Posted at 11:08 AM ET, 08/15/2011

Warren Buffett asks legislators to ‘stop coddling the super-rich’


Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. (Nati Harnik - AP)
In a New York Times op-ed Sunday, Warren Buffett says legislators need to raise taxes on the “mega-rich,” including himself.

“While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks,” the president of Berkshire Hathaway writes.

What, exactly, does Buffett consider mega-rich?

Not 99.7 percent of taxpayers, who he thinks should have their rates unchanged. Not those who “make their money from their jobs.”

Buffett specifies the mega-rich this way: those who “make money from money” — or those whose investments bring in more than $1 million a year.

The billionaire investor has suggestions for a way to stop coddling the mega-rich.

For those making more than $1 million, Buffett suggests raising rates immediately, including dividends and capital gains.

For those who make $10 million or more (a group under which he falls), he suggests an additional increase in rate.

Buffett has long been a proponent of wealthy people giving away their money. He and Bill Gates started “The Giving Pledge” last year. It’s a commitment from the wealthiest individuals in America to give the majority of their money to philantrhopic causes. So far, the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Bloomberg, George Lucas, Barry Diller and Diane Von Furstenberg have signed the pldege.

Though Buffett’s op-ed shot to the top of Twitter trends and got plenty of people talking, some weren’t impressed.

Newsweek International’s editor tweeted:

There's no moralizer more tedious than a super-rich moralizer http://t.co/LGqG1aP #warrenbuffettless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

By  |  11:08 AM ET, 08/15/2011

 
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