For years, the Oracle of Omaha has been vocal in his criticism of the weaknesses of the American tax system and his willingness to give more money to the federal government. In 2007, at a New York fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, he carped to the crowd, “The 400 of us pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our cleaning ladies, for that matter. If you’re in the luckiest 1 percent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 percent.”
In an op-ed in the New York Times, Buffett grew even more insistent. “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,” he wrote, noting that many investment managers pay only a 15 percent tax rate. He even detailed his own tax return: The $6,938,744 he paid last year was just 17.4 percent of his taxable income. Buffett attacks the idea that higher taxes lead to lower investment, writing, “People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off.” He suggested immediately raising taxes on people earning more than $1 million, with an additional hike for those earning more than $10 million.