Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett today announced he had written a donation check to the U.S. Treasury in order to personally comply with “The Buffett Rule.” In addition, all investors in Berkshire Hathaway will have 30 percent of their capital gains and dividends withheld by the company and sent directly to Washington.
Championed by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats, the Buffett Rule is a proposed 30 percent tax on all income over $1 million.
The Oracle of Omaha will personally unveil a three-foot by six-foot donation check at an afternoon press conference on the Treasury steps. According to a statement released in advance of the event, Buffett said, “As I wrote in the New York Times, ‘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.’ Today, I, Warren Buffett, am personally getting serious about shared sacrifice.”
The White House praised Buffett’s action. “Let me be clear,” said President Obama. “This puts to rest any GOP-driven allegations that Warren Buffett was a hypocrite on the tax issue or was just engaging in a bit of moral preening.”
Because the federal tax code is already steeply progressive, the Buffett Rule, if enacted, would raise just $31 billion in tax revenue over the next decade, according to the Joint Tax Committee. To put that in context, that is less than one-tenth of one percent of federal spending over the next ten years.
Click here for a printable PDF and a photo from the press conference.