Aug

15

Here's a laughable op-ed piece from the Oracle of Omaha with the title, "Stop Coddling the Super Rich." In the essay, he tries to perpetrate and extend, to quote the Chair, "The idea that has the world in its grip." Buffett wishes to immediately raise tax rates on those making more than a million a year. He says that super rich wouldn't mind if they "were told that they had to pay more taxes…particularly when so many of their fellow citizens are suffering."

The hidden motive in this op-ed is that he wishes to create conditions that will bring more customers to his business. Like General Electric lobbying the government to ban 100 watt incandescent light bulbs in order to sell the new ones with the higher margins, the Oracle is lobbying everyone in order to benefit his book. And his folksy, aw-shucks demeanor, his phoney populist theme, is winning over a lot of people. The Oracle is constantly quoted and cited by the statists as an example of someone who is rich and feels that we could be doing more for the government .


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10 Comments so far

  1. Brendan Dornan on August 15, 2011 6:21 pm

    There are looters, moochers, and producers. In one column, Buffet has established himself as a looter that completely nulified his life as a producer.

    He’ll be repaid by Obama for this loyalty with some favorable law or contract, just as the unions were paid back with the auto bailouts and National Labor Relations board for their $400 million investment.

  2. Kermit on August 15, 2011 6:39 pm

    I have to smile when I read something like this.

    Why, of course, it *must be* that he is “lobbying everyone in order to benefit his book.”

    What other motive could there *possibly* be???

    (Still smiling)

  3. Leo on August 15, 2011 9:51 pm

    Sounds that the debate whether the rich have committed the crime of exploitation has not ended. Seems Buffet does not have a clear mind on this, or simply is a hypocrite. Think about it: why tax the rich a higher rate when everyone knows they are already paying more taxes even with the same rate as everyone else? The very rationale supporting it is that the rich don’t earn their money fairly - in other words - they are guilty of exploitations of some sort. If that is the case, be less of a hypocrite, why not propose doing what the communists did for instance in China nearly half a century ago - confiscate the rich’s property and put them to labour camps or death. We know what happened - while the rich lost their freedom or life, the surviving poor lost their pants, food, hope and soul, and the entire country was filled with torture and horror. Shouldn’t we be asking those resenting the rich: without the exploitation from the rich or the unfair earnings of the rich, why did the poor get even poorer and more miserable?

    I must admit that I am not rich. I am not saying that all wealth were created equally, but I truly believe a nation’s well-standing is established by the rich - not the other way around. For one thing, it is the rich’s demand for superior quality of everything that makes mankind advance, and at the same time makes the capable poor richer. I support that the rich should give only voluntarily and selectively, but believe that rich’s unconditional giving (more tax included) can only spoil those already spoiled and hence only lead mankind backtrack.

    In stead of more taxation, I advocate the legislature amend the law in such a way that convicted criminals (of any crime including for instance unfair earnings of some kind) will pay substantially more in monetary terms.

  4. jeff watson on August 16, 2011 8:20 am

    Of course Buffett is talking his book. He regularly lobbies for higher estate taxes, and also calls for higher taxes for the rich. He owns life insurance companies that rely on the death tax in order to sell their estate-planning businesses. He has also bought up many family businesses forced to sell because the heirs had a huge estate tax nut to crack. His folksy charm is a major caveat, a red flag in it’s own right. I learned at a very young age that when dealing with a aw-shucks, self depreciating type of person, that I better keep checking my rear pocket to see if I still have my wallet.

  5. Bob O on August 16, 2011 1:06 pm

    Ironically, Mr. Buffett is only interested in companies that are very well run or that he can invest in and make them better by increasing their efficiency in some way. We all know big government is horribly, wildly wasteful and certainly not well run. It’s axiomatic! So why in the world is he calling for *anyone* to put more money into a broken system?

  6. Nick Pribus on August 16, 2011 4:28 pm

    The Oracle and the President both seem to think the answer to our budget woes is an increase in taxes on the rich. Testing that hypothesis seems in order using objective fact based math. It all sounds too good to be true; just taxing the rich to settle the budget.

    Facts:
    1. Referenced in the article (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/09inalcr.pdf) are 236,833 tax filers making over $1 million per year of adjusted gross income, with a total AGI of $726,910,000,000.
    2. This group paid 24.4% of that in federal taxes, or $177,366,000,000.
    3. The current annual federal spend is approximately $3,500,000,000,000.
    4. If the rich making more than $1 million per year were taxed at 100% of income instead of 24.4% of income, it would raise an additional $549,543,960,000.
    5. That would be enough to fund the federal government for 58 days.
    6. Or assuming the budget deficit of $1,300,000,000,000, it would close 42% of the deficit.

    Conclusion:
    Taxing the rich as advocated by the President and the Oracle does not solve the problem.

  7. Kermit on August 16, 2011 7:44 pm

    Spoken like a true Darwinian. Survival of the fittest, right? You are *entitled* to “your” money, right?

    That’s the thing about communism - when the greedy carry things just a bit too far, they run the risk of having everything taken away from them.

    As I’ve said before, the only thing that bothers me more than the incompetence of the Left is the greed of the Right.

  8. Ed on August 16, 2011 10:33 pm

    He has been lending moral support to statists at what seems an ever increasing pace. This plus the big give away, “the pledge” leads me to wonder exactly what might be percolating to the service that will allow to call in these favors.

    I think the lesson is that to become super rich, it is best to cozy up to the state rather than be a critic. This must have been true for at least the past 2000 years.

  9. Kermit on August 18, 2011 9:28 pm

    So being cozy with the state is why he has become “super rich”??

    And the conclusion is: “Taxing the rich as advocated by the President and the Oracle does not solve the problem.”

    For people who participate in a market group, these responses are about as lame as they can be.

    Why not simply be honest and say that, no, even though you are doing very well, you don’t want to contribute any more so that people can have the retirements and medical care that were promised.

    Personally, I benefited from the extension of the Bush tax cuts. I seriously doubt that there is anyone who hates central planning and the bureaucracy that goes with it any more than I do. But I do find it questionable that I have to pay so little in taxes while so many are having such a tough time.

    And, don’t bother to tell me to make a contribution. This widening gap between the wealthy and the poor is going to be very bad for our country.

    I don’t think that there is any argument here about the incompetence of the Left. As for the greed of the Right, why not at least be honest.

    And as far as “talking his book” - just maybe Buffet sees that the current trends, if allowed to continue, will be very bad for his children and their children. Sometimes what people say can be taken at face value. Their doesn’t need to be any other reason for what someone says.

    But again, why go to such lengths to rationalize your feelings? Why not simply be honest?

  10. Arthur on August 24, 2011 1:22 am

    I am a guest in America, I do not argue with its policy, but something doesn’t make sense to me.
    My mom pays 40% tax as a high school teacher making 60k a year with 15 years of experience in America alone, yet me and most of my friends in the hedge fund industry that bring in over $50 mill a year, pay 15% if anything. To me it does not make any sense.
    There is this notion of the fact that rich know what to do with their money, but poor don’t.

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