"The largest single barrier to full employment of our manpower and resources, and to a higher rate of economic growth, is the unrealistically heavy drag of federal income taxes on private purchasing power, initiative and incentive." - President John F. Kennedy in a special message to Congress on tax reduction and reform Jan. 24, 1963It is one of the great political lies of modern American life that the ultra-wealthy are all conservative Republicans. If only it were true. Take Warren Buffett, for instance. He is one of the wealthiest men in the world, with a personal fortune estimated at approximately $50 billion. He has been an investor for six decades. As a businessman, you would think he was conservative. Well, you would be wrong.
Buffett is a hard core, left wing Democrat, a fiscal and social liberal of the first order. He is a staunch believer in big government, high taxes and all the failed dogma that goes along with it. One of his favorite causes is subsidizing abortion. Because he buys into the lie that the earth is overpopulated, he supports, promotes and funds radical population control measures all around the world.
When Arnold Schwarzenegger ran for governor of California the first time, he tapped Buffett to be his economic advisor. (This should have told us all we needed to know about the kind of left-wing Republican Arnold would turn out to be.) During that campaign, Buffett was fond of telling the press that he pays more in property taxes on his $500,000 home in Omaha than he does on his $3 million home in California.
Unfortunately, the statement was not meant to convey that California taxes are too high. Quite the contrary; it was intended as a lament that California’s property taxes were not as confiscatory as Nebraska’s — which, of course, they would be had California voters not put a lid on them back in the 1970s.
Similarly, Buffett writes in his recent opinion piece in The New York Times that his hired help pays a higher rate of taxation than he does. Yet rather than demanding lower taxes for them, he calls for higher taxes on himself and his rich cronies.
Buffett’s hypocrisy is legendary. He writes that he wants to be taxed more, yet he goes globetrotting around the world trying to convince his peers to leave their fortunes to tax exempt foundations — like he does.
Buffett takes a paltry $100,000 annual salary. Any additional compensation comes to him and his uber-rich buddies in ways that are taxed at lower rates, as written in the tax code. That, of course, is their choice, yet Buffett blames Congress for “coddling” him.
“These and other blessings,” Buffett writes facetiously, “are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places.”
I’m sure it is, and one of Warren’s favorite “friends” is none other than President Barack Obama himself. He has encouraged Obama in his reckless spending and socialist nanny state policies; now he is mustering support for the inevitable taxes that always go hand in hand with such irresponsibility.
The big question is this: Why doesn’t Warren Buffett simply write a check for $50 billion to the U.S. Treasury? Why not? If he has such faith in government, why is he sheltering most of his wealth from taxation while keeping it in private hands?
Could it be because he knows that Barack Obama would literally spend in a week what it has taken Buffett a lifetime to accumulate? Could it be that Buffett knows that if Obama confiscated all the assets of every American taxpayer making more than $200,000 a year, he'd run out of money long before his term ends on January 20, 2013?
The Oracle of Omaha, as Buffett is fond of being called, likes to be thought of as a geriatric Wall Street rock star. In reality, he is just a kinder, gentler version of wicked old George Soros.
Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself much more often than not. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns of sage political analysis are published the world over by legions of discerning bloggers, courageous webmasters and open-minded newspaper editors. Astute supporters and inane detractors alike are encouraged to e-mail him with their pithy comments at email@example.com.
I have only just begun to read the comments at the article link. Here's one of the best (so far):
Comment by inluminatuo
August 23, 2011 @ 11:08 am
Buffett’s problem is that in his old age now he just feels like Thoreau that his “Heart is a muffled drum beating a funeral march to the grave.” He now fears death and God’s whispering to his conscience that it is easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than a Rich man to enter
the kingdom of heaven, has awakened his mind to his guilt and fear of a life wasted in the worship of Secular Liberalism.
Buffet Once Said: “When the economic tide rolls back, you soon see who has swimming naked,” Well Warren, the same applies to when the Secular Socialist Tide rolls back, that Socialist God of Self reveals himself to be as naked as a Jaybird.
Good luck pushing that Camel. You and that other Socialist Muslim Camel jockey Obama are on a one way race on the road to perdition.
More good comments:
Comment by Precious
August 25, 2011 @ 10:50 am Mark 8:36
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
The following ones help you to realize just what kind of man Buffett really is:
Comment by newsjunky
August 23, 2011 @ 8:52 am Your article was interesting as it taught me some things about Warren Buffett that I had not known before. Finding out that his “hypocrisy is legendary,” was a surprise after watching him go into his “the rich don’t pay enough taxes,” theatrics. Learning that he actually encourages his “uber-rich friends to put their money into tax exempt foundations,” was something else again. You wonder where these people get the colossal gall to put on such a theatrical performance. By all appearances it seems like Buffett just likes the attention he gets from pretending to be altruistic. It’s a shame too, for all the others who actually do spend a lot of their riches helping mankind.
Comment by RobertR
August 23, 2011 @ 11:05 am Buffett has always talked one line and done the exact opposite with his own money. He is a liar, hypocrite isn’t strong enough. I’ve thought for a long time that he was the most dangerous American alive today. Soros is the world’s most dangerous man alive but he’s not ours. Buffett made billions taking advantage of companies. He should be in jail instead of being admired. You’d think that some day either one or both of these fools would die of old age but I guess they’re not welcome either place.
Comment by Rich Money
August 23, 2011 @ 9:13 am The truth is that Buffett and his other left-wing ultra-rich allies are hypocrites of the first order. Warren keeps claiming the rich need to be taxed more. Well I have a great idea on how you can make that happen completely independent of anything the government does, Warren. Start declaring all of your income, instead of taking the $100,000.00 token salary you take, so that all of your income can be taxed. Then when you go to fill out your tax return, simply take the standard deduction instead of itemizing. These two steps would guarantee that you’d pay millions more in additional taxes, and you wouldn’t need the government to lift a finger. Oh, wait…you can’t do that, huh? That would actually mean putting your money where your mouth (and unfortunately your foot) is and actually proving that you believe what you say. Unfortunately, as with all things liberal, it’s “Do as I say, not as I do.” If you truly believed the drivel you spew, you’d demonstrate some leadership and step up and take the actions I described to increase your own tax burden. The fact that you haven’t and show no signs of doing so indicates that you are simply a hypocrite trying to fit in with a whole left-wing army of them. Socialism doesn’t work, Mr. Buffett, and no amount of hypocritical crocodile tears over the “breaks” the rich get will make it work any sooner or any better.
Comment by Baker1036
August 23, 2011 @ 11:15 am For a person (obummer) who says he is for the little people, he has a LOT of really rich friends that he protects. A hypocrit, perhaps?!?
Comment by ot243kids
August 23, 2011 @ 11:51 am In all seriousness, this parade of philanthropic, super rich, tax me more gurus, has about as much credibility as believing Nancy Pelosi studies “the Word”! Spare us the entire charade. The one common thread linking them all is; they have achieved their riches and will be damned if they will allow you to achieve yours. Look at the likes of Senators John Kerry and Jay Rockefeller then throw in a few independent thinkers like Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Saks and of course the newest member to the club; FaceBooks Mark Zuckerberg.……They all whistle the same tune while sticking it to the rest of us under the guise of “regulation”. Joseph Stalin and Karl Marx would be so proud of the latest protégés.
Comment by navywife
August 23, 2011 @ 12:13 pm It is also of interest that Mr. Buffet has greatly benefited from the estate tax and is a big advocate of returning the exemption to $1 million. Why? His firm is able to purchase privately-held corporations at fire-sale prices when heirs must sell out to pay the estate taxes.
While part of the blame there lies with the owners of those corporations for not doing their estate planning, it is disingenuous to promote a tax that benefits yourself, while claiming it is for the good of the country. Especially when you consider that it will not affect him, either.
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE POSTED TODAY OVER AT AMERICAN THINKER!
American Thinker: Warren Buffet - Financial Savior or Angel of Doom?
HERE IS AN IMPORTANT EXCERPT:
What About the BAC Deal?
Did Mr. Buffet make the investment in BAC based on Smithian self-interest? Or did he do it because it was in the interests of the ruling class?
Phoenix Capital Research questioned Buffet's recent BAC move from an investment perspective:
For starters, Buffett didn't even spend 24 hours studying BAC before buying it. And I can tell you point blank that no one, certainly not Buffett, has a clue about BAC's real balance sheet risk. The mere notion of due diligence or sound investing analysis here is absurd.
Moreover, the fact Buffett plowed $3-5 billion (depending on how the deal was structured) with so little research tells you what this was: a political move, and nothing more.
Buffet is terribly bright and shrewd despite the "aw shucks" Omaha mien. As a businessman, he is hard-nosed, despite his avuncular performances on CNBC and at stockholder meetings. He is analytical and does not make decisions without thorough analysis.
Phoenix reached the conclusion that:
The powers that be called on THE financial figurehead for the uber-bull crowd just as they did in September 2008 and October 2008 (the time of Buffett's "Buy America" op-ed in the New York Times).
To be sure, the whole thing smells of desperation. The fact Buffett didn't even buy BAC on the market but got a sweetheart deal only tells you how twisted the whole thing is (if he really thought BAC was a great deal why didn't he buy in the open market like the rest of us "high tax payers.").
It should be noted that Buffett's only other "quick" decision was an investment in Goldman Sachs back in September of 2008. The GS investment is still "underwater" after three years. What motivated this investment is also moot.
What's in It for Warren?
The BAC deal looks as if Mr. Buffett was asked to assist the oligarchy at his own expense. That is unlikely. Mr. Buffett has probably protected himself with some quid pro quo arrangement. What that might be is unknown, although that information may surface before this economic nightmare ends.
Many speculative possibilities exist. Here are four:
•Mr. Buffet as a high-profile individual is himself at risk. The government is now so powerful that it could, if it chose, wipe him out. His commitment to BAC may represent nothing more than an extortion payment to prevent or defer this outcome.
•Mr. Buffett is a major holder of Wells Fargo (WFC), another bank on shaky grounds. Had he increased his investment in WFC, it would not have had as dramatic an effect as stepping up for BAC. Perhaps the government promised to step in if (when) WFC requires a bailout.
•Mr. Buffet may have received some implicit government guarantee that backstops his investment in BAC, ensuring the continued solvency of the company.
•Berkshire Hathaway is a holding company with a large number of operating companies. Could any of these be in trouble? The recent stock performance may indicate so. Standard and Poor's recently downgraded Berkshire's insurance holdings from "stable" to "negative." Perhaps the government promised to assist Berkshire in the event of trouble.
Warren Buffett is no patsy. He is shrewd, smart, and motivated. The BAC deal was made only because it was in Mr. Buffett's interest to make it. The four possibilities above provide plausible reasons.
While it may have been in Buffett's interest, it was not in the Smithian concept of self-interest, at least for the rest of us.
Did Buffett Make a Mistake?
If Buffett's commitment were made for any reason other than the first one (extortion and survival), he may have made a mistake. As stated in my initial reaction to the announcement:
Big government types always assume that government is big enough to solve (or, more properly termed, "cover up") any problem. It is not. The banking system will be the Waterloo of this concept. The banking system is insolvent. In my opinion, the amount of money necessary to solve the problem exceeds government's resources. This cancerous growth on the economy will eventually kill the economy and the government.
A request to Mr. Buffett to intervene is consistent with the government's Kevorkian Economic strategy. It represents another way to "extend and pretend" the myth of an economic recovery. Government has solved none of the economic problems. The banking system is arguably in worse shape than it was in 2008. Using Mr. Buffett in this fashion is likely another desperate attempt to fool voters and investors.
There is no bailout or Federal Reserve action that can turn the economy around or save the financial system. Decades of interventions have destroyed both. An implosion is inevitable. The government is out of ammunition.
Ben Bernanke will eventually commit to some new QE3 monetary expansion but it will only make matters worse. The Ponzi scheme we know as government is bankrupt. We are entering the death throes of what was once a great and prosperous economy.