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Buffett calls for higher tax rates on U.S. super-rich

08-16-2011 09:10 BJT

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- The wealthiest Americans should pay more income tax and make sacrifice to bring the nation's fiscal house in order, Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, said on Monday.

"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," Buffett said in an article carried on Monday's The New York Times.

The renowned investor noted that he paid 17.4 percent of his taxable income for the federal income and payroll taxes last year, and the rate is even lower than the other 20 staff members working in his office.

With the nation's debt surging to an unsustainable level, experts charged that the super-rich Americans did not make enough sacrifice for the nation's austerity efforts, as many of them are allowed to classify the major chunk of their income as "carried interest" and get a bargain 15 percent tax rate.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, tax rates for the rich Americans were far higher, he mentioned in the article entitled "Stop Coddling the Super-Rich".

In 1992, the top 400 wealthiest Americans had aggregate taxable income of 16.9 billion U.S. dollars and paid federal taxes of 29.2 percent on that sum. However, in 2008, the aggregate income of the highest 400 soared to 90.9 billion dollars, but the rate paid had fallen to 21.5 percent, he said.

"My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It's time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice," Buffett said.

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Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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