Warren Buffett: Tax the Rich

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Legendary investor Warren Buffett, chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, wrote in an opinion editorial on Monday that it's time to stop coddling the super-rich and to increase the taxes they pay.

Buffett wrote his opinions in an article for The New York Times in which he called on Congress to structure a proper budget that would force the top 0.3% of income earners to accept "shared sacrifice."

"While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks," Buffett said.

Buffett said that he paid only 17.4% of his taxable income, which was lower than what the average middle-class American must pony up. An income earner who makes $8,500 to $34,500 is in the 15% tax bracket; $34,500 to $83,600 reaches the 25% bracket; and $83,600 to $174,400 falls in the 28% bracket. (2010 IRS Tax Tables)

Congress launched a bipartisan deficit-reduction panel last week to cut spending, decrease the deficit and increase the amount the U.S. Treasury can borrow. The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is a 12-member panel created by the budget legislation politicians passed on Aug. 2 to raise the debt ceiling.

The agreement outlined some $2.4 trillion in cuts and a debt limit increase of $2.1 trillion. The panel was appointed by party leaders in the House and Senate.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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