Buffett, Clinton Push Higher Taxes On The Wealthy

Berkshire Hathaway B shares Warren Buffett
By Mark Hirschey (Work of Mark Hirschey) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential frontrunner gained the support of Warren Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE.BRK.B) because they agree on implementing higher taxes on the wealthy, the so-called “Buffett Rule.”

On Wednesday, the billionaire investors made a rare step—speaking at Mrs. Clinton’s political rally in Omaha. Mr. Buffett noted that the incomes of the richest 400 Americans increased sevenfold from 1992 to 2012, and their average tax rate declined by approximately one-third during that period.

Mr. Buffet emphasized that Mrs. Clinton will never forget the issue of income and tax rates for the wealthy if elected president of the United States. He said, “You will never hear those figures I just recited about income and tax rates at a Republican debate. And Hillary, once she is elected, will never forget those.”

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He also pointed out that wealthy Americans are “decent people and good citizens” citing the fact that they create jobs and produce products that people like. However, he noted that “the game has been stacked in their direction. And that’s the primary reason that I’m going to be so delighted when Secretary Clinton takes the oath of office.”

Mr. Buffett also agreed with Mrs. Clinton that no one in the U.S. should work more than one full-time job to provide for the needs of their family. According to him, “America should work for those who are willing to work. Hillary will make sure that those people who are having to work two jobs in order to get by will not have that kind of world for themselves and their children.”

The Buffett Rule

President Barack Obama coined the term “Buffett Rule” after the billionaire investor criticized that policies that allow wealthy Americans like him pay lower tax rates than his staff.

In 2011, Mr. Buffett wrote an op-ed published in the New York Times and called for higher taxes on the wealthy. He emphasized that he and “mega-rich” friends were “coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress.” He admitted that he paid lower tax rates on his income than his office staff.

Mrs. Clinton said, “The Buffett Rule says that millionaires should pay at least 30% income-tax rates. I want to go even further. I want to be the president of the struggling, the striving and the successful.”
“(Buffett) understands, as we just heard him say, we’re out of balance, the decision is stacked in favor of those on top, we need to reshuffle the deck,” said Mrs. Clinton.

Buffett is helping Clinton raise money

Mr. Buffett donated more than $25,000 to Mrs. Clinton’s super PAC earlier this year. He is also helping her raise money. Before giving a speech at the political rally, they attended a fundraiser in Omaha where approximately 190 people paid $2,700 each.

The billionaire investor will again appear at another fundraiser for Mrs. Clinton in Los Angeles on January 7 based on the schedule sent to her supporters.