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Warren Buffett says US economy still improving but too many miss out on American dream


OMAHA, Nebraska — Investor Warren Buffett says the economy continues to grow steadily, but too many people continue to miss out on the American dream.

Buffett told CNN Thursday that he doesn't see any real sign of weakness in the economy. Buffett looks at reports from the more than 80 businesses his Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate owns for insight.

But Buffett reiterated his concerns about income inequality in this country while the super-rich continue to thrive. He said that America should be able to do more to help people who are struggling do better.

"All kinds of people are left behind, and there are structural reasons for that," said Buffett, who is Berkshire's chairman and CEO.

Instead of increasing the minimum wage, Buffett said he favors adjusting the federal earned income tax credit to help people who don't earn much because it's won't prompt businesses to cut jobs. The billionaire has also long supported higher taxes on the ultrarich, including himself.

"I think a rich society — a very rich society — can figure out ways to have those people do better than they are doing," Buffett said.

Buffett is always looking for potential investments for his company, but he doesn't see many bargains in the stock market these days.

"I do not regard us as being in bubble territory, but I don't find cheap stocks to buy either," he said.

Buffett said he continues to believe former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the next president, and he's not bothered by the questions about the private email account she used while at the State Department.

"What I care about is what she believes in, and her ability to get what she believes in turned into law," he said.

Last year, Buffett gave $25,000 to a political action committee that supports Clinton even though he has criticized those groups before because they're part of the system that allows the wealthy to have tremendous influence on the process.

Buffett said he didn't realize the group was a Super PAC until after he made the donation. Buffett said he would be delighted to help raise money for Clinton, but normally he wouldn't write such a big check.

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