OMAHA, Neb., Nov. 21, 2010— -- In an exclusive interview on "This Week," Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, told Christiane Amanpour that the rich should be paying more taxes and that the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy should be left to expire at the end of December.
"If anything, taxes for the lower and middle class and maybe even the upper middle class should even probably be cut further," Buffett said. "But I think that people at the high end -- people like myself -- should be paying a lot more in taxes. We have it better than we've ever had it."
The full Buffett interview will air on a special Thanksgiving edition of "This Week" focused on The Giving Pledge, a major philanthropic effort spearheaded by Buffet, and Bill and Melinda Gates.
The billionaire brushed aside Republican arguments that letting tax cuts expire for the wealthy would hurt economic growth.
"They say you have to keep those tax cuts, even on the very wealthy, because that is what energizes business and capitalism," anchor Amanpour said.
"The rich are always going to say that, you know, just give us more 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," Buffett explained.
The White House announced on Wednesday that President Obama will award Buffett a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, early next year.