Buffett urges Congress to raise taxes on wealthy

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 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 he’s never seen that happen even when capital gains taxes 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 Barack Obama even called one of his tax reform proposals the “Buffett Rule.”

He did not immediately respond to a message from The Associated Press on Monday morning.

Buffett said the current tax system has contributed to the growing gap between rich and poor. He said 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 the White House proposed.

Buffett reiterated his call for a minimum tax of 30 percent on income between $1 million and $10 million, and a 35 percent rate for income above that.

He said both Republicans and Democrats will have to make major concessions to deal with the nation’s fiscal problems. Congress is trying to address the so-called fiscal cliff of automatic tax increases and spending cuts that could be triggered at the start of the new year.

“All of America is waiting for Congress to offer a realistic and concrete plan for getting back to this fiscally sound path,” Buffett said. “Nothing less is acceptable.”

Berkshire Hathaway owns more than 80 companies; including insurance, utility, railroad, furniture, jewelry, manufacturing, restaurant and apparel companies. Berkshire’s insurance and utility businesses typically account for more than half of his company’s net income.

More in Herald Business Journal

Aerospace workers adjust to changing industry

The number of Boeing workers dropped almost 10 percent since last year.

Tom Hoban
Are millennials warming up to life in suburbia?

They dominate the apartment market and their wants need to be accounted for, says columnist Tom Hoban.

Camano artist mixes flask, paintings for successful cocktail

Art flasks prove popular as bachelorette gifts, birthday presents and wedding favors.

Pentagon inspector general praises secret $80 billion bomber

US Government Accountability Office in 2016 rejected a protest filed by Boeing-Lockheed Martin.

Everett’s Sentry Credit celebrates a quarter century in business

Sentry Credit Inc. in Everett is celebrating its 25th year in business.… Continue reading

Funko donates hundreds of Pop! Heroes to Christmas House

Everett’s toy and collectibles maker Funko has donated hundreds of its Pop!… Continue reading

Donate coats for Clothes for Kids of Snohomish County

Washington Energy Services is conducting a local coat drive to benefit Clothes… Continue reading

Seattle Premium Outlets extend hours over Thanksgiving holiday

Seattle Premium Outlets will be offering extended Black Friday shopping hours in… Continue reading

Ikea again announces dresser recall after death of 8th child

Several types of chest and dressers can easily tip over if not properly anchored to a wall.

Most Read