Buffett Watch

Buffett: 'It's going to be very, very tough' for Republicans to pass revolutionary tax reform

Buffett: Economy will be better off four years from now

Republicans will likely have trouble passing comprehensive, complex tax reform by August, billionaire investor Warren Buffett told CNBC on Monday.

Buffett said getting tax reform done quickly will be a bigger priority than delivering a significant overhaul of the tax system.

"I think they will end up going for something not as dramatic as they might even like to do because they simply don't want to spend the time and the political capital getting it done," the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway said on CNBC's " "Squawk Box."

A proposed "border adjusted tax," which has been proposed by Republicans in the House, would tax imports. The White House and GOP leaders have separately called for a sharp reduction in corporate taxes and lower personal taxes.

"You've got some master legislators in [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell and [House Speaker Paul] Ryan that will be handling things so as to get as much as possible of what they would like through," Buffett said. "But I think if you're trying for speed and you're trying for complexity, I think complexity will give way to speed."

President Donald Trump's administration has been working with House Republicans to put forth a tax reform proposal that doesn't make the budget deficit jump, using their own dynamic scoring to reflect the reform's economic effects that would make it worthwhile.

"If you want to be revenue-neutral without the craziest dynamic scoring in the world ... it's going to be very, very tough," said Buffett, who supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

As a result, the reform they actually put forth could be much simpler than a Reaganesque revamp of the tax code, Buffett contended.

"I just have a feeling when the Treasury secretary says we're trying to have this by August or something, you're not going to get a really 1986-type overhaul or a 1954-type overhaul or a 1969-type overhaul in that kind of a time period," the investment guru said.