BUFFETT: I think that it hasn't been to the interest of the people in Washington to get as riled up about that as they get riled up about other things. You know, we're going to raise $2.2 trillion this year or something like that. Nine hundred billion will come from individual income taxes. Nine hundred billion will come from payroll taxes. So the payroll taxes become 40 percent of our total revenue just like the income tax. And people that talk about how the rich pay their share and all that sort of thing, they totally ignore the payroll tax. You know, I did this little survey in my office a few years ago and there were 16 people who responded. And I had the lowest tax rate of the 16. I didn't have any tax shelters. I didn't have any tax planner. It was all courtesy of the U.S. Congress. I mean, they did my tax planning for me. And, literally, the average for the office, counting payroll taxes was 32 percent and mine was 16 and a fraction percent.
AMANPOUR: their rationale is that by giving you a tax break, so to speak, which is what it amounts to, you help all the others...that it trickles down.
BUFFETT: Yes. Well, all I can say it hasn't trickled. You know, as I said, a rising tide has listed all yachts, but the row boats have been left behind.
TURNER: I still pay quite a bit of taxes but not as much as I would if I didn't give so much money away. I get a lot of deductions.
AMANPOUR: so what do you think about the prospects of cutting Social Security --and means testing for people like you
TURNER: Well I don't like it. I paid for Social Security. It's my own money I'm getting back. Social Security, we get taxed for Social Security. In my opinion. I think Social Security -- since you paid for it, it's yours and you're entitled to get it.
BUT EACH OF THESE MULTI BILLIONAIRES SEEs NEEDS THAT ARE NOT MET…THUS THEIR CALL TO OTHERS LIKE THEM TO JOIN THE GIVING PLEDGE.
BUFFETT My wealth has come from a combination of living in America, some lucky genes, and compound interest. (Both) my children and I won what I call the ovarian lottery.
WARREN BUFFETT, WHO IS CEO OF BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY AND ONE OF THE WORLDS'S RICHEST MEN HAS PLEDGED TO GIVE AWAY 99% OF HIS FORTUNE. TODAY, THAT'S WORTH 50 BILLION DOLLARS.
AMANPOUR: was it difficult at first to sort of go from making that money to giving it away? Did your hands shake? Did your heart stop?
BUFFETT: No, it was not difficult to make the decision. My wife and I made the decision back when we were in our twenties that we were going to do it. The question was how to do it. And it's much easier to make it than it is to give it away intelligently.
We have been blessed with good fortune beyond our wildest expectations and we are profoundly grateful. But just as these gifts are great, so we feel a great responsibility to use them well.
BILL GATES, FOUNDER OF MICROSOFT IS ALSO GIVING AWAY HIS MONEY. AND APPLYING HIS INNOVATIVE SMARTS TO TRYING TO SOLVE SOME OF THE WORLD'S BIGGEST PROBLEMS. ALONG WITH HIS WIFE MELINDA, THEY'VE CREATED THE LARGEST PRIVATE FOUNDATION IN THE WORLD WITH $35 BILLION IN ASSESTS WHICH THEY'RE FOCUSING ON IMPROVING GLOBAL HEALTH AND IMPROVING EDUCATION HERE IN THE UNITED STATES.
AMANPOUR: What was the personal, mental shift between making all that money and then deciding to give it away?