Tags: Buffett | fiscal | cliff | economy

Buffett: 'Resilient Economy' Can Survive Fall over Cliff

By Dan Weil   |   Wednesday, 14 Nov 2012 04:05 PM

President Barack Obama should insist on a tax increase for the wealthy, even if that triggers a leap off the fiscal cliff, says legendary investor Warren Buffett.

The economy can survive a two-month period to reach an agreement over the $607 billion in tax increases and spending cuts now set for Jan. 1, he tells CNN.

"We're not going to permanently cripple ourselves," says the Berkshire Hathaway CEO. "We have a very resilient economy. The fact that [lawmakers] can't get along for the month of January is not going to torpedo the economy."

Editor's Note: How You Lost $85,000 During the Last Decade. See the Numbers.

Buffett scoffs at the notion that capital gains, dividend, and corporate taxes can’t be increased without doing major damage.

"I lived through the 1950s and 60s with rates far higher for capital gains taxes and corporate taxes, and our economy boomed.”

Tax rates don’t affect investment decisions, he says. “Never in 60 years of managing money have I come up with an idea and had someone say 'I'd do it but the tax rates are too high'."

Buffett sees improvement ahead for the economy and labor market. "We will gain a lot of jobs in the next four years. I can promise you that."

The point about taxes and investment is a strong one. It hardly makes sense for an investor to accept a nearly-zero return in a bank account, just to avoid paying the government a larger percentage of a much bigger return.

Editor's Note: How You Lost $85,000 During the Last Decade. See the Numbers.

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