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Last month, in an op-ed in The New York Times, billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett addressed misconceptions about investment attitudes of some of America’s richest citizens. Buffett’s message to Congress: Stop coddling the super-rich.

“Back in the 1980s and 1990s, tax rates for the rich were far higher, and my percentage rate was in the middle of the pack. According to a theory I sometimes hear, I should have thrown a fit and refused to invest because of the elevated tax rates on capital gains and dividends. I didn’t refuse, nor did others. I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain.”

Fox News reports opposed Buffett’s suggestion, as well as President Obama’s plans to close America’s deficit, with such comments as:

  • “He invoked the corporate jet class, so that’s a whole new category of people to demonize, right?”
  • “The president wants to raise the top two income tax rates, which would raise about $700 billion over ten years. You know what? That’s only a tiny fraction of the federal government’s deficit.”
  • “Warren Buffett, writing about how the rich should pay more taxes, but saying not a word about the half of the American households that pay no income taxes at all.”
  • “Is that fair? When half the population pays absolutely nothing?”
  • “Many of them get so much money in tax credits that it wipes out any social security taxes or medicare taxes they’re paying. They are absolutely on a free ride.”
  • “Poor families in the United States are not what they used to be. 99% of them have a refrigerator.”
  • “It is all out war on the productive class in our society for the benefit of the moocher class.”

Political satirist Jon Stewart had a heyday with Fox News and Republican comments. On the Daily Show, Stewart said:

“So, closing a few corporate tax loopholes and returning the top marginal tax rate to the ‘90s economic boom time levels is class warfare. And by the way, it totally wouldn’t even work. $700 billion of raised revenue over ten years aint even worth the effort. But if it’s revenue you want, there does happen to be another place, instead of the rich, that you can look for it. The solution to our economic problem isn’t taxing the rich. The bottom 50% of Americans, while they already pay excise and payroll and medicare taxes, need to pay more. They can spare it. After all, they control 2.5% of our nation’s wealth. The bottom 50% of this country have $1.45 trillion in everything they own on this Earth. What do you say we take half of that, that’d be, oh, look at this, $700 billion. So raising the income tax rate on the top two percent of earners would raise $700 billion, but taking half of everything the bottom 50% have in this country would do the same. I see the problem here. We need to take ALL of what the bottom 50% have. All of it!”

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

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