Buffett says US rich should pay higher taxes

Buffett.jpgLast year, Warren Buffett paid only $7m taxes, just 17.4% of his income.

Now he says rich Americans, including himself, should pay more, in order to help reduce US debt. He notes that:

• In 1992, the wealthiest 400 Americans paid 29.2% tax on $16.9bn income
• In 2008, they paid just 21.5%, on incomes of $90.9bn

And he adds:

“People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off. And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know what’s happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation.”

Buffett says the US should “raise tax rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including of course dividends and capital gains“.

This would have impacted just 236,883 households in 2009. He would also like an extra tax on the 8274 households who earn $10m or more.

It will be interesting to see if Congress follows his advice.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. He also serves as a Global Expert for the World Economic Forum. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry and the global economy over the next 12 – 18 months. It looks behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in critical areas such as oil prices, China and Emerging Markets, currencies, autos, housing, economic growth and the environment. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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