It was hard not to hear about billionaire Warren Buffett’s opinion piece in The New York Times on Monday, which urged Congress to raise taxes on the super-rich to help cut the federal budget deficit.
In the guest editorial, Buffett, the third richest person in the world with an estimated personal net worth of $50 billion, said, “My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.”
While Buffett’s federal tax bill was close to $7 million last year, Buffett said his federal taxes equated to just 17.4% of his taxable income, a lower percentage than “any of the other 20 people in our office.” Their tax burdens ranged from 33% to 41% and averaged 36%.
“While most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks,” Buffett said.
Buffett proposed raising taxes immediately for those making more than $1 million (236,883 households in 2009), including dividends and capital gains. For the 8,274 taxpayers who made $10 million or more, Buffett said they should be subject to an additional increase in their tax rate.