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Billionaire Warren Buffett is urging U.S. lawmakers to raise taxes on America’s super-rich to help cut the budget deficit, saying such a move will not hurt investments.

In a guest opinion piece in the New York Times, “Stop Coddling the Super-Rich,” the 80-year-old accused Congress of being “billionaire friendly.”

“Our leaders have asked for ‘shared sacrifice,’ he wrote. ‘But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched. My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress.

“It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.”

Buffett, one of the world’s richest men and chairman of conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc, said his federal tax bill last year was $6,938,744.

“That sounds like a lot of money,” he wrote. “But what I paid was only 17.4 per cent of my taxable income — and that’s actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 per cent to 41 per cent and averaged 36 per cent,’ he said.

He added: “Americans are rapidly losing faith in the ability of Congress to deal with our country’s fiscal problems. Only action that is immediate, real and very substantial will prevent that doubt from morphing into hopelessness.”

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