Thursday, March 6, 2008

Warren Buffett, American Hero.

Warren Buffett is officially the richest man in the world today.
Maybe now the idiots who talk about giving more tax breaks for the rich will pay a little more attention to what he says....

From the opening statement of his testimony (appealing against the elimination of estate taxes) to the Senate Finance Committee last year:

Dynastic wealth, the enemy of a meritocracy, is on the rise. Equality of opportunity has been on the decline. A progressive and meaningful estate tax is needed to curb the movement of a democracy toward a plutocracy.

Take the few minutes to read that entire opening statement, by the way.

But this is nothing new. Buffett has been talking about sensible taxation for years. From a 2001 BBC article:

Mr Buffett.......said that repealing the estate tax would be a "terrible mistake". It was like "choosing the 2020 Olympic team by picking the eldest sons of the gold-medal winners in the 2000 Olympics".

And this, when he decided to give the bulk of his fortune away:

"I love it when I'm around the country club, and I hear people talking about the debilitating effects of a welfare society," he said. "At the same time, they leave their kids a lifetime and beyond of food stamps. Instead of having a welfare officer, they have a trust officer. And instead of food stamps, they have stocks and bonds."

So when McCain talks about making the Bush tax cuts permanent, maybe someone will have the balls to tell him, preferably in a widely televised public forum, that when meritocracy dies people like Dubya become president.

Update: 11.50 am:

I can't believe I left out this beauty from a Times Online report from last year:

Mr Buffett, who runs Berkshire Hathaway and is generally regarded as the world’s most successful investor, said he was a Democrat because Republicans are more likely to think: "I’m making $80 million a year, God must have intended me to have a lower tax rate."

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1 comment:

Robb said...

He's absolutely one of my heroes. (Big surprise he's a Husker, right?) Not because he's probably the greatest investor in history (not at all because of that, actually), but because he believes that America has no place for "dynastic wealth". I love that term, BTW,

Oh yeah, and giving $30+ billion to help the poorest and most vulnerable people all over the world. That makes Carnegie look like a pile of crap (no offense to your alma mater, V).

Republicans profess to believe in competition, but only when the field is tilted in their favor. This guy says, "Bring it on. And if my kids can't handle it, then they shouldn't be rich." (Of course, his kids are richer than you or I will ever be, but not crazy rich. Plus, they had this guy as their dad - that'll probably serve them well.)

Plus, he's a Husker - how much @$$ does that kick?