Buffett to Congress: Don't 'coddle' me
August 15th, 2011
07:43 AM ET
3 years ago

Buffett to Congress: Don't 'coddle' me

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, saying he doesn't want to be "coddled" by Congress, says that wealthier Americans should pay higher taxes, and that higher taxes do not dampen job growth.

Buffett, chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, wrote in an op-ed piece published Monday in The New York Times that taxes should be raised on Americans who make at least $1 million per year.

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Filed under: Congress • Taxes
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Steve, New York City

    Hello Tea Party:
    Kindly explain how you can justify that many US billionaires have effective federal tax rates of just 18%? This is a sharply lower rate than someone who earns 300K a year.

    Why is this fair? Do tell!

    August 15, 2011 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  2. JT

    "Buffett said his 2010 tax bill, including income and payroll taxes, totaled $6,938,744 — or 17.4 percent of his taxable income. Most people in his office pay 33 to 41 percent, he said."

    Thanks hopefully the idiots both Republicans and Democrats in DC will listen ....

    August 15, 2011 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  3. John, PA

    I agree! Let’s have one new specific Tax Increase.
    If you are a registered Democrat, vote Democratic or donate any money to a Democrat, that's for a Corporation, Union or person, you pay an additional 15% tax on all income, capital gains, money you take in.
    This will get the 51% that pay no taxes to have some skin in the game and share the sacrifice. This will get Warren Buffett, Teresa Heinz and the other bleeding heart liberals to pay their far share.

    August 15, 2011 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  4. Not all rich people are Greedy Old Pigs

    Good on Warren to speak out on the obvious. Too bad the GOBPbaggers will come up with all sorts of excuses to ignored Warren's wise words.

    August 15, 2011 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  5. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE – The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    OK, Warren, stop coddling yourself and immediately send in ALL your money to the huge federal government you support so much. You are allowed to keep a paltry $1 million to survive. Please stop taking advantage of lower capital gains rates going forward and pay 40% to the feds. We'll see how far that $1 million gets you. It'll be gone pretty fast. I think Warren has been the richest man on the planet so long he has lost touch with reality. Oh, and this applies to ALL lefty rich people that think big government is the way this country should operate. You want the beast, you feed the beast.

    Now let's get to the REAL problem. WHY do nearly 50% of the people in this country PAY NO TAXES???? Taxing all the "rich" people gets you no where near the money you need to feed the beast at its present size. When are the majority of Americans going to start paying THEIR FAIR SHARE??? I don't think most people would mind payng slightly higher rates IF EVERYBODY WAS PAYING SOMETHING. But to keep getting nailed for more and more while most pay nothing is a joke. It'll never end. Pretty soon we'll be back with 70% tax rates with 80% of the people paying NOTHING. What warped mind calls this system "fair"????

    August 15, 2011 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  6. Marie MD

    What does Buffett know? The almighty rethugs and teabaggers know more about money than a billionaire!
    Buffett has being saying this for years. This isn't something new.
    Between Buffett and the millionaires in congress I would listen to Buffett.

    August 15, 2011 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  7. Nikos Retsos

    (Corrected): The Republicans in congress don't really coddle the wealthy. They coddle themselves – indirectly! The tax breaks they give to the elite and wealthy are coming back to the congressional coffers as political contributions. Protecting the tax breaks to the rich and wealthy, therefore, means protecting the $$$$$ of the wealthy from going to Uncle Sam – from where every American can share- and save that money for Republican political contributions. As ABC's Sam Donalson once quipped: "They (the Republicans) know who butters their bread!" Obviously Warren Buffett, a philanthropist, do not want the Republicans to starve the poor in order to butter his bread. If he did, he wouldn't be a philanthropist. Nikos Retsos, retired professor

    August 15, 2011 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  8. Sean From Atlanta

    Finally a super rich American who is respected on both sides of the aisle willing to tell the American public the truth. Higher taxes on people earning more than a million dollars a year does not hurt job creation. in fact it does just the opposite.

    August 15, 2011 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  9. Green

    Wow the Republiklans wont like this lol!

    August 15, 2011 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  10. GOP hates Middle Class

    Well well well. A famous and very wealthy job creator debunking the myth that the GOTP likes to hide behind. Will they finally listen? Don't hold your breath.

    August 15, 2011 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  11. My Name is Gregg and I`m Running For President

    Thank you Warren Buffet for telling An OBVIOUS TRUTH. Far too many well off people selfishly sit by quietly, squirreling away WEALTH that has bee REDISTRIBUTED to them over the past 30 years through US Tax policy.

    These people are insecure and lack the courage we expect in American achievers. I submit that far too many CEO, corporate President, VPs and Directors know that they are not as smart as they portray, know they don`t deserve the positions/salaries [7 bonuses & stock options] they hold, and they afraid that their shortcomings will be revealed and the GRAVY TRAIN will end. You Mr. Buffet, are not cut from this cloth.

    When "low information" voters tout a "CEO" or "businessman" for president, it is someone with the long term, strategic vision that you exhibit, which MIGHT serve the country well. We do not need a "quarterly-earnings" focused type of "businessman" like Romney, Cain, or Huntsman. Governments are non-profit organizations, not companies whose stock is going to be punished if earnings don`t exceed some analysts estimate.

    Now that you`ve revealed the dirty little secret – - tax cuts don`t create jobs – - expect the GOPTP`ers to begin to malign you. We`ve got your back sir.

    August 15, 2011 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  12. GI Joe

    Hmmm – one honest wealthy man in this country. Why can't he destroy the Koch Brothers?

    August 15, 2011 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  13. FM

    I do think the man is quite right. Success doesn't mean that you should hold tightly what you have acquired. It means also, one has to contribute to what has made him successful, to where it came from. That is: by paying reasonable/required tax and make the money circulates.

    August 15, 2011 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    He's right. Higher personal taxes do not dampen job growth. In fact, lower tax rates on the wealthiest Americans does not create jobs. If the wealthiest Americans were going to "create a job" somewhere, they already have the financial resources to do it. They do not need a tax cut to "create jobs."

    Despite the rhetoric, the facts show that when 'trickle down' policies are put into effect for the "job creators", jobs are not created. The only *net result* is that a lot of wealth changes hands, with most of it moving in one direction. Up. The facts also show that once the feeding frenzy of wealth changing hands settles down, a recession occurs. It has time and time again, over and over. In fact, the larger the tax cut, the longer the recession. The longer the budget busting cuts are in place, the longer the ensuing recession. Those are the indisputable facts. Opinions are irrelevant in the face of acts.

    August 15, 2011 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress," he wrote. "It's time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice."
    -------------------------------------------------–
    Mr. Buffett tell us something we don't know.
    Your comment will not be dismissed by those looking to protect the WELFARE of the wealthy -the GOTPers-, it will simply be ignored. After all, you're just one voice in a sea of many and I don't reckon you put anything in the Rethug coffers. Additionally, unless there is a vote coming down the pike that we know nothing about, your comment would've been appreciated PRIOR to the whole debt-ceiling negotiation fiasco, not AFTER the conference room had been vacated.
    Anywhoo.....thank you for confirming what us 'little folks' suspected all along, that being that you and the rest of the 2%ers made a KILLING when we neared a possible default, and the subsequent Tea Party downgrade.
    The Tea Party GOP bringing bargains to a millionaire/billionaire nowhere near you.

    August 15, 2011 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  16. T'sah from Virginia

    Wow – this is AMAZING and I am so proud of Buffet coming out and stating what the MAJORITY of Americans have been saying for YEARS!!!! The so-call "FISCAL RASCALS" want you to believe that Million/Billionaires need TAX BREAKS to create JOBS – They don't realize that they have TAX BREAKS through loopholes (Remember GE paid NO TAXES from 2010), therefore, they don't need anymore BREAKS.

    This should SLAP a few candidates in the FACE who are out there scrutinizing President Obama while stating there is NO ROOM FOR COMPROMISE – It's either "OUR WAY or the HIGHWAY" – Even if the odds of compromising in regards to tax increase is 10-1 in their favor – Those candidates who want to RUN and WIN on their principles ONLY – A particular candidate that LQQK – SOUND – and smell like BUSH – Come on now, we do not need the BACH-BUSH or the PERRY-BUSHES winning in 2012!!!

    August 15, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  17. Aggieboo_65

    Well, Mr. Buffett, just pull out that old cobwebby wallet of yours and start paying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 15, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  18. Lisa

    FINALLY! Great words of wisdom Mr. Buffett! Why not make this short but smart article a headliner CNN. The Middleclass can no longer continue to carry the HEAVY financial burden of this nation. The greedy Corprates, Politicians, Special Interest Groups, etc. are literally Killing Us!! I am blessed to live here, but saddened & disgusted @ how the greedy continue to sock it to the working class, laymen of this country. Why not just go dig our graves for us & throw us all in it!!

    August 15, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  19. Jason Canty

    I really feel that the Bush tax cuts need to expire and close any loopholes. Cutting spending is not the whole answer its only half of it. And if any new taxes are made they should be as Buffett sugests. People making $1million a year or more. Owners of small business under that amount should keep normal tax levels. And only give out tax breaks (not full cuts) to companies as insentives if they hire, train and keep American workers. That way the less taxes they are paying are offset by the people they have hired and put to work.

    August 15, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |