Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said Tuesday that he would release his tax returns if NewsCorp Chairman Rupert Murdoch does too.
Buffett's finances became a political target after President Obama made the so-called "Buffett rule" one of the cornerstones of his tax-reform plan. The policy would ensure that the richest Americans would not be able to take deductions that reduce the percentage at which they are taxed below that of middle-class Americans.
The idea stemmed from an exchange that Buffett had with Obama in which he claimed his secretary was taxed at a higher rate than he was.
Republicans, who have rejected the plan, have called for Buffet to release his tax returns, a sentiment echoed recently in a Wall Street Journal editorial. The Journal is owned by NewsCorp.
“Buffett has bitten off more than he can chew; he’s afraid to show the proof,” said freshman Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), who wrote Buffett a letter demanding that he turn over financial documents.
Asked about the Republican requests and Journal editorial, Buffett agreed to turn over the documents, according to Reuters. But he asked that Murdoch return the gesture in kind.
“Ask the Journal’s boss Rupert Murdoch,” he said to Fortune magazine editor Carol Loomis at a conference run by the magazine. “He and I will meet at Fortune. ... I’m ready tomorrow morning.”
Coincidentally, Huelskamp also offered to produce his tax returns if Buffett did in an interview last week with Fox News.
Despite Republican jabbing, Buffett doesn't seem particularly bashful about turning over his returns. In fact, he gave a copy of the return to Charlie Rose during an interview last month.
Later at the Fortune conference, Buffett continued to advocate for the tax rule, joking that he had always “dreamed of having a tax named after me.”