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Warren Buffett to Congress: Stop 'Coddling' Billionaires

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- When it comes to taxes, Warren Buffett, one of the country's richest men, says that he and other high-earning Americans need not be “coddled” by Congress, and that “most wouldn’t mind being told to pay more.”

In an op-ed published in The New York Times, the Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO says, “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.”

“Last year my federal tax bill -- the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf -- was $6,938,744,” Buffet writes. “That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income -- and that’s actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.”

Buffett calls on the Super Committee to raise tax rates on the roughly 240,000 American households which netted more than $1 million in income in 2009.

“I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains,” Buffett says in The New York Times. “And for those who make $10 million or more -- there were 8,274 in 2009 -- I would suggest an additional increase in rate.”

“I know well many of the mega-rich and, by and large, they are very decent people,” Buffett writes. “They love America and appreciate the opportunity this country has given them. Many have joined the Giving Pledge, promising to give most of their wealth to philanthropy. Most wouldn’t mind being told to pay more in taxes as well, particularly when so many of their fellow citizens are truly suffering.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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