Investing legend Warren Buffett raised some eyebrows on Monday when he proposed an even higher minimum tax rate for America’s most wealthy citizens.
The man behind the massively successful Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKA)(NYSE:BRKB) is something of an oddity among the super-rich. Currently number two on the Forbes list of the 400 richest people in America, he routinely makes headlines for being both one of the world’s most respected investors and one of the most philanthropic billionaires.
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In 2006, he committed to give away 99 percent of his wealth to philanthropy. More recently, and perhaps more controversially, he has made headlines for the tax plan that bears his name, the Buffett Rule, which would apply a minimum tax rate of 30 percent to individuals who made more than $1 million per year.
Buffett expanded on the proposed tax policy in a New York Times op-ed published on Monday. The tax rate on wealthy Americans was put front and center during the presidential election between candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. Each came down on decidedly different sides of the issue.
Romney and many others in the Republican camp want to keep tax rate increases off the table in any policy discussion, even those regarding the fiscal cliff. Obama and many in the Democratic camp stand behind the idea that revenue increases are a necessary part of any deficit reduction plan, and tax rate hikes on America’s wealthiest citizens must be part of that revenue.