I recently featured the video above of Bloomberg's Betty Liu interviewing Warren Buffett, and Reason's Ira Stoll writes about the interview in the article "Stop Coddling Warren Buffett
"Ms. Liu deserves some credit for being a rare interviewer of Mr. Buffett who, rather than simply fawning, challenges him. Other journalists sought out by Mr. Buffett would do their profession and the country a favor by following suit. Some possible follow-ups for next time: “What’s your justification for making your tax apply only to “people who shuffle money around all day” but not to athletes or CEOs? Would it apply to CEOs of banks, insurance companies, or other publicly traded financial firms? Are there any other precedents for taxing income differentially by occupation rather than by source? Is that something we want to encourage in the tax code? Wouldn’t it just make things more complex?
And, Mr. Buffett, if you feel undertaxed, why don’t you lead the effort to get a group of “ultra-rich” to write voluntary multi-billion-dollar checks to the government, rather than waiting for others to do it first? And if you feel undertaxed, why focus your tax increase on your taxable income, which is relatively small, as opposed to on your unrealized capital gains or the assets of your (and the Gates’s) charitable foundation, which are relatively large?
Stop coddling the super-rich, sure. But the place for the “coddling” of Mr. Buffett to stop isn’t the tax code, but the press corps. Ms. Liu’s questions were a good start, but there’s plenty of room for more."