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August 16th, 2011
05:45 AM ET

Talk Back: Is Warren Buffett's tax compromise good - or is it just politics?

Warren Buffett's op-ed "Stop Coddling the Super-Rich," published yesterday in the New York Times, calls on Congress to stop protecting the mega-rich and to immediately raise taxes on the very wealthiest Americans  in the interest of the U.S. economy.

Buffett argues that the U.S. needs to cut the budget deficit by "far more" than the $1.5 trillion proposed in the debt-ceiling bill,  asserting that while the government needs to cut spending, it also needs to increase tax revenue, a measure most Republicans staunchly oppose.

The op-ed has generated a lot of buzz online. Many Twitter users are praising Buffett, hailing him as a hero, while conservative blogs and politicians are arguing that he is just a shill for President Obama.

Talk Back: Is Warren Buffett's tax compromise good - or is it just politics?

Let us know what you think. Your answer may be read on today's broadcast.


Filed under: AM Asks
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Michael Armstrong Sr. Sherman Tx.

    If Mr. Buffet feels that billionairs should give money to the government then let him put his money where his mouth is and cut the treasury a check theres no one stopping him .

    August 16, 2011 at 8:15 am |
    • Dokron

      mr. Buffet has pledged to give back half his fortune to charity and the less fortunate. How much have u given back?

      August 17, 2011 at 6:51 am |
  2. Dan

    Given the fact that our nation (and possibly the world) is experiencing the largest gap between the rich and the poor, Warren Buffet's suggestion is not only wise, it might necessary. If enough middle income Americans lose everything the've worked for while seeing $30,000 per plate fund raisers, multi-million dollar ad campaigns from the "job creators" and the continued use of loopholes and tax "incentives" -wink, wink- by the wealthy, I fear that gun toting citizens might make the riots in Greece look like play time in a kindergarten. Something needs to change before something really bad happens. If for no other reason, I pray that Buffet's words are heeded. (And no, I don't own a gun.)

    August 16, 2011 at 8:11 am |
  3. Cathy

    Absolutely we should tax the super rich. Doesn't providing representation without taxation (whether to super wealthy or illegal immigrants) mean the rest of us are being over taxed and under represented? It's unconscienable and impractical to strap fiscal respopnsibility solely on the middle class.

    August 16, 2011 at 7:22 am |
  4. Jane

    It is wonderful that rich guys like Warren Buffet want to pay more taxes. No one is stopping him and other wealthy liberals (such as the Hollywood left) from paying more taxes right now. The IRS will gladly accept additional checks from them. If they like income re-distribution so much, why not start with their own vast wealth? Instead of setting up foundations, why not let Uncle Sam decide how to best spend their money for them?

    August 16, 2011 at 7:15 am |
  5. Aaron

    I think that Mr. Buffett’s comment shows an amazing amount of selflessness and should be shared by the other thousands of mega-rich people in the US, especially the US congress. Why should million/billionaires have to pay only half the percentage of what middle class workers pay?

    August 16, 2011 at 7:13 am |
  6. Jane

    Of course a majority of Americans polled say they are OK with taxing the "rich" more (since when is $250,000 "rich"?). It is easy to call for more taxes as long as you aren't the ones paying those additional taxes. A more appropriate poll question would be: Are you personally willing to pay more taxes in order to pay down our debt?
    I suspect the numbers in favor of raising taxes would then drop dramatically.

    August 16, 2011 at 7:12 am |
  7. Tracy Bentley

    The Bush tax cuts that have been in place for the last 10 years have not resulted in any job growth that I'm aware of so let them expire! At least collect the taxes in lieu of job growth to help offset the cost of services which have increased due to the decline of the middle class and those folks now needing government services to survive.

    August 16, 2011 at 6:58 am |
  8. L. McDowell

    Warren Buffet is the voice of reason. Corporations may be people, but they are NOT middle America. Republicans, in particular the Me Party (Motto: "I got mine, too bad for you."), would like this country to be a corporatocracy.

    August 16, 2011 at 6:45 am |
  9. Mark

    As a conservative I would not like to see tax increase on anyone; however, what Mr. Buffet propose taxes on the wealthy would help with the enormous debt we have occurred and what most economic advisers and experts agree cutting spending alone will not fix this debt. I know many on the right will not support this but it is a viable solution. we do need to control spending as well as reasonable tax revenue increase on the wealthy and closing tax loopholes.

    August 16, 2011 at 6:38 am |
  10. Sarah Boelter

    I think Mr. Buffet truly cares about our country. Finally, a wealthy person who isn't just trying to protect his wealth! Finally, a wealthy person who really wants to make a difference in our country! People seem to forget that Mr. Obama did not create the jobless situation. He inherited that state of affairs from our former president. The only way out of this is to both make cuts and to tax the super wealthy and the wealthy who make more than half a million dollars. I sometimes think the wealthy want us to go back to a 2-class system – the rich and the poor. Thank you, Mr Buffet, for showing us that some of the wealthy care more about themselves alone.

    August 16, 2011 at 6:37 am |
  11. Fred

    Was it politics when the 900 billion in tax cuts was given that caused this deficit? Why would you even ask the question and call into question the integrity of a man that to my knowledge has never been anything less than honest and whose advice you seek often? You're starting to sound a lot like Faux news!!

    August 16, 2011 at 6:35 am |
  12. Nandi

    Finally someone with a patriotic attitude! My applause to Mr. Buffet.

    August 16, 2011 at 6:28 am |
  13. Chatty Kay

    More Shiny Balls – the Republicans would rather do anything rather than talk about employment. They are determined to create a permenant uneducated underclass to serve the rich. Wake Up People!!!!!

    August 16, 2011 at 6:22 am |
  14. Kipp In Texas

    Politics. Buffett and like minded should write a check to the treasury if they really believed it would help.

    August 16, 2011 at 6:20 am |
  15. Dianna

    Warren Buffet's idea to allow the taxes on those making just 1 million and up is not a new idea, but it is a good idea. Somehow people also believe that those people making a lot of money spend it, but that is not always the case. In many cases they have more money than they are able to spend, which does not help the economy. When you have American's spending money on affortable Kraft or everyday survival items or spending their money on a new house, car, furniture or applicances that is what helps us all including the individual states and their services.

    August 16, 2011 at 6:20 am |
  16. Gary Abrams

    Politicians legislating tax reform is the same as leaving the kids to watch the candy store. None of the them seem to have the strength of character to pass a no-loophole, flat-tax reform that establishes a uniform tax rate. Despite all their rhetoric, they appear far more worried about preserving their own way of life than they are about doing what's right for this country. It's disgraceful!

    August 16, 2011 at 6:20 am |
  17. rhys

    At the very least, the top .03% should not enjoy LOWER taxes than the rest of us.

    August 16, 2011 at 6:18 am |
  18. Jose

    Raising taxes on the wealthy never works! Cut spending and implement a federal sales tax or some sort of flat tax. Also get rid of the earned income credit and have the 45% of Americans that didn't pay taxes last year contribute!

    August 16, 2011 at 6:17 am |
  19. MeLoN

    Close the loopholes for all Americans. You know the system is broken when a person/family can pay $500 dollars in taxes and get back a 10k tax refund. No system like that can survive nor is it fair.

    August 16, 2011 at 6:15 am |
  20. terri lange

    I praise Mr. Buffet for his Oh so true comment. Whether it be just a shill for the President or not he has had the courage to step up and tell it like it is.

    August 16, 2011 at 5:59 am |
  21. MeLoN

    The American tax system is broken beyond repair and should be scrapped and replaced with a falt tax system for everybody.

    August 16, 2011 at 5:56 am |
  22. mark

    It's wonderful along with a detailed bill for job creation, It significantly decreases the deficit. Close these loopholes in the tax code for outsourcing and bring the Clinton tax rates. Americans just want jobs...........

    August 16, 2011 at 5:53 am |