New York's billionaire mayor doesn't have much use for Warren Buffett's "theatrics" when it comes to having the wealthy pay more taxes.
Michael Bloomberg, worth an estimated $19.5 billion, told NBC's David Gregory on Sunday's “Meet the Press” that he isn't impressed by President Obama's class warfare tactics, including Warren Buffett's claim he is not paying enough in taxes.
"You can't define what's middle class, what is wealthy, what is poor," Bloomberg said. "Every time you have a jump, people play games to get on one side or another. And I think it's not fair to say that wealthy people don't pay their fair share. They pay a much higher percentage of their income. They have a higher rate than people who make less."
Bloomberg then zeroed in on Buffett, the man Forbes says is the second richest American with a treasure worth $39 billion, telling Gregory:
"The Buffett thing is just theatrics. If Warren Buffett made his money from ordinary income rather than capital gains, his tax rate would be a lot higher than his secretary's. And, in fact, a very small percentage of people in this country pay a big chunk on their taxes."
Bloomberg says he likes a tax raise for "everybody" of about "2 or 3 percent."
Asked if he has any aspirations to run as a third party candidate for president in 2012, the Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent says he is "certainly" not going to be one.
But Bloomberg quickly and curiously mentioned that there is a real possibility of a third party candidate emerging.
"But if somebody wants to run, you know, there's this organization that's going to be able to get you on the ballot in all 50 states," Bloomberg said, adding "That's good for democracy."
So what's this organization Bloomberg is touting?
It's called Americans Elect 2012
and is seeking to create the first Internet primary to chose a presidential candidate who will be able to run under the Americans Elect label in all 50 states.
The group has serious financial backing and has recently drawn praise from New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who coincidentally has been promoting Bloomberg as a viable third party candidate.
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