Buffett Challenges Republicans on Donations, Time Says

Thursday, 12 January 2012 09:10 AM

(Updates with Buffett comment in fifth paragraph.)

Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Warren Buffett will match voluntary contributions by congressional Republicans to the U.S. government, he told Time magazine.

Buffett, who has said the tax system favors the rich, made his offer after Republicans, including U.S. Representative Michelle Bachmann, suggested he donate his fortune to the government.

“If we go to a contribution system, I’ll match the total contribution made by all Republican members of Congress and I’ll even go 3-for-1 with McConnell,” Buffett said of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican, in an interview with the magazine.

Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc., supports President Barack Obama, a Democrat. Buffett has called for tax increases on the wealthiest Americans and said he benefits from provisions that aren’t as helpful to the middle class. McConnell has said tax increases on job creators would be counterproductive.

“It’s kind of touching, this faith he has in the American public, with a $1.2 or $1.3 trillion deficit, that he thinks Americans are so wonderfully spirited that they would just solve it all by contributions,” Buffett said. That’s a tax policy “only a Republican could come up with.”

--Editors: Dan Kraut, Peter Eichenbaum

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Frye in New York at afrye@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net

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