adding that ‘it’s nice to have friends in high places.’

Buffett says that he pays the least tax of anyone in his office – in 2010 $6.9 million at an effective rate of 17.4 per cent – and that anyone like him who makes their money from money reaps numerous tax advantages, as opposed to people who earn from jobs. His colleagues paid an average of 36 per cent.

Higher taxes have accompanied higher rates of job growth, he says, and they do not put investors off: ‘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.’

He says that he and other billionaires would happily pay more, and many have already signed up to his and Bill & Melinda Gates’ Giving Pledge to give away their fortune.

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