As written in U.S. News & World Report, “Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, among the richest people on the planet, has criticized the U.S. tax system as unfair, saying that he pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary. In response, Grover Norquist, leader of Americans for Tax Reform, a group that advocates for a national flat income tax, has issued a challenge to Buffett, as U.S. News contributor Peter Roff reports: voluntarily donate to the Treasury.”
“Should he choose to take up Norquist's proposition, Buffett's help would certainly be welcome; according to figures from the Treasury Department, the government receives a microscopic sum of gifts every year in comparison to the nation's $14.7 trillion debt. In FY 2010, the Treasury received $2.8 million in gift contributions to reduce the amount of debt held by the public. As of July 2011, the Treasury had received $2.4 million in FY 2011, putting it on track to take in roughly $2.9 million this fiscal year, or less than 0.00002 percent of the nation's total public debt.”
As reported by Michael Barbaro in The New York Times, “By 2006, Mr. Romney was traveling the country, all but openly campaigning for the White House as a fiscal conservative. Much to Mr. Norquist’s delight, Mr. Romney became the first Republican presidential candidate to sign his no-new-taxes pledge, in 2007 – something he had declined to do five years earlier when he ran for governor.
Mr. Norquist acknowledged that he had been deeply disappointed by Mr. Romney’s corporate tax overhaul. Unlike the governor, Mr. Norquist regards the changes as tax hikes.
‘They changed the laws and the rules to significantly raise taxes,’ Mr. Norquist said. ‘That is a tax increase.’
But he is willing to look past it now. ‘The important thing,’ Mr. Norquist said, ‘is that his stated position is that is won’t happen again.’”