Warren Buffett puts other people’s money where his mouth is

posted at 8:40 am on January 12, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

Warren Buffett has been a very successful man in terms of high finance, no doubt about it. But of late he has become even more famous for insisting that tax rates on mega-successful people like himself are too low. He’s just not paying his fair share. His poor, beleaguered secretary – possibly the most famous administrative assistant in the world at this point – pays a higher rate than he does.

The conservative response to this has been fairly consistent and runs somewhat along these lines: “OK. You’re not paying enough? Pay more. There’s a convenient box you can check off on your tax forms. Send in as much as you like.

Well, apparently the message has gotten through. Warren is ready to step out boldly and pitch in some extra cash to help pay off the country’s massive debt. Good for you, sir! Oh… wait. That’s not quite what he’s doing.

Business mogul Warren Buffett is promising to match any donation Republican members make toward cutting the national deficit.

And he upped the ante when it came to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), saying he would match the leader’s donations three-to-one.

His pledge comes after McConnell said that if Buffett is feeling guilty about not paying more in taxes, he should just send in a check.

“With regard to his tax rate, if he’s feeling guilty about it, I think he should send in a check,” McConnell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in September.

Buffett told Time magazine: “It restores my faith in human nature to think that there are people who have been around Washington all this time and are not yet so cynical as to think that [the deficit] can’t be solved by voluntary contributions. And, I’ll even go three for one for McConnell.”

Allow me to break out a newly sharpened goose quill and a nice, crisp sheet of velum.

Dear Mr. Buffett,

I’ll never claim to be as smart as you. If I were, my net worth would probably be something more than .000001% of yours. You’re also a fine man who demonstrates the benefits of a free capitalist system. But regarding your recent offer to pay extra taxes, I fear that you may be missing the central theme.

When we said you could pay extra taxes should you wish, we weren’t talking about some sort of marathon charity to benefit muscular dystrophy. If we were, then maybe your idea of matching other people’s contributions might make sense. But the idea here would be for you to lead by example, you see. You need to go first. Who knows? Then perhaps others might jump on the bandwagon. Then again, maybe not. Some of us, you see, aren’t just obsessed over the marginal rate or how much the government takes, but rather with how they spend it once they get it. Some of your wealthy colleagues might be a bit more inclined to kick in a few extra bucks if Washington could demonstrate some level of restraint and responsibility when it comes to managing the public purse.

Also, if it’s not too bold of me to say, you’re turning this into something of a dog and pony show. What you’re proposing to do really is charity of a sort… charitable contributions to an out of control government. And you know what the Good Book has to say about charity, right? We can turn to Matthew 6:1

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

See? You don’t need to go on TV and talk about it. If you feel compelled to write a check, just write it. Everyone will feel better.

Regards,

Jazz


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I wonder if he would be able to eat pizza in Omaha…

beatcanvas on January 12, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Buffet is becoming dare I say Trump-esque….dog and pony show indeed…

thedevilinside on January 12, 2012 at 8:44 AM

Pay that billion in back taxes you owe first, Warren. Then we’ll talk about the rest of us.

Doughboy on January 12, 2012 at 8:44 AM

399,000 more not paying taxes this week. That’s the real problem.

tomg51 on January 12, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Some of us, you see, aren’t just obsessed over the marginal rate or how much the government takes, but rather with how they spend it once they get it.

This.

Libraritarian on January 12, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Buffet is a White Witch Progressive.

Progressives that want to rule like Jadis, the White Witch of the Chronicles of Narnia series. In the LWW book her rule is described as “always Winter and never Spring”. And turns those that are turned over to “jollification” into stone because she can’t stand any of the little people/creatures being happy.

THAT describes most Ruling Class Progressives. They want to ban Twinkies (because they make you fat). They want to get salt off the table. They want to ban soda from vending machines and on and on. BUT the beauty of the White Witch Progressives like Buffet and Obama and Schumer and Pelosi and others is THEY can have all the $100 beef they want because the rules don’t apply to them only to the “minions”.

White Witch Progressive………Warren Buffet.

PappyD61 on January 12, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Don’t you dare criticize Buffet, Jazz, or you are not better than the OWS!!1eleventy111! Warren Buffet is a capitalist, therefore, he is PERFECT. At least according to Mittbots, no capitalist under any circumstances can be found flawed.

Aslans Girl on January 12, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Warren Buffet puts other people’s money where his mouth is

Is this a trick? I’m confused.

Ugly on January 12, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Why just the Republican members of Congress? It’d be nice to see the Democratic members of Congress and the Administration donate money to retire the debt. Shucks, it’d be nice to see them pay their taxes for that matter.

TooTall on January 12, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Doughboy on January 12, 2012 at 8:44 AM

Amen to that! Typical liberal, always using other’s money to do good and non of their own.

flytier on January 12, 2012 at 8:51 AM

What a cynical move. If you want to pay more taxes, just do it, Warren.

Fallon on January 12, 2012 at 8:51 AM

“You first”

… and second, third, fourth ….

Dusty on January 12, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Same Warren Buffett whose railroads, along with California dockworker unions, spent a ton of money campaigning against the Trans Texas Corridor which was to link a super container port planned for Brownsville and leave CA ports sitting empty along with RR “mini land bridge” rail freight to/from West Coast.

Kermit on January 12, 2012 at 8:56 AM

. . . . Some of us, you see, aren’t just obsessed over the marginal rate or how much the government takes, but rather with how they spend it once they get it. Some of your wealthy colleagues might be a bit more inclined to kick in a few extra bucks if Washington could demonstrate some level of restraint and responsibility when it comes to managing the public purse . . . .

Regards,

Jazz

Money line.

Are you actually sending this to him, Jazz?

listens2glenn on January 12, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Buffett told Time magazine: “It restores my faith in human nature to think that there are people who have been around Washington all this time and are not yet so cynical as to think that [the deficit] can’t be solved by voluntary contributions. And, I’ll even go three for one for McConnell.”

Hilarious. We’re talking about you paying your “fair” share. Your words, Binky.

So your solution is that if we can’t solve the problem, you’re going to sit back and do nothing. Paying something would be leadership. Paying nothing, and still running your yap, is called hypocrisy.

Oh, and who’s talking about trying to solve the deficit by voluntary contributions. Only Democrats in their meme-addled delirium. The solution to the debt problem is spending control. yeah, and getting the government out of some of the businesses that they have no business being in. Y’know, like trying to pick winners in the market system. They suck at it.

dissent555 on January 12, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Warren Buffet’s pleas to increase tax rates on the rich would carry more weight, I think, if he actually bothered to pay the taxes that he already legitimately owes, rather than avoiding them. The tax rate on the wealthy could be set at 75% and it wouldn’t make any difference if they didn’t actually pay their taxes.

Shump on January 12, 2012 at 8:59 AM

When exactly was it that Warren Buffett went insane? He used to be such a good businessman.

clayj on January 12, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Perhaps it is now time for Warren Buffett to go have himself a nice piping hot cup of SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!

This guy and his billions do nothing for me, other than have me wonder if having all that cash on hand has done funny things to his brain cells.

Donald Trump seems to suffer from the same malady as well.

pilamaye on January 12, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Warren Buffet’s pleas to increase tax rates on the rich would carry more weight, I think, if he actually bothered to pay the taxes that he already legitimately owes, rather than avoiding them. The tax rate on the wealthy could be set at 75% and it wouldn’t make any difference if they didn’t actually pay their taxes.

Shump on January 12, 2012 at 8:59 AM

That is known as The Greek Syndrome.

Steve Eggleston on January 12, 2012 at 9:02 AM

PS: “Buffett” (with TWO t’s) is misspelled all over the place in this story. I wouldn’t say anything about spelling, but spelling the guy’s name correctly is pretty important, I think.

clayj on January 12, 2012 at 9:04 AM

White Witch Progressive………Warren Buffet.

PappyD61 on January 12, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Ah, he turned me into a Newt! (I got better.)

Does he weigh as much as a duck?

Ed Morrissey on January 12, 2012 at 9:04 AM

Don’t buy products from Geico, Jordan’s Furniture, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Benjamin Moore, Helzberg Diamonds, RC Willey, Borsheims, Fruit of the Loom, CORT Business, Star Furniture or See’s Candies.

Wigglesworth on January 12, 2012 at 9:05 AM

how they spend it once they get it

How can a man that has become so wealthy also be so stupid.
He doesn’t understand that taxpayer money just goes down
a black hole only to be seen again as an Acorn appropriation or worse?

VBMax on January 12, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Once again, the Left is trying to keep the issue on how much to tax the rich instead of the real issue: government spending. Apparently, Mr. Buffet thinks that every dime this administration has spent has been worth it, and that we should all pay our “fair share.”

How much money do YOU really need, Mr. President? Apparently all of it — and trillions and trillions more.

Reduce spending, reduce government, balance the budget, and stop raising taxes. And resign.

RobertMN on January 12, 2012 at 9:07 AM

I’m in full agreement with the sentiment that the REAL issue is “how they spend it”. In fact, Mr. Buffet agrees.

CNBC’s Becky Quick interviewed Buffet in 2007. Here’s the transcript:

Becky: OK, there were a couple of emails that came in that people that said if you think the government should be able to tax more money, why don’t you just give your money away to the government instead of charity.

Buffett: Well, that’s a choice and it’s an option that… If I had to give it to a single individual, or make some young Buffett a multi-billionnaire, or give it to the government, I’d absolutely give it to the government. I think that on balance the Gates Foundation, my daughter’s foundation, my two sons’ foundations, will do a better job with lower adminsitrative costs and better selection of beneficiaries than the government.

Tar Heel Sooner on January 12, 2012 at 9:09 AM

one more thing…I’m not misspelling his name, I’m conserving t’s. I’m afraid that the over use of t’s is a leading cause of global warming

Tar Heel Sooner on January 12, 2012 at 9:11 AM

Don’t buy products from Geico, Jordan’s Furniture, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Benjamin Moore, Helzberg Diamonds, RC Willey, Borsheims, Fruit of the Loom, CORT Business, Star Furniture or See’s Candies.

You forgot Dairy Queen and NetJets.

clayj on January 12, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Using Buffet’s numbers on McConnell, it seems he has 4500x the net worth of the GOP leader. So why wouldn’t McConnell reply, in public, as follows:

Since your argument is that the wealthy pay a lower proportion of their money than the people in the cheap seats, tell you what, big guy — I’ll pay $1M, which is 10% of my net worth, against you paying $4.5B, which is 10% of yours. At that point, you’ve paid no more than the same rate as a relative pisher, with 1/4500 as much as you, and I’ll call it even.

You want to make the case that the rich owe MORE than the rest of us? Then pay MORE than $4.5B, and we’ll decide what the differential rate should be based on HOW MUCH more you pay. For example, if you pay $9B, a 100% higher rate than someone with 1/4500th as much money, then we’ll figure that it would be 33%% more for 1500x the wealth, 10% more for 500x, and 1% more for 50x.

“a measly 1% more for 50x the net worth??”, you say? Well, then give more. Pay $18B to my $1M, and it goes to 1% increase for only 12.5x the wealth.

Heh. Kind of puts Buffett’s gas in perspective, doesn’t it?

Dirty Creature on January 12, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Part of me would have liked to have seen McConnell come back with this:

“I’ll do it, but with one condition, Mr. Buffett. You don’t match me dollar for dollar, you match me percentage point for percentage point. I’m willing to donate 5% of my net worth if you match it with 5% of yours. After all, isn’t the problem the fact that the rich don’t pay their fair share, as in a fair percentage of what they make? Oh, and I think the offer to match me 3 to 1 is very magnanimous of you Mr. Buffett. You certainly are a patriot, sir. ”

McConnell wouldn’t miss the 500K, the political capital is worth that. But the 2 ¼ billion ( 6 ¾ billion if 3 to 1) would have to sting Buffett a little. Turn the tables on him and teach him to keep his mouth shut.

Whiskey Lima on January 12, 2012 at 9:13 AM

How can a man that has become so wealthy also be so stupid.
He doesn’t understand that taxpayer money just goes down
a black hole only to be seen again as an Acorn appropriation or worse?

VBMax on January 12, 2012 at 9:07 AM

He understands, he just thinks we’re stupid.

listens2glenn on January 12, 2012 at 9:13 AM

vWhy just the Republican members of Congress? It’d be nice to see the Democratic members of Congress and the Administration donate money to retire the debt. Shucks, it’d be nice to see them pay their taxes for that matter.
TooTall on January 12, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Yes, how about Tingling Matthews, Chicken Curry, George Stephonapolomess and the rest of Obama’s peanut gallery from the alphabet channels.

Sticky Wicket on January 12, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Good post, actually.

Warren Buffet makes a lot of his money via his cozy relationship with various parts of the federal government. Not exactly a classic free-marketeer.

BCrago66 on January 12, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Since Warren is so into progressive taxation, how about presenting his idea like this? He’ll contribute the same percentage of his net worth that others do….

I’ll pony up .1% of my net worth if Warren does…let’s see; I think that is $400 million roughly for him?

pbundy on January 12, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Even funnier. Warren offers a 3 to 1 match to McConnell. Yet Warren’s net worth is 50 billion, where McConnell’s is only about 20 million. That’s about a 2500 to 1 ratio. Yeah I know taxes aren’t based on net worth, but c’mon Warren. Offer up a $2500 to $1 match. If paying your assessed taxes is patriotic, then just imagine how much more patriotic it will be to make your voluntary contribution!!

dissent555 on January 12, 2012 at 9:16 AM

…That’s right Buffet….the House Republicans are not the ones screaming and yelling about raising taxes to solve our debt problems….you are.

So put your money where your mouth is and pay more if you think that’s going to solve our trillions of dollars in debt/spending problems.

…and get your democratic friends that have sunk us in so much debt,yelled for higher taxes….then dodged paying them (calling Rangel,Geithner,Daschle) to put their money where their mouth is.

Politifact, WaPo: No, Obama is the “undisputed debt king”

posted at 3:25 pm on September 29, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
http://hotair.com/archives/2011/09/29/politifact-wapo-no-obama-is-the-undisputed-debt-king/

Warren…your supposed to be a numbers guy….go back and look at the massive amount of debt the democrats have sunk this country into since taking over Congress in 06 and try and tell this Nation with a straight face that it’s the “House Republicans” that should be shelling out money.

What a bought and paid for democratic fool this man is.

Baxter Greene on January 12, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Pay that billion in back taxes you owe first, Warren. Then we’ll talk about the rest of us.

Doughboy on January 12, 2012 at 8:44 AM

This ^^^^^^^

onlineanalyst on January 12, 2012 at 9:17 AM

…That’s right Buffet….the House Republicans are not the ones screaming and yelling about raising taxes to solve our debt problems….you are.

So put your money where your mouth is and pay more if you think that’s going to solve our trillions of dollars in debt/spending problems.

…and get your democratic friends that have sunk us in so much debt,yelled for higher taxes….then dodged paying them (calling Rangel,Geithner,Daschle) to put their money where their mouth is.

Politifact, WaPo: No, Obama is the “undisputed debt king”

posted at 3:25 pm on September 29, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
http://hotair.com/archives/2011/09/29/politifact-wapo-no-obama-is-the-undisputed-debt-king/

Warren…your supposed to be a numbers guy….go back and look at the massive amount of debt the democrats have sunk this country into since taking over Congress in 06 and try and tell this Nation with a straight face that it’s the “House Republicans” that should be shelling out money.

……What a bought and paid for democratic fool this man is.

Baxter Greene on January 12, 2012 at 9:17 AM

…sorry for double post…thought it got lost in the ether.

Baxter Greene on January 12, 2012 at 9:18 AM

First, keep in mind that Warren Buffet owns GEICO. Government Employee Insurance Company. How could that dude not be a liberal? (although judging from his own tax liabilities, his liberalism is mostly for show)

Second, the guy sells LIFE insurance too. It’s one of the most used ways (along with charitable trusts) that the well to do use to get around the inheritance tax. Get a bad diagnosis, buy a huge policy with your kids trust. No Taxes. Buffet makes a proffit, but less than the government would have taken.

Our side is gonna have to come clean on this crap, or cretins like Buffet will continue to spew his BS and we will continue to look bad.

HEY WARREN, wanna balance the budget??? Hot about high tax rates on exorbitant life insurance policies??? Perhaps if Mitch puts that one forward, Buffet will shut his pie hole.

Or you could just go on believing that Torri Spelling was only left with 600,000.00

WryTrvllr on January 12, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Buffett is challenging the wrong party. It’s the wealthy elite Democrats who are going to Congress begging to have their taxes increased.

snosanric on January 12, 2012 at 9:19 AM

You must be talking to my right hand, cause the other one done left.

Bmore on January 12, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Oops; think I skipped a decimal point. Warren only needs to write a $40 million dollar check.

pbundy on January 12, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Wow, so literally one of the top three wealthiest men in the world (worth about $40 billion) is willing to match the contribution of a bunch of politicians whose combined lifetime earnings won’t match what he makes in one year, probably from interest alone? HOW GENEROUS. HOW HONORABLE. HOW AMAZING.

Polynath on January 12, 2012 at 9:20 AM

And let’s get all the Lefty entertainers to pitch in by reducing/eliminating their fees and royalties. I can hear the hypocritical whining already. “But we deserve it!”

RobertMN on January 12, 2012 at 9:21 AM

What a petty, little creep, liberal tactic. I doubt many “undecideds” pay attention enough to come across this story but I hope those who do remember the bully from elementary school who would pull this crap when someone would finally have enough and get in thier face.

peacenprosperity on January 12, 2012 at 9:22 AM

How dare you attack Warren Buffet! This is a shameless attack on capitalism! Has the Republican Party turned to socialism now?!

Doomberg on January 12, 2012 at 9:26 AM

An Army of Buffet’s would not touch our debt problems:

There has been a talk about the size of our debt and what to do about it. One of the suggestions that has had a lot of talk is to “tax the rich” as a way of solving our debt problems. Warren Buffet has joined the national discussion, suggesting taxing the rich is a solution. Let’s use him as a way of putting this issue in context.

Warren Buffet has $40 billion in wealth, down from $50 billion because of donations. We won’t mention those donations likely saved him taxes. However, he can provide us with a way of understanding the depth of our debt problems. Let’s suppose that we confiscate all $30 billion of his wealth. Talk about raising tax taxes. How would this help with our debt problems?

That money would fund U.S. spending for about three days and eight hours at current rates.

We would have to confiscate the wealth of about 40 Warren Buffets to cover the cost of one year’s deficit.

We would have to confiscate the wealth of about 400 Warren Buffets to cover our official, current deficit.

We would have to confiscate the wealth of about 1,600 Warren Buffets to cover the unfunded liability from Social Security and Medicare/cade.

The problem is that we have only produced one Warren Buffet in the last 50 years or so. Short of a miracle production of Warren Buffets, the only way out is to grow our economy. This is the only path to sustainability in the long run. It will require intelligent regulations and a tax system where government doesn’t attempt to pick winners. Japan tried that and produced two lost decades in their economy.

When Buffet gets done trying to score political points for the democratic party….maybe we could get him to join in on an adult discussion to address the real problems with our debt…….massive spending…and out of control entitlements.

Baxter Greene on January 12, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Does he weigh as much as a duck?

Ed Morrissey on January 12, 2012 at 9:04 AM

That’s asking if wood sinks =P

Ugly on January 12, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Man I screwed that reply up.

Ugly on January 12, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Well written letter, Jazz.

Red Cloud on January 12, 2012 at 9:34 AM

He understands, he just thinks we’re stupid.

listens2glenn on January 12, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Yep, my questions were largely rhetorical.

VBMax on January 12, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Buffett needs to direct this challenge to the members of Congress who buy the argument that the rich don’t pay their fair share in taxes…namely the Democrats. Then he should take it to, say, Hollywood, and other wealthy Dem enclaves.

Buy Danish on January 12, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Well said Jazz.

magicbeans on January 12, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Great illustration, Jazz!

I’ll pay the postage if you send it. :D

VibrioCocci on January 12, 2012 at 9:40 AM

VBMax on January 12, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Doh.

listens2glenn on January 12, 2012 at 9:42 AM

One wonders why Buffet says anything about politics.

When one is as phenomenally rich as he is, politics is utterly irrelevant to daily life because that amount of cash provides total insulation.

Which suggests he’s just interested in posturing.

CorporatePiggy on January 12, 2012 at 9:43 AM

I don’t get it … Was Buffet offering to go 3 to 1 on McConnell on his rate or on the grand total? Remember, it was the tax rate that made his secretary famous. McConnell should take him up and go 33% putting Mr. Righteuosness at 100%.

This would shut the old blowhard up.

MaxMBJ on January 12, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Part of me would have liked to have seen McConnell come back with this:

“I’ll do it, but with one condition, Mr. Buffett. You don’t match me dollar for dollar, you match me percentage point for percentage point. I’m willing to donate 5% of my net worth if you match it with 5% of yours. After all, isn’t the problem the fact that the rich don’t pay their fair share, as in a fair percentage of what they make? Oh, and I think the offer to match me 3 to 1 is very magnanimous of you Mr. Buffett. You certainly are a patriot, sir. ”

McConnell wouldn’t miss the 500K, the political capital is worth that. But the 2 ¼ billion ( 6 ¾ billion if 3 to 1) would have to sting Buffett a little. Turn the tables on him and teach him to keep his mouth shut.

Whiskey Lima on January 12, 2012 at 9:13 AM

This deserves a second posting. Outstanding!

dominigan on January 12, 2012 at 9:48 AM

When exactly was it that Warren Buffett went insane? He used to be such a good businessman.

clayj on January 12, 2012 at 9:01 AM

About the same year the inheritance tax briefly vanished. Less customers.

WryTrvllr on January 12, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Well, someone’s been putting something where Buffet’s mouth is. But I think it’s 0bama.

There, I said it.

contrarian on January 12, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Whiskey Lima on January 12, 2012 at 9:13 AM

I nominate you the thread winner.

MelonCollie on January 12, 2012 at 9:54 AM

All of Buffet’s pious blather about the rich not paying enough is about rent-seeking: Berkshire-Hathaway owes $1 billion in back taxes. (That sort of stymies the claim that he and his are such good investors — anyone’s investments would look terrific if they didn’t have to pay taxes.) By allowing himself to be Obama’s stooge (“See — there’s a moral, socially conscious, rich guy — he KNOWS the rich should pay more!”), he expects to get leniency from the IRS.

BTW, if it’s really $1 billion in back taxes, the penalties and interest (not to mention criminal penalties) would put B-H out of business and possibly allow the Feds to come after Buffet’s other “protected”, personal assets.

kwh on January 12, 2012 at 9:55 AM

And, I’ll even go three for one for McConnell

But until someone else gives something, I’m not gonna give one extra thin dime!

olesparkie on January 12, 2012 at 9:55 AM

As a couple of posters have pointed out – any discussion of Buffet and taxes should include the fact that Berkshire Hathaway is disputing what the IRS considers its “fair share” and owes about a billion dollars in back taxes dating from 2002.

lymond on January 12, 2012 at 9:56 AM

[Buy Danish on January 12, 2012 at 9:38 AM]

A good point, but his challenge is not to reduce the deficit, or the debt. Nor is it to persuade society to instill capitalism with a heart.

It’s crass political posturing in an effort to advance the progressive causes of this Democrat President. His argument isn’t logical socially, economically, financially, mathematically, philosophically, or even grammatically.

Come January 2013, you’ll not hear a peep from Buffet about this.

Dusty on January 12, 2012 at 9:58 AM

That is known as The Greek Syndrome.

Steve Eggleston on January 12, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Italy too. EVERYONE wants cash.

WryTrvllr on January 12, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Don’t you dare criticize Buffet, Jazz, or you are not better than the OWS!!1eleventy111! Warren Buffet is a capitalist, therefore, he is PERFECT. At least according to Mittbots, no capitalist under any circumstances can be found flawed.

Aslans Girl on January 12, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Buffet is no capitalist. He lobbied heavily to increase the death tax, which he has used to plunder businesses whose owners have died. When they can’t pay the 55% death tax, he steps in and buys the company for a fraction of what it’s worth. That’s how he bought Dairy Queen, and Star Furniture, and countless other businesses.

Of course, if those owners want to avoid such a fate they can take out exorbitant life insurance policies. Maybe from one of Warren Buffet’s six life insurance companies.

This malevolent little troll didn’t build his wealth through the free market. He used the government to decimate other businesses so that he could profit from them. That’s not capitalism, it’s socialism.

Caiwyn on January 12, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Whiskey Lima on January 12, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Too bad your don’t work for him. Nothing like a captive audience :-)

WryTrvllr on January 12, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Well, someone’s been putting something where Buffet’s mouth is. But I think it’s 0bama.

There, I said it.

contrarian on January 12, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Oh come on. The guys, what, in his 70s. He’d probably aspirate.

WryTrvllr on January 12, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Here’s a list of Berkshire Hathaway Companies:

Acme Brick Company
Applied Underwriters
Ben Bridge Jeweler
Benjamin Moore & Co.
BNSF
BoatU.S.
Borsheims Fine Jewelry
Buffalo NEWS, Buffalo NY
Business Wire
Central States Indemnity Company
Clayton Homes
CORT Business Services
CTB Inc.
Fechheimer Brothers Company
FlightSafety
Forest River
Fruit of the Loom®
Garan Incorporated
Gateway Underwriters Agency
GEICO Auto Insurance
General Re
H.H. Brown Shoe Group
Helzberg Diamonds
HomeServices of America, a subsidiary of
Iscar Metalworking Companies
Johns Manville
Jordan’s Furniture
Justin Brands
Larson-Juhl
Lubrizol Corporation
Marmon Holdings, Inc.
McLane Company
Medical Protective
MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company
MiTek Inc.
National Indemnity Company
Nebraska Furniture Mart
NetJets®
Omaha World-Herald
Precision Steel Warehouse, Inc.
RC Willey Home Furnishings
Richline Group
Scott Fetzer Companies
See’s Candies
Shaw Industries
Star Furniture
The Pampered Chef®
TTI, Inc.
United States Liability Insurance Group
XTRA Corporation

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beatcanvas on January 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM

This man has turned from being admired for his success to being a joke. If he invested his clients’ money as poorly as the US Government does tax money, he wouldn’t have had any clients or money. Here he is at the end of a successful life making a fool of himself. Why do some of these enormously successful business people engage in these theatrical spectacles? Is it boredom or just ego driven to see what else they can do? Would be interesting to know what is really driving him to carry on with Obama. Guilt over race issues? What? Whatever it is, it is colossally stupid.

Charm on January 12, 2012 at 10:10 AM

“You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely.” Ogden Nash.

“Getting old is not a promise of gaining wisdom.”
Getting rich often equates itself more with luck than with intelligence.”
and
“The older I get the more I meet people like Warren Buffet who think the size of their mouths should rival the size of their wallets.”
Me

southsidetom on January 12, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Buffet doesn’t mean any of this BS, he should just shut up. And when he has paid the back taxes owed and paid more than his share, then he can say what he wants. Until then he’s mothing more than a stooge for Obama, funny how you never heard any of this talk until now. And if he’s not a stooge then he’s getting a whole lot of favors, probably the delays on the tax case. Buffet is first and foremost for himself, he just likes to pretend otherwise.

And Whiskey Lima is right. If I were McConnell I would come back with a percentage offer. LOL

Deanna on January 12, 2012 at 10:14 AM

So, Buffett is worth 4,500 times as much as McConnell, yet he’s only willing to match him 3 to 1.

As for the other Republicans, he’s only willing to match them 1 to 1.

That’s how you get to be a billionaire.

Moesart on January 12, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Has he actuall paid the billion or so in back taxes he owes? He should start by that, I think.

dogsoldier on January 12, 2012 at 10:16 AM

What a contradiction, a man who made his fortune from capitalism pushing a socialist administration. Maybe if he had to redistribute most of his wealth involuntarily before everyone else, his tune might change a bit.

His offer is nonsensical since the argument was him complaining that the rich should pay more taxes. McConnell just pointed out that he could do so if he wanted. Not sure why he directed his comments toward the Republicans. It’s the Dems who always want to practice benevolence with other people’s money – never their own. They should set the example for the rest of us.

iamsaved on January 12, 2012 at 10:16 AM

One has to love the optics of a multi-billionaire telling a bunch of multi-millionaires he’ll match their contributions.

I’d say that, since leftists believe in progressive taxes, that Mr. Buffet should match those Republicans $1,000 for ever $1 they contribute.

After all, by leftie standards, it’s only fair…

unclesmrgol on January 12, 2012 at 10:17 AM

beatcanvas on January 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Wow. A holding company which holds a holding company. No wonder Mr. Buffet pays so little in taxes!

unclesmrgol on January 12, 2012 at 10:18 AM

OMG!!!

I am wearing buffets underwear!!!
I need to puke

WryTrvllr on January 12, 2012 at 10:19 AM

What’s also going to be hilarious with this is watching liberals praising Buffet for this.

You will have liberals screaming about how corrupt and greedy the 1% are at the same time praising a 1%’er.

When will Buffet “redistribute” his wealth like liberals demand the 1% do????

Obama has stated that there comes a time when “someone has made enough money”….

The OWS crowd plainly states that about a million dollars is all someone really should be worth in wealthy circles.
…………The rest should be “redistributed.”

When will Buffet…hollywood….Micheal Moore…and all these rich democrats put their money where their activism is and spread their wealth????

Baxter Greene on January 12, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Nice attempt to shift the conversation to “hypocritical” Republicans. The problem is reckless spending and Buffett knows that.

John Deaux on January 12, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Why do some of these enormously successful business people engage in these theatrical spectacles? Is it boredom or just ego driven to see what else they can do? Would be interesting to know what is really driving him to carry on with Obama. Guilt over race issues? What? Whatever it is, it is colossally stupid.

Charm on January 12, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Well, it takes a few years of brain cell loss before you reach the level of liberal.

WryTrvllr on January 12, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Dear Warren:

Your scheme for a donation 3 times what McConnell donates is like a regressive income tax. Let’s see you make a real donation in the spirit of the confiscatory tax rates that the Democrats would impose if only they could. Let’s say that McConnell donates 10% of his net worth. Then in tune with your Democrat friends and what they think is fair in this world, you donate 39% of your net worth. In order to stay perfectly in tune with the liberal mind set, let’s give Senator McConnell an earned income tax credit of 15%. And since you feel so bad about your secretary’s paying so much in taxes, let’s give her a 20% earned income tax credit. Now that’s fair in Democrat speak. How do you like it?

stefano1 on January 12, 2012 at 10:26 AM

I’d say that, since leftists believe in progressive taxes, that Mr. Buffet should match those Republicans $1,000 for ever $1 they contribute.

After all, by leftie standards, it’s only fair…

No it isn’t. $45K per dollar is the ante with McConnell.

If both men gave away 98% of their money, McConnell would not have enough to buy a house my middle class suburb, and Buffett would STILL BE A BILLIONAIRE.

Dirty Creature on January 12, 2012 at 10:31 AM

$45K per dollar

Whoops. I meant $4.5K /dollar.

The other math holds.

Dirty Creature on January 12, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Dear Mr. Buffett, just pay the taxes that you already owe and I will be satisfied. And, when you die don’t transfer your vast fortune to a so-called charitable cause, just let it all go toward paying down the national debt.

SC.Charlie on January 12, 2012 at 10:36 AM

No fool like an old fool. He may have had it once upon a time but he’s just treading water these days—out of touch.

jeanie on January 12, 2012 at 10:39 AM

beatcanvas on January 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Oddly enough I don’t do business with any of those entities in the list. Except Shaw. A good client of mine, dang it!

Bmore on January 12, 2012 at 10:45 AM

beatcanvas on January 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Oddly enough I don’t do business with any of those entities in the list. Except Shaw. A good client of mine, dang it!

Bmore on January 12, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Hold it, I take money from them, that’s okay right?

Bmore on January 12, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Actually, another possibility is that poor old Warren is getting old. Don’t be surpised to find an amendment for Warrens Estate taxes in the next 1000 page monstrosity that noone reads. Isn’t that what they did for Louis Mayer? or was it Samuel Goldwyn?

WryTrvllr on January 12, 2012 at 10:52 AM

That’s because Buffet donates 80% of this pay to charity. His secretary can’t afford to do that.

blink on January 12, 2012 at 10:40 AM

So how does he get around the AMT and limitation of deductions?

WryTrvllr on January 12, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Baxter Greene on January 12, 2012 at 9:31 AM

I propose a new unit of currency–the “Buffett.” It really is the only way to truly grasp the enormity of our national debt–saying it is in the trillions just goes right over people’s heads, too big a number to grasp and understand. One “Buffet” equals $40 billion (equal to approximately his net worth.)

Our National Debt will no longer be labeled as $15 trillion, but as 375 Buffets, signalling that we would need 375 Warren Buffets to donate their entire net worth to pay off our national debt. (“Oh, look! There’s not enough money in the world to ever pay our debts!”)

Our Annual Federal Deficit this year was about $1.5 trillion, or 37 Buffets. So if we can get Republicans to pay up 18.5 Buffet’s (half the deficit or $750 billion, or about a couple thousand times their net worth) then he could match with the other 18.5 Buffet’s (close to 20 times his net worth) and we’d actually be in the black this year! :D

Well, that really is too ambitious, and who says we have to balance the budget this year? How bout if we just assume that our budget is balanced, and all we need to worry about is paying off the debt, and let’s further pretend there is no interest accruing on it.

If we wanted to pay off this debt over 100 years (by 2112), that would be $150 billion a year we need to pay, or 3-4 Buffet’s. For 100 years.

I think we have a problem!

Polynath on January 12, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Warren Buffet puts other people’s money where his mouth is

Warren Buffet, like all progressives in the WH and Congress, wants to put puts other people’s money where his mouth is

FIFY!

If Warren Bluffett really wanted to make a statement and a serious challenge, he would propose paying the top rate or applying the AMT on his NET WORTH!

belad on January 12, 2012 at 11:03 AM

So how does he get around the AMT and limitation of deductions?

WryTrvllr on January 12, 2012 at 10:55 AM

He doesn’t have to. He is giving from his discretionary income. He is not getting around the AMT and limitation of deductions, because he doesn’t have to. I have no problem with Warren doing whatever he wants with his discretionary income — I just have a problem with Warren trying to reduce my discretionary income.

In addition, if you analyse the tax structure of a holding company such as Berkshire Hathaway, you’ll see immediately why Warren pays so little in taxes. Things like railroads are incredible tax shelters.

unclesmrgol on January 12, 2012 at 11:03 AM

He doesn’t have to. He is giving from his discretionary income. He is not getting around the AMT and limitation of deductions, because he doesn’t have to. I have no problem with Warren doing whatever he wants with his discretionary income — I just have a problem with Warren trying to reduce my discretionary income.

In addition, if you analyse the tax structure of a holding company such as Berkshire Hathaway, you’ll see immediately why Warren pays so little in taxes. Things like railroads are incredible tax shelters.

unclesmrgol on January 12, 2012 at 11:03 AM

No, I understand the tax shelters etc. My query was whether it was actually possible for someone to give 80% of their income to charity.

WryTrvllr on January 12, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Name change needed….from Warren to Bullsh!t!
Bullsh!t Buffet!

KOOLAID2 on January 12, 2012 at 11:10 AM

lymond on January 12, 2012 at 9:56 AM

If the R’s take over — the Italians have a word for it — vendetta!

IlikedAUH2O on January 12, 2012 at 11:11 AM

I get what your saying. I needed the definition of “discretionary” income. Post taxes, etc.

We’ll 80% is impressive, unless you still have tens of millions left annually to keep paying for your Gulfstream.

WryTrvllr on January 12, 2012 at 11:16 AM

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