Buffett: Wealthy tax-avoiders 'the moochers'

Berkshire boss takes direct shot at Romney's '47 percent'; backs minimum levy

Nov 27, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor, said the ability of some of the highest earners to avoid federal taxes shows why laws should be changed so the wealthy pay more.

“They were the moochers, and they paid zero,” Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A), said today in an interview on MSNBC. “The way they get at them is a minimum tax and it's very simple to do.”

Buffett is pressing his call for a minimum tax on incomes above $1 million as lawmakers seek to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, which would impose more than $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts starting in January. He said in a New York Times opinion piece yesterday that higher taxes on the wealthy won't thwart investment.

Buffett's remarks contrast with the position of Mitt Romney, the defeated Republican presidential candidate, who said in comments broadcast on CBS's “60 Minutes” in September that low rates are “the right way to encourage economic growth, to get people to invest.” Romney, speaking to campaign donors at a private fundraiser in May, said Democratic President Barack Obama's support came from the 47 percent of Americans who see themselves as “victims,” dependent on government.

Buffett said today that among the 400 with the highest incomes in the U.S. in 2009, the average income was about $200 million, and that six people in that group paid “nothing at all.”

“They were in Romney's 47 percent,” Buffett said.

Buffett's tax bill for 2010 was about $6.9 million, or 17 percent of taxable income, he wrote in the Times last year. He said that's a lower rate than the other 20 employees in Berkshire's office in Omaha, Nebraska, and that the wealthy benefit from favorable treatment of capital gains and dividends, compared with wages. Buffett's salary is $100,000 a year.

-- Bloomberg News--

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Sponsored financial news

Featured video

INTV

On the red carpet with Tom James and others at Icons & Innovators

Reflections from Jeffrey Gundlach, Edmund Walters and more at the New York City event

Latest news & opinion

Top 10 IBDs ranked by revenue

These independent broker dealers generated the most revenues in 2017.

8 podcasts advisers listen to when they aren't working

Listening to podcasts for the fun of it.

UBS continues to cut loans to recruits, while increasing compensation to brokers

The wirehouse reduced recruitment loans 20% and increased bonus loans 68% in the first quarter.

Things are looking up: IBDs soared in 2017

With revenue up, interest rates rising and regulation easing, IBDs are soaring.

SEC advice rule may give RIAs leg up over broker-dealers

Experts say advisers will be able to point to their role as fiduciaries as a differentiator in the advice market.

X

Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting investmentnews.com? It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist investmentnews.com

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print