Buffet Calls Murdoch Out

You wanna piece of me, Rupert? Bring it!

In my previous post, Humpty Dumpty’s Class War Flunkies, I said this about the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet:

As part of his campaign to grow the economy and reduce the deficit, Obama is proposing to tax millionaires and billionaires at the same rate as the middle class, the so-called “Buffet Rule.” Named after the legendary investor Warren Buffet, Buffet believes that it is unfair that he and his fellow billionaires, whose income is derived primarily from dividends and capital gains, are taxed at half the rate the average American worker pays. Apparently, 75% of Americans agree.

Credit Buffet for displaying a sense of fairness on the tax issue. Even more praiseworthy is his philanthropic works, highlighted by his pledge to give more than 99% of his wealth to charity. Contrast his compassion for the plight of the less fortunate and the struggling working class with our previous president, George W. Bush. Who can forget W’s clueless response to a woman who said she was working three jobs: “Uniquely American,” he praised. “I mean, that is fantastic that you are doing that…”

As expected, the proposed Buffet Rule sent the Ruling Class into paroxysms of outrage. They immediately sent their minions out to propagate their ‘Why punish the successful?” narrative, as if everyone were born into the ranks of teh super-rich like the Koch Brothers, or will win the Super-Lotto any day now.  At the forefront of the howling  mob was the Rupert Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal. As CNN reports it:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Warren Buffett has a message for Rupert Murdoch and the Wall Street Journal: Sure, I’ll release my tax returns, if you do too.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an editorial that asked Buffett to disclose his tax returns. The piece, “Mr. Buffett’s Tax Secrets,” took issue with Buffett’s plan to hike taxes on some of the super-rich.

The Journal’s conservative editorial board doesn’t think that’s a great idea, saying that Buffett should instead “educate the public” by letting “everyone else in on his secrets of tax avoidance by releasing his tax returns.”

Asked about the editorial on Tuesday at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, Buffett said he was willing to release his tax returns, on one condition:

“I think it might be a terrific idea if they would just ask their boss, Rupert Murdoch, and he and I will meet at Fortune, and we’ll both give you our tax returns and you can publish them,” Buffett said.

“I’m ready tomorrow morning,” he added.

I’m really beginning to like this guy.

(Read the full transcript of Buffet’s interview at the Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit here.)


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