Warren Buffet Still Wants Higher Taxes

October 21, 2014
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The ‘Oracle of Omaha,’ billionaire investor Warren Buffet, is still touting the importance of higher taxes. Buffet said Oct. 6 that the recent White House action to limit tax inversions – in which companies shift their headquarters outside the U.S. to lower their tax bills – provides a good “time out” for the government to work on a logical corporate tax code, according to POLITICO. Buffet himself was criticized after his Berkshire Hathaway provided the financing for Burger King’s recent move to invert to Canada in a merger with Tim Hortons. Buffet maintained that this move was about Tim Horton’s sales, rather than taxes, but this isn’t stopping the new company from taking advantage of Canada’s 15 percent corporate tax rate. While Buffet admits that the corporate tax code may be easier to fix than the individual tax code, this hasn’t stopped him from bringing up its inherent inequality. In an exclusive interview, he told the news source that the tax on the wealthiest Americans is far too low, and that some of the top 400 earners in the U.S. – who have an average income of $200 million per year – still pay a tax rate of below 10 percent. “That’s still a lot less than my cleaning lady,” Buffett told POLITICO editor-in-chief John Harris. “So it hasn’t been fully corrected.” Buffet is famous for pointing out this tax inequality with himself as a prime example, according to Huffington Post. In particular, he has frequently pointed out that his secretary, Debbie Bosanek, pays a tax rate of 35.8 percent while he pays only 17.4 percent. The reason for this inequality is the relatively low tax on capital gains, from which most wealthy individuals make the majority of their income. Proponents of the current situation argue that a high tax on capital gains discourages investment, but opponents feel that the middle class should not be taxed more than the upper class.