Warren Buffett has a message for Grover Norquist: Higher taxes won't keep the super-rich from trying to make money.
In an op-ed for The New York Times published Monday, Buffett asks readers to imagine they've been offered a great investment opportunity. The Oracle of Omaha concludes from his decades of experience in the investment world that most wouldn't shy away from an opportunity just because they might have to pay more in taxes.
"Only in Grover Norquist’s imagination does such a response exist," Buffett writes.
Norquist, a conservative activist and lobbyist, is most famous for his pledge not to raise taxes for any reason. Until recently, the pledge was somewhat of a sacred document among Republican lawmakers with almost every GOP member of Congress having signed it. In recent weeks, as the threat of the fiscal cliff has loomed larger, many prominent Republicans have backed off their support of the pledge. If lawmakers can't come to a deficit agreement by the end of the year, the fiscal cliff -- a combination of tax increases and spending cuts -- could push the economy into recession.
Buffett argues in the op-ed, that solving the country's deficit problem and getting the economy on track requires raising taxes on the rich.
This isn't the first time Buffett has publicly expressed support for raising taxes on the wealthy. In a 2011 NYT op-ed, Buffett asked lawmakers to stop coddling the super-rich by offering them low tax rates. The piece inspired a proposal to raise taxes on the super-wealthy dubbed "the Buffett Rule" that ultimately failed in the Senate.