WASHINGTON -- Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said he doesn't blame Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for paying only about 15 percent of his income in taxes, saying it was misguided federal law that allowed very wealthy people who make a living "shoving around money" to pay a lower rate than average Americans.
"It's the wrong policy to have," Buffett told Bloomberg TV on Monday. "There's nothing wrong about him paying that. He's not going to pay more than the law requires. And I don't fault him for that in the least. But I do fault a law that allows him and me, earning enormous sums, to pay overall federal taxes at a rate that's about half what the average person in my office pays."
Romney, who campaign disclosures show is worth $190 million to $250 million, has come under fire from Democrats for his recent estimate of his low tax rate.
Romney plans to release his 2010 federal tax returns and estimates for 2011 today after taking heat from Republican rivals for not making them public.
Buffett said he wasn't surprised by Romney's estimate last week of about a 15 percent effective tax rate.
"I thought that's exactly what I expected," Buffett said. "He makes money the way I do. He makes money by moving around big bucks, not by straining his back or going to work, cleaning the toilets or whatever it may be.
"He makes it shoving around money. I make it shoving around money," Buffett said. "The truth is that I am paying at a lower tax rate -- payroll taxes plus income taxes -- than when I was making $15,000 a year 60 years ago."
Buffett supports President Obama's push for a new tax policy that would require millionaires to pay the same tax rate as middle-class workers. Obama has called the principle "The Buffett Rule."