Warren Buffett said Monday he and the wealthy people are not paying enough when it comes to taxes.
“The wealthy are definitely undertaxed relative to the general population,” Buffett told CNBC’s Becky Quick on “Squawk Box.” “As we get more specialized, the rich will get richer. The question is: How do you take care of a guy who is a wonderful citizen whose father died in Normandy and just doesn’t have market skills? I think the income tax credit is the best way to address that.”
“That probably means more taxes for guys like me, and I’m fine with it,” he said.
They also come as some lawmakers push for higher taxes on the wealthy, especially Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. Ocasio-Cortez proposed recently a 70 percent marginal tax on incomes over $10 million in an effort to bridge the growing wealth gap between the rich and the poor.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates — who is also a close friend of Buffett’s — said earlier this month that he supports more “progressive” taxes on this rich, but noted that plans like Ocasio-Cortez’s are missing the point. “They have income that just is the value of their stock, which if they don’t sell it, it doesn’t show up as income at all, or if it shows up, it shows over in the capital gains side. So the ability of hedge fund people, various people — they aren’t paying that ordinary income rate,” he said.
Democratic Presidential hopefuls Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have also proposed higher taxes on the wealthy. Warren’s “ultra-millionaire” tax would apply to people with more than $50 million in assets and is projected to raise $2.75 trillion over a 10-year period, according to her team. Sanders, meanwhile, has proposed hiking estate taxes for rich heirs.
Buffett’s comments come after Charlie Munger, his right-hand man, told CNBC earlier this month that states like California and Connecticut have been “stupid” for driving rich people away.