Ex-MGM chief to Republicans: accept "Buffett Rule"

Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:21pm EDT

Los Angeles (TheWrap.com) - Harry Sloan is a Republican, but you wouldn't know it from his remarks at TheWrap's media leadership conference, TheGrill, on Monday night.

The former Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer chief and the head of the media fund Global Eagle said not only can he live with higher taxes, but he's even told Republican politicians to stop fighting to keep tax rates low on the country's wealthiest citizens.

"You guys are giving millionaires and billionaires a really bad name," Sloan told the audience at Beverly Hills' SLS Hotel.

He said he believed that most well-heeled people would be willing to do their part to help bring down the national debt. That means accepting the so-called "Buffet Rule," named for billionaire Warren Buffett, which would hike taxes on the wealthy as part of a $3 trillion deficit reduction plan.

Sloan said he felt that the issue of whether or not to end the Bush tax cuts was decided when Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election.

His cohort on Monday's keynote speech, Terry Semel, the former head of Yahoo and Warner Brothers and the CEO of Windsor Media, echoed Sloan's disappointment with Obama.

Unlike Sloan, Semel's disillusionment had more to do with Obama's foreign policy -- in particular his decision to keep troops in Iraq and Afghanistan while getting involved in Libya.

"I just wish our country would stop engaging in all these different wars that we've been involved in," Semel said.

Starting with Viet Nam and continuing down to the present day, Semel said the cost in blood and treasure could have been spared if "we would think about the fact that we didn't win any of these wars."

Semel did not indicate if he would be supporting Obama. Sloan, who supported John McCain in the 2008 election, said he was throwing his weight behind Mitt Romney.