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Did Warren Buffett Just Blast Obama‘s ’Buffett Rule’ & Tax Philosophy?


"My program is to have a tax on ultra rich people who are paying very low tax rates, not just all the rich people . . ."

Warren Buffet just went on CNBC to talk about everything ranging from Obama's jobs plan to the much touted "Buffet Rule."

However, during the exchange between Buffet and CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin, something happened that has some critics wondering if the Berkshire Hathaway CEO might have just thrown "Obama under the bus.”

Eric Cantor's communication director Brad Dayspring, for example, has been tweeting nonstop since the conversation occurred:

On his YouTube channel, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) is using the CNBC clip, claiming that it shows that “Warren Buffet Seems To Disagree With President Obama’s ‘Buffet [sic] Rule’,” and that he “refuses to endorse the President’s Jobs Bill.”

To this, Mediate's Tommy Christopher responded: "Unfortunately for Cantor, there’s no 'there' there, as Buffett tells Andrew Ross Sorkin that he hasn’t seen all of the details of the President’s plan, so he doesn’t really know if he agrees with all of it. Stop the presses!"

"Characterizing Buffett’s very supportive statements as a 'refusal to endorse,' then, is about as fair as saying, 'Eric Cantor Opposes Reading Bills Before Deciding On Them!'" he added.

Still, it is worth pointing out that Buffett stressed multiple times that he's not for raising taxes on all the rich, at one point saying, "my program would be on the very high incomes that are taxed very low - not just high incomes, not just some guy making $50 million playing baseball, his taxes won't change."

Not just high income?

Watch the video here. The interesting moments begin at 2:22:

Andrew Ross Sorkin: Are you happy you said yes [in reference to the Obama administration approaching Buffet to seek permission to use his name]?

Buffet: Sure, I mean, I wrote about it.

Sorkin then asked if Buffet agreed with Obama's tax plan.

Buffet: I don't know what their program will be. But my program would be on the very high incomes that are taxed very low - not just high incomes, not just some guy making $50 million playing baseball, his taxes won't change. Make $50 million appearing on TV, his income won't change. But if they make a lot of money and they pay a very low tax rate, like me, it would be changed by a minimum tax that would only bring them up to what the other people pay.

ARS: Does that mean you disagree with Obama's new jobs proposal which will be paid for by raising taxes on taxes on houses with incomes over $250,000?

Buffet: No - that's another program that I won't be discussing. My program is to have a tax on ulta rich people who are paying very low tax rates, not just all the rich people, and it would probably apply to 50,000 people [emphasis added].

ARS: That means you disagree with the president?

Buffet: No no, you may disagree, but ... I will look at the overall plan that gets submitted to Congress, which they are voting on, and decide . . . do I like it, or do I not like it.

"And there's no question there will be parts I disagree with," Buffet said.

ARS: But are you a supporter of his jobs program right now?

Buffet: I am a supporter of the action he's trying to get Congress to join him in taking to really do something rather than sit there and go in different directions.

ARS: But you agree with all the details?

Buffet: I haven't looked at all the details.

At first Buffet said he would not comment on it, and then he said he would look at the final plan that was proposed to Congress and make his decision after that.

In the words of Business Insider: "So he didn't throw Obama under the bus - he straddled both sides of the road - but it sounds like he might not endorse the tax plan that Obama asks Congress to support."

Even if that's not "throwing Obama under the boss," that's still big.

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