Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Tea Party, appeared on Bloomberg TV this morning to slam investor Warren Buffett for a New York Times Op-Ed insisting that mega-billionaires -- like himself -- should pay more taxes. In response to the Op-Ed, titled “Stop Coddling The Super Rich,” Walsh called Buffett “coddled” and said higher taxes on the wealthy will do nothing to erase the debt, and may cause another recession. Here are highlights from the interview.
On Buffett’s Op-Ed:
“I think Mr. Buffett needs a day job. He’s got too much time on his hands. This is ridiculous. He’s so disingenuous. He’s heating up his rhetoric because his support for the president is so desperate.”
On why raising taxes won’t solve the deficit:
“We have about 250,000 millionaires and billionaires. President Obama wants to increase their taxes 13 percent. That’ll add about $26 billion to the government pot. You’re talking about trillions of dollars worth of deficits, a $14 trillion debt. He knows darn well and the president knows darn well that you can’t tax millionaires and billionaires and do anything about the deficit or the debt. Most Americans see through this.”
On why Tea Partiers are preventing the debt from growing even more:
"Republicans have been talking about reforming the tax code for years, and we will do that. But thank God for these troublesome Tea Party Republicans. Just imagine how life would be different if we weren’t in Congress. We’d have raised the debt ceiling without even thinking about it a few months ago. Maybe that would have made Mr. Buffett happy.”
On why the Tea Party shouldn’t be blamed for the credit downgrade:
“We lost our credit rating because this country is in debt. We lost our credit rating because this president has increased the debt $4 trillion in two years. He knows that, Warren Buffett knows that, and that’s what the credit agencies told us. If it weren’t for these troublesome Tea Party Republicans, we’d have raised the debt ceiling and we’d be spending away our kids’ future every day.”
On the budget-cutting super committee:
“My expectations aren’t high. The debt deal didn’t do much. It disappointed me that we formed this super committee to do the work Congress should do. I hope they can come together on something, because if they can’t, there’ll be automatic cuts to defense and Medicare, and I don’t think anybody up on Capitol Hill wants that.”
On why the wealthy don’t deserve a tax increase:
“If you raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires, you’ll do nothing to address the deficit, and you might put this economy over another cliff. These millionaires and billionaires are the folks that try to create jobs and help grow the economy. The last thing we want to do is increase taxes on them now.”
On the right way to change the tax system:
“Everybody gets ticked off about GE paying no taxes. Look, we have a complicated, convoluted tax system, and only big corporations and wealthy individuals like Warren Buffett can take advantage of it. We need to simplify and flatten the code, get rid of all the loopholes, so that the wealthiest pay their fair share. We just don’t want to increase taxes.”
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