Warren Buffett Calls For ‘Mega-Rich’ To Pay More Taxes

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is calling for high taxes on what he calls the “mega-rich.”

In a New York Times op-ed piece, Buffett says he and his friends have been coddled long enough by Congress and that it’s time for the government to get serious about shared sacrifice.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports: What Does Bloomberg Think?

Buffett said he would immediately raise rates on households with taxable income of more than $1 million and add an additional increase for those making $10 million or more.

Gallery: World’s Richest People

He also recommends that the 12 members of Congress charged with devising a deficit-cutting plan leave rates for 99.7 percent of taxpayers unchanged.

Buffett noted that the mega-rich pay income taxes at a rate of 15 percent on most investment income but practically nothing in payroll taxes. The middle class, meanwhile, typically falls into the 15 percent and 25 percent income tax brackets and is hit with heavy payroll taxes. He said Washington legislators “feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species.”

Buffett said he knows many of the mega-rich well, and most wouldn’t mind paying more in taxes, especially when so many fellow citizens are suffering. He also said he has yet to see anyone shy away from investments because of tax rates on potential gains, even when rates were much higher in the mid-1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

“People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off,” he said.

Fellow billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg isn’t exactly cheerleading for Buffett’s idea.

“We have to understand in this country if you’re going to balance the budget it has to be with spending less and raising revenues,” Bloomberg said. “If you only did one of the two there’s no conceivable way that you could have a balanced budget even with doing it, it’s going to be a great challenge.

Last week, Bloomberg called on the Obama administration to “raise everybody’s taxes.”

“If you want to raise taxes, don’t pick one class of people and say ‘I think they have too much money’ … Raise everybody’s taxes one or two percent,” Bloomberg said.

Buffett’s remarks come after a wild week on Wall Street. On Friday, the Dow Jones industrial ended the week on a high note and closed up 125 points, marking the first time in more than a month that the market has risen two days in a row.

The Dow Jones industrial average soared 423 points on Thursday. It had already fallen 634 points Monday, risen 429 Tuesday and fallen 519 Wednesday. Never before has the Dow had four 400-point swings in a row.

Do you agree with Buffett? Let us know below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • LetsEatThePoor

    When are the breeding, parasitic, poor people going to pull their weight? So instead of punishing the poor who deserve it for being such a burden on society. The libs want to punish hard working, successful people even more. At some point, you run out of other people’s money………

    • advance2go

      Your lack of decency is matched only by your ignorance

    • Rodin

      Vomit elsewhere.

  • Darla

    Thank you, Mr. Buffet. Finally, a wealthy person who understands how priviledged he is for all he has accomplished, And, instead of choosing the side of greed, he feels the plight of those less fortunate than himself. A wealthy person who is indeed a patriot. He cares about his country and the people who work hard and struggle everyday just to maintain their families. Most weathly people think those less forturnate then themselves are lazy and living off the system, when in fact, we are the people who work hard, pay a higher percentage of taxes, and spend the money that keeps our ecconomy going. Thank you for caring Mr. Buffet. I wish there were more peoplie like you.

  • dgt5855

    @ TJ & VY — I’m with you all the way on this one and have been advocating it for years. If the public at large chose not to file on the deadline, the gov’t would be forced to make radical changes that the public wants, i.e., less complicated tax filing, ALL citizens pay, a flat tax rate and any other idea that would equalize our system of tax collection. The people of Nassau County spoke loudly and clearly by defeating the new Coliseum proposal. We have more power than we think just by sticking together!! It worked for Civil Rights and it could work for a tax revolt. I’m ready.

  • Rodin

    Yes, by all means, tax the super rich like the rest of us. Certainly Mr Buffett’s economic opinions are worth more than that of all reactionary rants from the plethora of Republican wannabe candidates.


    1 – Tax religious institutions. Their advantage, legitimate voice in government (secular) affairs.

    “No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion.” ~ HUGO L. BLACK, Supreme Court Justice

    Is not a tax exemption tantamount to “support [of] religious activities or institutions?”

    2 – Stop funding the Israeli war machine:
    $3.09 billion a year or so per year that Israel receives from the U.S. amounts to over $500 per Israeli. Most of this money is earmarked in the annual Foreign Operations (foreign aid) appropriations bills, with the three major items being military grants (Foreign Military Financing, or FMF), economic grants (Economic Support Funds, or ESF), and “migration and refugee assistance.”

    3 – Result, resolution of Muslim-American conflicts, pullout savings: $12.3 billion per month.

    We might not even have to tax the rich!

  • Howie Sprague

    Warren Buffett tells it like it is. As expected, Bloomberg shows his disdain for the middle class and his unwillingness to part with any of his billions. The reason the GOP led congress doesn’t want to tax the rich is quite simple: The GOP has filled many of their elected seats with mega wealthy corporate executives. These swine ran for office for one reason: to protect their excessive wealth at the expense of the middle class, the elderly and the disabled. The middle class needs to take back our country back … We cannot afford corporate welfare.

  • advance2go

    when the ultra rich get an increase or better yet, whenever they do, they honestly will hardly notice. If I do ( and everyone I know of being in the middle class), I will be in genuine peril of loosing my home. America is unethical and immoral. It pains me greatly to think of how many soldiers died defending it. We owe it to the fallen and everyone who gave so much to right the course were on and make our country once again a shining light of the world.

  • Don Hamme

    Confiscate all of the income of Billionaires income and you will pay the cost of government for less than 3 days. The Congressional Budget Office says so. It is class warfare to stop us from solving the problems. If taxes are going to be FAIR why do 50% of people pay no federal income tax?

  • M. Russo

    What’s the problem… Send your Billions to Obama and shut the heck up.

    • Michael H.

      It doesn’t work if it’s only one billionaire doing it. You need to force the rest of the rich to pay their share too. No more capital gains tax! Make it all taxable as income in the proper tax brackets and increase the top brackets by 3-05% and the deficit will whither away.


    MY HERO!

    I agree with Mr. Buffett 100%!

    The middle class and the poor people are fighting warsall around the world, when they return their small wages are taxed as much as possible, the poor and middle class individuals that re here are taxed more then the wealthy, foolishness.

    Yes, tax the wealthy and stop breaking the straw broom on the backs of the poor and the middle class, they have bailed out this country long enough while the rich continue to receive perks and not putting back into the econonmy, it’s the poor and the midlle class americans that continue to keep the wheels of the econonmy rolling, give us a break and tax the rich/wealthy much more then they are paying now.

    Mr. Buffett is correct, they do not need the red carpet of tax breaks given to them, they could afford to pay higher taxes.

    Another point Mr. Buffett pointed out, higher taxes on the rich/wealthy does not stop or slow down job growth; higher taxes on the rich/wealthy improves job growth.

    Congratulations to Mr. Buffett on hoc courage for speaking the truth.

    I will tell you this, Mr. Buffett’s statements will be tossed to the side very quickly becauase he has a supporting voice for the poor and the middle class, which is greatly appreciated, but the folks that control these blogs are for the Rep. and TP supporters.

    Lets promote Mr. Buffetts remarks.

    Isn’t it so funny, less then a week ago Bloomberg was saying tax all of us more, not just the rich, what a fool Bloomberg continues to show us he is.

    No Bloomberg, tax your goonies and lets not tax the poor and the middle class anymore. Please pay more and stop trying to fool folks with your donations.

    The money that you are now donating, is money that you took away from the underprivilege during your time in office, you are not really doing anything but given back to the same people you robbed.

    • sharon wolff

      I agree with this posting and Warren Buffett. The age of “let them eat cake”, as well as “tax them to the max” has got to stop.

  • Nick

    How about just the FLAT TAX that Republicans and Tea Party nuts have been pushing for? Simple and effective. Everybody pays the same rate. And somehow the dumbacrats all have a problem with this and will conveniently forget that they’re the ones coddling the wealth with their stinking complicated tax system.

    • Summer Bun

      Nick, you are sadly misinformed. It seems your issues with the
      “Democrats” have clouded your view on what’s best for this country. In addition, the Republican party is notorious for continuing the tax breaks to the wealthy and Corporate world.

    • BROWN

      @ NICK

      Listen Nick, why in the world would you try to squeeze a roasted peanut for oil, not possible.

      But what is possible is getting higher taxes placed on the rich/wealthy, period.

      You like reading stats?

      Then you should look up the stats on the tax breaks that the rich/wealthy have been given since 2000 and see how many jobs and income have been los do to this practicet….go ahead, read your stats.

      Nick, you speak nonsense; proven fact, reality check…taxing the middle class and the poor slows down the economy more then ever. No money to spend, barely enough money to care for the family and all of the bills and nothing much to place in the bank.

      It’s the same folks that you are now taxing that keeps the wheels on the economy turning….not the rich/wealthy.

      Wake up and reach out to your congress man/woman and tell them to raise the tax on the wealthy/rich, it’s time for you to stop being a foolish chap.

    • early cuyler


    • Brown

      @ Nick, are you kidding!

      No, why a flat tax, rich/wealthy need to pay more, simple as that.

      The poor and middle class has continued to give give give, by force, just to continue to have the rich and wealthy given tax breaks.

      Warren Buffet is correct, tax the rich and wealthy more and those that make over 10 million a year; tax them even more.

      Let the poor and middle class finally live without struggling for a change.

      Here is a billionaire that is calling on Congress to tax the people in his tax bracket, and he is calling them out saying it does not stop job growth, it creates jobs.

      LOL, now what, what does the republicans and the tea partiers have to say now….I bet something in the favor of Bloomberg, which Bloomberg continues to rob the poor and middle class.

      Go on congress, it is time to raise the taxes on the rich/welathy and leave the poor and middle class alone!

      Thank you Mr. Buffett, lets see how long his strong comments gets played on CNN and all of the other news outlets…… whenever there is someone speaking up for the poor and middle class, there stage time is always cut very short and sometimes it does not even make it into the spot light!

      • Do, Not Whine

        Uh, Brown, where do you think these stinking rich people got their money from? Did they rob a bank or something? Or did most of them work hard and come up with innovations that help make everyday living easier. So if you have a great idea for a product, and you develop that product, then market that product, somebody who had nothing to do with that creative energy should lay claim on that person’s work, and for what reason? Because they are poor? Let them come up with their own ideas and work hard and then they won’t be poor anymore. Otherwise all you are doing is legally pickpocketing those who DO.

      • Nick

        Nice batch of feelie goodie bull you’re piling on there. 20% of Americans pay 75% of the taxes already (IRS stats). So how much more of an income redistribution would you like to steal?

  • Joe

    I agree with this policy

  • Concerned

    Instead of paying more in taxes why don’t they buy American debt from foreign countries. Reducing deficits and foreign control and making America less dependent on foreign capital.

    • Michael H.

      Foreign governments hold less than a third of the 14 trillion US debt.

  • teetotaler

    Why doesn’t he just hand over Geico to the government? That would end the untold billions of dollars he continues to pour into a blitz campaign of annoying commercials for which there is no end.

  • vy

    The real tax revolt has yet to happen. That will happen when a very large part of the American workforce becomes convinced that the rich have bought off the majority of polliticians of both paties, to keep rates low for most of the rich, but give no services to the working class or their children. At that point a true tax revolt may start by average Americans starting to refuse to file their tax returns. If that happens it could break the entire federal government fiscal system. And there will never be enough IRS employees to attempt to control that form of mass civil disobediance. The system would just stop functioning under the burden of trying to find out who owes real money, and who is just not filing as a protest. Just imagine the response from congress if on April 16 the IRS told congress that there was no tax returns or payments in the incoming mail.

    • BROWN

      @ VY

      Not reality, your post is more like a DC comic book skit.

      Reality my friend, reality.

      Yes, the politicians (the majority) belong in the bankers pockets, the bankers call the shots and the selected group of corrupted politicians go on the blue carpet and champion for the rich/wealthy standards, neverfor the poor or middle class.

      This is America, not another a Third world country, we have the ballot box, put it to work for you!

    • TJ

      The American poulation as a whole doesn’t have th BALLS to do what you are suggesting though I agree 100% with it and would love to see it happen. Look at the UK. They are done taking their governments’ nonsense.

  • Hardy Rection

    Tea Party – please explain why billionaires have federal tax rates of 18%, and somehow evade paying (what should be the highest bracket) at 36%.

    On the other hand, Nancy Pelosi (and the extreme left) – half of Americans don’t even pay any federal tax.

    The USA DESPERATELY needs to be governed from the center.

    • Steve Pinkston


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