Warren Buffett told a private gathering Chicago over the weekend that he is bullish on America. America thinks pretty highly of him, too.
The billionaire investor’s appearance over the weekend in Chicago for a Junior Achievement fund-raiser raised more than $1 million. Not even having his name affixed to a tax-increase proposal has tarnished his golden name, according to a recent survey conducted by Millionaire Corner.
More than a third of respondents with a net worth of at least $100,000 said their opinion of Buffett is more positive since his New York Times op-ed last August exhorting Congress to include the “mega-rich” when calling for “shared sacrifice.” “I know well many of the mega-rich and, by and large they are very decent people,” he wrote. “They love America and appreciate the opportunity this country has given them…Most wouldn’t mind being told to pay more in taxes as well, particularly when so many of their fellow citizens are truly suffering.”
This headline-grabbing piece inspired the Buffett Rule, one of the provisions of President Obama’s jobs and debt reduction plan, which would raise taxes on those who earn $1 million or more.
Buffett’s op-ed resonated more positively with men (38.3 percent) than with women (34.8 percent), while millionaires themselves were only slightly less prone to thinking more highly of him than those with less wealth. Buffett’s suggestion also played best with seniors ages 65 and up (41.3 percent) compared to 34.3 percent of boomers ages 51-60.
Conversely, senior corporate executives and business owners, as well as respondents under 40 were the most likely to say their opnion of Buffett has lessened. Of the 18.2 percent of respondents overall who said they now thought less of Buffett, 30.5 percent were senior corporate executives, a quarter were business owners, and 20.2 were under 40.
Just over 43 percent overall said that their opinion of Buffett hadn’t changed.
Respondents were less enthusiastic to a plan that would raise taxes on those who make $250,000 in income. Almost half (nearly 48 percent) found this idea appealing, far less than those willing to raise taxes on millionaires. There was also more opposition at this wealth level to the idea (38.1 percent).
Our survey found that Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 proposal, which calls for a 9 percent income tax, a 9 percent sales tax and a 9 percent corporate tax, had a higher approval rating. Forty-two percent approve of this proposal. Of these, business owners (56.6 percent) and senior corporate executives (58.6 percent) are most in favor of its.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.