The Warren Buffett New York Times op-ed has garnered a tremendous amount of support, including from President Barack Obama.
Buffett argued that the U.S. needs to cut the budget deficit by “far more than” the currently $1.5 trillion 10-year reduction put in place by the U.S. debt ceiling deal.
The U.S. government needs to cut spending, said Buffett. But it also needs to increase tax revenues, something which Republicans so far have been unwilling to compromise on.
Buffett suggested that taxes be raised on the richest 0.3 percent of Americans. Specifically, he targeted the (long-term) capital gains tax rate, which currently sits at 15 percent.
He flatly rejected claims that raising taxes on investments would stymie investments, hurt the economy, and kill jobs.
“I have yet to see anyone…shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain,” wrote Buffett.
President Obama, on the first stop of his bus tour, cited Buffett and used the billionaire’s words to attack Republicans, especially House Speaker John Boehner.
Obama said Buffett urged Congress to “stop coddling billionaires like me.” He cited the billionaire’s claim of only paying 17 percent in taxes in 2010.
“The reason is because most of his wealth comes from capital gains,” said Obama.
During the U.S. debt ceiling negotiations, Obama said he submitted a plan to House Speaker John Boehner that would have significantly reduced the budget deficit by tackling health care spending and raising taxes, including those of millionaires and billionaires.
Boehner, however, walked away from Obama's deal because he believed “we can’t ask anything of millionaires and billionaires and big corporations in order to close our deficit,” said Obama.