Warren Buffett: 'Stop Coddling the Super-Rich'

Warren Buffett picture

The world's most famous investor says Congress should raise his taxes in what will be one of the most talked about opinion pieces of the year in today's New York Times.

"My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress," Buffett wrote. "It's time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice."

The chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway says there's absolutely no reason not to raise taxes on the 236,833 Americans who made more than $1 million in 2009, and to raise them even more on the 9,724 Americans who made more than $10 million.

"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," Buffett writes.

Buffett says he paid 17.4% of his taxable income in income tax this year, "and that's actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent."

He dismisses the oft-repeated argument that raising taxes on the rich will hurt job creation.

"I have worked with investors for 60 years," Buffett says, "and I have yet to see anyone -- not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 -- shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain."

He challenges the committee Congress just created to reduce the nation's deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years to do the right thing and include higher taxes on the wealthy as part of its plan.

"I know well many of the mega-rich and, by and large, they are very decent people," Buffett wrote. "Most wouldn't mind being told to pay more in taxes as well, particularly when so many of their fellow citizens are truly suffering."

Click here to read the entire column: Stop Coddling the Super-Rich.

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