In a wide-ranging interview with ABC's Christiane Amanpour broadcast Sunday, a roundtable of billionaires said they want tax rates upped for themselves and other wealthy Americans.
"I think that you should raise taxes on the very rich," said Warren Buffett, who is CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and has a net worth of about $47 billion. "I lived in periods where capital gains taxes were 39.6 percent, when earned income taxes were 70 percent, and our economy did just fine."
He later criticized wealthy Americans who lobby to keep their own tax rates low and said the lower, middle and "maybe" the upper-middle classes should have their breaks extended.
"There's no sacrifice among the rich ... It [wealth] hasn't 'trickled,'" he said. "A rising tide has lifted all yachts, but the rowboats have been left behind.
"Unfortunately, politics is a game of push and pull,
and you get to push with money ... Look at who fights in terms of the
estate tax and in terms of higher tax rates. That's what K Street is
all about in Washington."
"It hasn't been in the interest of the people in Washington to get as
riled up about [these issues] as they get riled up about other things," he said.
CNN founder Ted Turner agreed, giving his view on January's controversial Supreme Court ruling that blocked a ban on corporate political spending.
"I was opposed to [it]," he said. "The richest will be able to buy the elections, and I don't think that ought to be the case. I think that our government should be run by the people and for the people, that democracy is important. I'm very concerned about that."
The interviews also featured Bill and Melinda Gates and Tom Steyer of Farallon Capital Management.