The rich, along with the middle class, need to and will be paying higher taxes. It's a fair and open question as to how to reform the tax code - Buffet's numbers according to his editorial in the NYT today though is interesting since he suggests the same rate for capital gains as ordinary income but at an overall rate that is significantly lower then the Clinton and Bush rates on earned income.
"In a New York Times editorial printed on Monday, Buffett suggested Congress move immediately to implement minimum taxes of 30 percent on incomes of $1 million to $10 million and 35 percent above that."
His numbers actually have merit if the rates for incomes below his suggested levels are designed to give people the ability to become wealthy. (So Buffet pays himself a meager $100,000 salary per year - the worlds third richest man using this obvious tax dodge.) If cap gains/dividend rates for incomes below $1m were taxed in the 20% range and the top rate for earned income below $1m was capped at 28% that would be a fair approach.
Demeter - Think this through. With Buffett capping what the wealthy will pay, folks in the $500k to $1m bracket will be paying less then the 30% on earned income. That's a better deal then today. If cap gains rates for under $1m go to 20% that is no real concern.