Warren Buffett is backing Hillary Clinton for president, but that didn’t stop him from tossing around praise for her rivals in a round of interviews Tuesday.
The Oracle of Omaha told Bloomberg that he likes Donald Trump’s position on taxes, including the real estate mogul’s attacks on the so-called carried interest loophole that gives a break to hedge fund and private equity managers, allowing them to characterize some of their earnings as capital gains and pay a lower rate than if they had been treated as regular income.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if I agree with quite a bit of his economic program, just from what he’s said,” Buffett told Bloomberg Television. “He thinks the rich should pay more. He thinks that carried interest should be treated instead as regular income, just like it would be if they were investment advisers or anything of the sort. In terms of tax policy, I haven’t heard him say anything yet that I disagree with.”
Trump has derided hedge fund investors as “paper pushers” who are “getting away with murder” and has said he wants to lower tax rates for the middle class. Buffett has publicly called for higher taxes on anyone making more than $1 million a year, and he agrees that the carried interest loophole should be closed — as do Hillary Clinton and now Jeb Bush, who proposed eliminating the break as part of a tax reform proposal released Wednesday.
In other interviews Tuesday, Buffett offered kind words for Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the self-proclaimed socialist who is challenging Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. "I think Bernie Sanders has been a terrific campaigner. He campaigns exactly as I would campaign if I were a candidate," Buffett reportedly said. "I think he's run a model campaign. He's not going to get elected, but I admire him."