'This Week' Transcript: The Giving Pledge

VIDEO: Billionairs on the Economy

There's been this increasing disparity between the rich and the poor, and we found out that a rising tide just lifted all yachts, not all boats.

Warren Buffett has been practically begging the country - begging the congress to tax him more. In fact many of the richest Americans like Buffett, Bill and Melinda gates and ted turner say they should pay higher tax.

BUFFETT: the rich are always going to say that you know, just give us the money and we'll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you. But that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on.

The debate over whether the rich should pay more taxes takes place outside Washington, DC as well. In Washington State for instance where Bill Gates Sr. has been passionately championing a new tax on the rich. Washington is one of seven states with no state income tax.

AMANPOUR: Proposition 1098 that was in Washington state to try to bring a wealth tax championed by Bill Gates, Sr., supported by Bill Gates, it failed.

BUFFETT: Right. Got beat pretty badly, but I really admire Bill Sr. for what he did on this. I mean there's a guy that's going out and trying to do something for his state and, unfortunately, lost.

AMANPOUR: What do you say though to the executives? One, apparently, was even a Microsoft executive who spent a lot of money trying to defeat that.

BUFFETT: they're not alone in those look at who fights in terms of the estate tax and in terms of higher tax rate. That's what K Streets all about in Washington. And, unfortunately, the politics is a game of push and pull and you get to push with money.

AMANPOUR: Are you disappointed that it got defeated?

B. GATES: I voted yes and I was hoping that it would pass. But that's done now.

AMANPOUR: If people aren't going to pay for the services that they need, how are those services going to get funded, do you think?

B. GATES: Well, taxes and spending have to match each other in the long run. There's many ways to tax, there's many ways to spend. That's all up to the voters. Some states, you rely on your legislators to do that. Some, you have lots of referendums.

AMANPOUR: Do you agree with the former Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan that all Bush era tax cuts should come to an end?

BUFFETT: no, I think -- or actually you might extend them further for the lower class, middle class, maybe upper middle class but I think that you should raises taxes on the very rich. I lived in periods where capital gains taxes were 39.6 percent, when earned income taxes were 70 percent and our economy did just fine.

AMANPOUR: why do you think there isn't there more of that kind of debate....

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