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Warren Buffett: 'My Side Has Nuclear Bomb' In Tax Code Struggle

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 01/26/2012 4:46 pm Updated: 01/26/2012 5:02 pm

Warren Buffett Taxes

Warren Buffett has a lot that his assistant Debbie Bosanek does not, including a figurative arsenal to fight for lower taxes.

After ABC interviewer Bianna Golodryga cited claims by Republicans that the tax code debate is a form of class warfare, Buffett admitted that, while he wouldn't use that term, the tax code is inherently "a struggle." The problem, however, is that people like his assistant lack the artillery to compete.

"If this is a war, my side has had the nuclear bomb," Buffett told ABC News. "We've got K Street and lobbyists. We've got money on our side in terms of contributions."

"Deb doesn't have the lobbyists. She doesn't have anyone remotely representing her."

The billionaire investor, who has become one of the most prominent advocates of raising taxes on the wealthy, told ABC News last night that part of the problem with the U.S. system is that typical Americans, like his own assistant, have a harder time being heard than the elite.

Bosanek, now famously the subject of a New York Times op-ed by Buffett, made headlines this week when she was invited to sit next to Michelle Obama during President Obama's State of the Union address.

Buffett's remark echos previous comments, such as when he described the battle between rich and poor as "a rout," his side victorious. The tax issue was highlighted again this week when Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his tax returns. Romney's returns indicate that in 2010, he paid taxes at about a 14 percent rate -- even lower than Buffett.

Romney, who's worth a minimum estimate of $250 million, contends that due to charitable contributions and corporate taxes his rate "is really closer to 45 or 50 percent."

It's not that the rich are entirely opposed to handing over a bigger chunk of change to the government. A recent survey found that most of those making seven figures or more say they should pay more in taxes. On the whole, the majority of Americans agree.

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