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Will Smith 'Very Supportive' Of Buffett Rule

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 05/09/2012 2:34 pm Updated: 05/09/2012 10:58 pm

Will

The Fresh Prince just joined the league of rich people who say they should be taxed more.

Actor and 1990s hip-hop phenomenon Will Smith recently told the Associated Press that he is "very supportive" of the Buffett Rule -- an ultimately-failed proposal inspired by billionaire investor Warren Buffett and touted by President Obama that aims to tax wealthy Americans at rates that are equal to or higher than those of middle class earners.

"America has been fantastic to me," he told the AP. "I have no problem paying whatever I need to pay to keep my country growing."

The Buffett rule would have taxed millionaires at higher minimum rates of up to 30 percent, but a partisan Senate vote defeated the measure last month. Buffett generated support for the idea of raising taxes on the rich after he wrote an op-ed in The New York Times in August noting that he paid taxes at a lower rate than his secretary. The proposed measure has gained support from the majority of Americans, according to an April Gallup poll.

If the Senate hadn't voted down the rule, Smith likely would've seen his tax bill go up significantly. The actor, who grossed about $20 million from his most recent movie "Men In Black III," averages $36 million in earnings a year, according to Forbes' Celebrity 100, an annual list of the world's most powerful celebrities.

Will Smith is not the only super-rich celeb to get jiggy with the Buffett Rule; other top earners who have come out in favor of the policy include hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson, Daphne Foundation founder Abigail Disney and Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons. Like Buffett, Tilson also admitted that he pays taxes at a considerably lower rate than his secretary. And with a net worth of more than $300 million, Simmons said last year that he sends a lower income share to the government than every single one of his employees.

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