Republican healthcare bill 'a huge tax cut for guys like me': Buffett

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett visits the BNSF booth before the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha

Republican healthcare bill 'a huge tax cut for guys like me': Buffett

Berkshire's annual shareholder meeting has always been known as the "Woodstock of capitalism" for the fervor of the investors - some owning only a single share - who travel to Omaha just for the chance to listen to Buffett and his longtime business partner, Charles Munger.

At the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, Buffett said there is clearly pain for retailers as they adjust to the growth of online shopping.

"I would certainly think they [artificial intelligence] would result in significantly less employment in certain areas, but that's good for society", Warren Buffett said.

"Forty percent of the benefit of those tax cuts would go to the highest-income one percent-those making more than $772,000 in 2022", Howard Gleckman, senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, wrote in March, when details of the bill surfaced.

Buffett said if the bill pushed by President Donald Trump was in effect previous year, his federal income taxes would have gone down by 17 percent. Of the bank's ousted chief executive, John Stumpf, Buffett said, "The moment the CEO heard about it, he had to act".

"Medical costs are the tapeworm of American economic competitiveness", he said.

Yet Mr. Buffett has often said he should have dumped his Berkshire shares not long after he first bought them.

To no one's surprise, Buffett did not mention who would take over for him as Berkshire's chief executive.

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He also addressed criticism that Berkshire discloses too little about businesses such as aircraft parts maker Precision Castparts Corp, which it bought previous year for $32.1 billion.

In the past, Buffett has bristled at tax policy that he sees as favoring the wealthy - famously saying it's not fair that he pays taxes at a lower rate than his secretary. But, he added, "I think they may be a long way off".

"They actually have to do something", Buffett said.

Buffett, who is 86, said Bogle will celebrate his 88th birthday Monday.

"Berkshire ended March with more than $96 billion of cash and cash-like instruments, and Munger said it could do a "$150 billion" acquisition now if it wanted.

Berkshire holds about 133 million Apple shares, but Buffett says he looks at that more as a consumer products company instead of a technology company.

In the second admission from the Berkshire Hathaway duo, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, they admitted their failings in relation to not investing heavily in tech stocks.

Dozens of companies Berkshire owns set up booths in an adjoining 200,000-square-foot exhibit hall to sell their products and take questions about their businesses.

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