It has been a few months since billionaire Warren Buffett called on President Obama to “stop coddling the super-rich” and raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
His “Buffett Rule” sparked some backlash, especially from Republicans, who suggested that Buffett should cut the U.S. government a check if he’s so eager to pay his fair share of the nation’s debts. Well, Buffett tells TIME magazine that he’s willing to do just that. He’s willing to match one-for-one any donation by a Republican member of Congress — except for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, he gets three for one.
“We need a tax system that takes very good care of people who just really aren’t as well adapted to the market system, and to capitalism, but are nevertheless just as good citizens, and are doing things that are of use in society,” Buffett told TIME’s Rana Foroohar.
Buffett’s bold suggestion led to some bizarre backlash last fall. After President Obama embraced the “Buffett Rule,” as it became known, some conservatives demanded he release his tax returns if his views on taxes were to serve as the basis for the administration’s policy. But Buffett had already done that.
In the TIME interview — which is available online Thursday and on newsstands Friday — Buffett also took a swipe at Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. He called Gingrich’s criticism of Occupy Wall Street protesters unfair and questioned Mitt Romney’s business tactics at Bain Capital.
“I don’t like what private equity firms do in terms of taking out every dime they can and leveraging [companies] up so that they really aren’t equipped, in some ways, for the future.”
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com