You’ve certainly read by now Warren Buffet’s op-ed column in The New York Times “Stopping to coddle the super-rich”. Mr Buffett talked about raising the tax rate to the “rich” and “super-rich” in an effort to reduce the huge deficit in the US. While in Europe some members of the wealthy elite –like Maurice Lévy, chairman and chief executive of the French advertising firm Publicis or multimillionaire chairman of Ferrari Luca di Montezemolo– are echoing his words and urging their governments to raise their taxes or enact special levies to help reduce growing budget deficits, in the US the most conservative have started a campaign against Buffett, calling him a “hypocrite miser” and saying he does not voluntarily pay the taxes than he owes. Apparently, Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate holding he owns, has been in a years-long dispute over its federal tax bills, according for example to The New York Post.
For those who fear an orgy of Federal Government spending, this has been the perfect excuse. Fox News commentators have called him “socialist” and his op-ed part of a renovated “class warfare”. Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post highlights Mr Buffett “cares more about shilling for President Obama –who’s practically made socking ‘millionaires and billionaires’ his re-election theme song– than about kicking in more himself.”
So bear in mind that Warren Buffett, the Omaha oracle, the super-investor, the richest man in the world in 2008, is for some conservatives a socialist, and a dangerous one. He believes that the rich should be taxed more and the poor and middle class less, something that can play havoc in the US, according to a minority in the Congress.