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Stop 'Coddling' Rich People, Billionaire Buffett Tells US

Warren Buffett is interviewed in the White House Briefing Room in Washington, July 18, 2011

The second-richest person in the United States, investor Warren Buffett, has repeated his plea for the government to collect more taxes from the country's "super-rich" as one way to cut the government budget deficit and debt.

Writing in Monday's New York Times, Buffett said the wealthiest Americans have been "coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress."

Buffett, who has a net worth estimated at $45 billion, said last year he paid nearly $7 million in federal taxes - but that represented 17.4 percent of his taxable income and was a lower percentage than anyone else in his office who made less money.

Many wealthy investors like Buffett pay lower percentage rates of taxes because profits from most investments are taxed at lower rates than the income from a job. Republicans and other opponents of more taxes argue that raising tax rates on the richest Americans will keep them from investing and creating jobs.

Buffett said lower tax rates on the rich have not increased the rate of job creation. He said in his 60 years of working with investors, he has never seen someone "shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain."