Warren Buffet Proposes 30% Income Tax for Millionaires


Buffett Proposes Raising Taxes for the RichThis post originally appeared on Business Insider.

Warren Buffett is out with a NYT op-ed calling for a minimum tax on the rich.

We’ll get to his specifics in a second, but the part that will get the most attention is his intro, where he calls out Grover Norquist, the powerful activist who gets Republicans to “pledge” that they’ll never raise taxes.

Buffett writes that what Norquist doesn’t get is that no businessman would ever turn down a good, profitable deal due to tax rates.

“Suppose that an investor you admire and trust comes to you with an investment idea. ‘This is a good one,’ he says enthusiastically. ‘I’m in it, and I think you should be, too.’

Would your reply possibly be this? “Well, it all depends on what my tax rate will be on the gain you’re saying we’re going to make. If the taxes are too high, I would rather leave the money in my savings account, earning a quarter of 1%.” Only in Grover Norquist’s imagination does such a response exist.”

With the fiscal cliff debate heating up, criticism of Grover Norquist and his influence is growing louder.

This weekend, a few different Republicans said they would consider violating the Norquist pledge as part of a Fiscal Cliff deal. That’s leading to (possibly premature) headlines about how his influence is on the “wane.”

As for Buffett’s proposed ideas, he calls on Congress to establish a minimum 30% tax on incomes between $1 million and $10 million, and for a 35% tax rate on incomes above that. As for existing proposals from the Obama administration that call on the rate to revert to pre-Bush levels for those making $250,000 or above, Buffett suggests a slightly higher threshold, perhaps even as high as $500k. He also says the government should aim for a policy of taking in 18.5% of GDP in taxes, while spending 21.5% of GDP.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1063140187 Alex Shepard

    Ok, Buffets point is completely untrue.  I work for a company that makes money off of affiliate marketing.  Once the California Nexus Law went into affect in September, we lost maybe 20% of the business we worked with because they didn’t want to deal with the new tax.  We’ve been scrambling every since trying to build back up that part of the business we had spent 7 years on.  Taxes do affect business deals.

    • Guest

      That just means people moved their money out of California to avoid that specific tax, it doesn’t mean they stopped investing all together, most likely they found other places or ways to invest.  If taxes go up at a federal level people will not stop investing to take less than 1% in savings, they will still invest and grumble about the taxes like they always do.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1063140187 Alex Shepard

        Well, yes.  And jobs outsourced to China are still jobs, just not ones that benefit the American economy in anyway.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/margo.lurvey Margo Lurvey

    Hey Warren, pay the taxes you owe, give up your loopholes, tax credits and subsidies and I might believe that you are serious! Until your entire tax bill is paid, you have no reason to be giving advice!