Warren Buffett’s 2010 adjusted gross income was $62,855,038 – $39,814,784 of which was taxable – and he paid only $6,938,744 in taxes, good for 17.4 percent of his taxable income.
The billionaire investor who has urged Congress to increase taxes on the ultra-rich revealed those figures to the congressional supercommitte tasked with finding more than $1 trillion in deficit savings over the next decade. Buffett said he’d go one step further and release his full federal tax returns if the panel could convince other wealthy Americans to do the same.
“If you could get other ultra rich Americans to publish their returns along with mine, that would be very useful to the tax dialogue and intelligent reform,” Buffett wrote in a letter to Rep. Tim Huelskamp that he forwarded to the deficit-cutting panel, and that was obtained by the Associated Press.
Buffett attached a note to the letter he passed along to the supercommittee that said, in part: “You may find some of the figures helpful in your deliberations.”
Huelskamp, a Kansas Republican, wrote to Buffett last week offering to release his own tax returns in exchange for those of the man who President Obama’s “Buffett Rule” is named after. “If your name is lent to a national policy and your story the justification for a major overhaul to the tax code, then the American people have a right to see the evidence guiding that policy,” Huelskamp wrote.
In his response, Buffett said that even an anonymous release of the tax returns of the 400 wealthiest Americans would help prove his point about how relatively little taxes some are paying and “would be a big step in informing legislators and the public of what needs to be done.”
This is fucking noble. Thank you, Mr. Buffett.