What do Chris Rock and Warren Buffett have in common, besides that they both guest-edited that special issue of Vanity Fair?
They both want lawmakers to raise taxes on the rich.
The comedian of Nurse Betty and Dogma fame told the Associated Press Wednesday that he could stand to pay higher taxes.
"I can pay higher taxes and people can have jobs or I can pay lower taxes and I have my kids' teacher asking me for a loan because she's going to lose her house, which is true," said Rock, who is worth an estimated $70 million, according to celebertynetworth.com. "Stuff like that happens, so I'm going to lose the money no matter what."
Rock joins Buffett and other super-wealthy celebrities in calling to raise taxes on himself. Buffett brought the issue into the spotlight when he penned an op-ed in The New York Times in August, arguing that the super-rich should pay taxes at a rate that is the same or higher than that of the middle class. Obama's "Buffett Rule," inspired by the billionaire investor, became a major selling point of the American Jobs Act and State of the Union address.
Buffett's fellow billionaire and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has also recently spoken out in favor of raising taxes on the rich. In October he told ABC News that he's "generally in favor of the idea that the rich should pay somewhat more" than everyone else in taxes.
Along with them, Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons has also come out in support of leveling the playing field between the rich and the poor -- he went as far as offering to pay to clean up Zuccotti Park late last year in order to prevent a confrontation between Occupy protesters and police. In addition, Russell's friend Jay-Z visited the park and even tried to market Occupy-themed t-shirts.
The notion of raising taxes on the rich also has some more surprising supporters. Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve Chairman and a registered Republican, said in October that he favors letting those tax cuts for the wealthy passed under George W. Bush expire.
It seems most Americans agree the tax code should be reformed to benefit the middle class. More than half of Americans say they think that capital gains -- or profits from investments and property -- should be taxed at the same rate as work, according to a recent CBS/NYT poll. Capital gains typically account for a larger percentage of the wealthy's income.
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