Buffett Challenges Murdoch to a Game of Tax Return Chicken

The billionaire investor takes on the media mogul over taxing the rich

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Warren Buffett has earned his share of critics for his proposal to increase taxes on the super-rich--a plan the Obama administration has dubbed the "Buffett Rule." But he didn't shy away from his detractors during a Fortune conference on Tuessday in California. When asked about the Wall Street Journal editorial board's recent request for the Berkshire Hathaway CEO to publicly release his income tax returns, CNNMoney reports, Buffett responded, "I think it might be a terrific idea if they would just ask their boss, Rupert Murdoch, and he and I will meet at Fortune, and we'll both give you our tax returns and you can publish them," Buffett said, adding, "I'm ready tomorrow morning." As far as we can tell, Murdoch has yet to comment on the tax return brinksmanship.

In late September, a Journal editorial urged Buffett to "let everyone else in on his secrets of tax avoidance" by releasing his returns:

Going only by Mr. Buffett's unverified claims, his federal taxes in 2010 amounted to 17.4% of his taxable income, probably because much of his income was from capital gains and dividends. It's also likely that he took significant deductions for charitable donations. No doubt the millions of Americans who could end up paying more because of this claim would love to see the details.

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