The 2%
© Minyanville
How many members of the Forbes 400 say they're willing to pay higher taxes?



Actually, you can count them on both hands -- and still have two fingers left over.

Salon's Peter Finocchiaro asked all 400 people on the list -- each with a net worth of at least $1 billion -- "Are you, like Warren Buffett, willing to pay higher taxes?"

Lo and behold, a grand total of eight of the richest 400 Americans said yes.

Writes Finocchiaro:
The results are in. Of 400 billionaires, only eight (including Buffet) say they are willing to pay more. Three others indicated opposition; one said maybe.
The eight?

Warren Buffett, Todd Wagner, James Simons, Leon Cooperman, Mark Cuban, John Arnold, Herbert Simon, and George Soros.

"But," says Finochhiaro, "most declined to comment at all."

He continues:
Oprah Winfrey, who endorsed Obama in 2008, did not respond. Nor did liberal media mogul Ted Turner. Prominent Democratic Party donors from Hollywood such as Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Barry Diller did not express a view. Philanthropists Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg - whom we queried repeatedly - refused to comment on Buffett's argument, even as it became a central part of Washington's political conversation.
James Simons, chairman of Renaissance Technologies, "responded with a simple "Yes."

Charles Koch, CEO of Koch Industries "categorically rejected the idea."

Hey, at least he wrote back. That's more than we can say for Oprah -- whose ratings-goosing giveaways have saddled studio audiences with whopping tax bills of their own.