Billionaire investor Warren Buffet is telling congressional Republicans it’s time to put up or shut up on deficit reduction.
For the past year, Republicans have doggedly insisted that the nation’s deficit is a crisis that eclipses high unemployment. But they’ve only been willing to reduce the deficit through drastic spending cuts — and have denounced Buffett for saying tax increases on the rich need to be part of the solution.
Last fall, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that if Buffett was feeling “guilty” about paying too little in taxes, he should “send in a check to the Treasury. Now, Buffet says he’s willing to do just that to pay down the national debt — if Republicans will do their part too:
The billionaire investor, in the new issue of Time magazine, says he will donate $1 to paying down the national debt for every dollar donated by a Republican in Congress. The only exception is Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell – for whom Buffett said he would go $3-to-$1.
The idea stems from a New York Times opinion piece Buffett wrote last August in which he said the rich ought to pay more taxes. It sparked an instant controversy, with some Washington conservatives calling on the 81-year-old “Oracle of Omaha” to voluntarily pay extra.
“It restores my faith in human nature to think that there are people who have been around Washington all this time and are not yet so cynical as to think that can’t be solved by voluntary contributions,” the Berkshire Hathaway CEO told Time…
McConnell certainly has the resources to meet Buffett’s challenge — he’s worth at least $10 million. Buffett went on to say that the U.S. needs a system that “takes very good care” of citizens who work hard but don’t happen to make millions in the financial sector.