Real estate mogul Donald Trump said Monday that he would be willing to pay a higher tax rate but most oil companies would not because they are not patriotic.
"Warren Buffet made another splash with his op-ed in The New York Times, saying it's just not right that he, a billionaire, pays 17 percent in taxes when his secretary and receptionist pay more," ABC's George Stephanopoulos told Trump. "Isn't he right about that?"
"There's many different views on that," Trump replied. "And I can also tell you that a lot of people will go elsewhere to do business if you start taxing them."
"But 17 percent isn't much for a billionaire," Stephanopolous noted.
"But you're going to have a mass exodus of business out of this country when you start taxing too high," Trump explained. "But if you go back to certain companies, Exxon Mobil, the oil companies, for us to be subsidizing oil companies is absolutely insane."
"Well it sounds like this is where you part company with the tea party and many in the House. You would be willing to close those loopholes on the oil company as part of a deficit [reduction plan]," the ABC host remarked.
"Oh, absolutely. I think the oil companies -- and I'm a big tea party fan, and the tea party loves me and I get great polls in the tea party... I think when explained to the tea party, I can't imagine anybody's going to stick up for Exxon Mobil or some of these big oil companies that are making a fortune and paying relatively little in tax. And I think we should be taxing," Trump answered.
"As part of a deficit reduction package, would you be willing the pay, assume for a second you pay Warren Buffet's rate, 17 percent. Would you be willing to pay 25 percent instead of 17 percent?" Stephanopolous pressed.
"See, I would be willing to, George, but a lot of people wouldn't be," Trump admitted. "A lot of people would leave the country. I'm talking about big people, job-producing people. Would I be willing? Yeah, I'd be willing. I'd put country first... A lot of people will say, 'No thank you, I'm going to Switzerland. I'm going to Germany. I'm going to here, I'm going to there.'"
"It's very unpatriotic. They're not patriotic. In many cases, they're not patriotic. They're business machines."