Warren Buffett, the inspiration for the Obama administration’s push for higher taxes on the wealthy, agreed to a different kind of income redistribution on Wednesday.
According to the Justice Department, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway consented to paying an $896,000 fine for not telling regulators about a 2013 investment in USG Corp.
Justice said that failure to notify is a violation of a 1976 law that imposes notification and waiting period requirements on transactions above a certain size. Under the law, civil penalties of up to $16,000 per day can be imposed against violators.
Justice said it would file a civil antitrust lawsuit in Washington on Wednesday, but also said it would propose the $896,000 settlement, and said the company has agreed to that settlement.
In 2012, the Obama administration made a push for a “Buffett rule” in the tax code that would impose a minimum 30 percent tax rate on the income of high-income earners. Officials called it the Buffett rule because Buffett once said various loopholes allow him to pay a lower marginal tax rate on his income than his secretary.
Democrats in Congress then tried to pass legislation calling for a minimum 30 percent tax rate on all income above $2 million, but it went no where in light of Republican opposition.