Warren Buffett thinks the Republican health care bill has an alternative purpose: to help the already-wealthy make even more money.
The famed investor and world’s second-richest person had some choice words about the legislation currently being debated by the Senate, suggesting it could be called the “Relief for the Rich Act” during an interview with PBS NewsHour Tuesday.
Buffett used his latest personal tax return to demonstrate the bill’s potential effect.
“I filed this on April 15. And if the Republican — well, if the bill that passed the House with 217 votes had been in effect this year, I would have saved — I can give you the exact figure. I would have saved $679,999, or over 17% of my tax bill,” Buffett said.
The Senate bill repeals a number of Affordable Care Act taxes that primarily affect wealthier Americans. An analysis from the Tax Policy Center found that almost half the benefits from those tax cuts would go to the top 1% of households, with an average tax bill decrease of $37,240 under the proposed legislation.
“There’s nothing ambiguous about that,” Buffett said. “I will be given a 17% tax cut. And the people it’s directed at are couples with $250,000 or more of income. You could entitle this, you know, Relief for the Rich Act or something . . . I have got friends where it would have saved them as much as — it gets into the $10-million-and-up figure.”
Buffett also pointed out that House and Senate members may be shoring up their own pockets, as their salaries near the minimum to receive a tax break.
“If they get to higher than $250,000, as a married couple, or $200,000 as a single person, they have given themselves a big, big tax cut, if they — if they voted for this,” Buffett said. Members of Congress make a base salary of at least $174,000.