Warren Buffett: I’ll Release My Tax Return if Rupert Murdoch Does

Tue Oct 4, 2011 7:38am EDT

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett said he would release his tax return if News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch did so, too.

Speaking at a Fortune magazine conference in Laguna Niguel, Calif., on Tuesday, the respected financier was asked about his proposal to tax the super-rich, which has attracted criticism from conservative circles.

One of the critics was the Wall Street Journal, which in an editorial has called on Buffett to make public his tax return.

“Ask the Journal’s boss Rupert Murdoch,” Buffett shot back to the question from Fortune editor Carol Loomis, saying he would release his return if Murdoch released his.

“He and I will meet at Fortune... I’m ready tomorrow morning.”

Buffett continued to defend his proposal to increase taxes on the super-rich -- the so-called “Buffett Rule” -- joking that he always “dreamed of having a tax named after me.”

He said that the increased tax rate would apply to those who make millions from dividends and capital gains – that income is taxed at 15 percent – and not those who make outsized salaries.

He said it was a matter of fairness and logic. “To exclude a few of the super-rich who can contribute $20 billion extra is a terrible, terrible mistake,” he said.

Turning to the European financial crisis, Buffett said its outcome will depend on the European Union's ability to find a political leader who is “willing and able to act in a big way.”

He said that the turmoil in Europe is due to lack of political leadership, and the ability of the Continent to emerge unscathed will depend on that.

“Markets are stronger than government,” he said. “How effectively they get through it in the next 12 months will depend on a unified strucutre at the top that is willing and able to act in big big way.

He also derided Europe’s decision to unify their currency into the Euro, saying, ‘If you have ability to print own money, don’t let anyone take that away from you.”

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