Tim Hardin’s lyrics, “If I were a carpenter/ And you were a lady/ Would you marry me anyway?/ Would you have my baby?” could hardly be applied to 80 year old Warren Buffett today although his three grown kids might wish he were a carpenter.
Unlike most carpenters, Buffett has, he says, cut off his progeny from his billions when he eventually shuffles off this mortal coil. Susan, Howard, and Peter Buffett can just shuffle for themselves, he says, when Warren bites the bullet and moves on up to the great corporation in the sky.
He might just as well sing, “If I were a billionaire/ And gave it all away/ Would you love me anyway/ Would you be my babies?”
Maybe they will, and maybe not since Buffett’s whole, politically-motivated charade, his pledge to give away 99% of his almost boundless wealth, most to be dispensed, with strings attached and in relative deibbles, to the philanthropic Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is an outrageous crock.
Borne of his new-found, George Soros-esque, socialistic, pseudo-egalitarianism and guilt over decades of milking the capitalist system for all it was worth, Buffett’s pledge is less a promise than a threat.
When octogenarians sniff their mortality, some seem to get social consciences even as their years tend to cloud their sanity.
Alternatively referred to as the Oracle of Omaha and the Sage of Omaha, the oracular, sagacious Buffett earned his billions as Chairman, CEO, and principal shareholder of the amazingly-successful American conglomerate, holding company, Berkshire Hathaway.
Just incidentally, Buffett indirectly made my neighbor a millionaire when Berkshire’s principal holding, Coca Cola, bought out his modest Coke delivery enterprise. For that, my neighbor is eternally grateful, even worshipful, of Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, and Coke, although he thinks Buffett’s professed, current political and economic views are asinine.
Good call, neighbor!
In conjunction with his 99% pledge which, even if fulfilled some day and which would leave him with a piddling $600,000,000 of his current $60 billion kitty, Obama buddy Buffett wants his fellow billionaires to cough up half their money for the common good, an invitation with as much likelihood of acceptance as Obama becoming a capitalist.
Knowing that Pollyannaish idea is a non-starter, he has other monetary plans up his sleeve which would threaten the livelihoods of millions.
Buffett made headlines with his as yet unfulfilled 99% giveaway as well as with his claim of paying 17.4% in federal taxes, a much lower rate than that paid by his secretary, and with his persistent insistence that the government undertaxes the rich even as it is in dire need of additional funding.
He ignores the truth that the upper echelons already pay 70% of federal taxes and 45% of those at the other end pay zilch and he doesn’t cite the primary cause of that funding shortfall–Obama’s profligacy. He also hasn’t offered to raise his secretary’s salary in compensation nor to write a check for ten billion or so to the Treasury Department to tide it over.
What he could do to help his country, and hasn’t, is divvy up his $60 billion cache among 2 million or so deserving, unemployed Americans, giving each $30,000 in lieu of parceling it out to the Gates Foundation for its various global initiatives and selective philanthropy.
See the Wall Street Journal’s “Warren Buffett’s Tax Dodge,” http://on.wsj.com/qATpy4, for an analysis of his manipulatory tax shenanigans.
What he did do just this week is drop another five bil of Berkshire’s fortune into one of those evil financial institutions, Bank of America, and he continues to maintain significant positions in other mean banks such as Wells Fargo, USB, MTB, and M&T as well as in treacherous oil companies like Conoco Phillips, employee-discriminating Walmart, Obama’s favorite corporation, GE, and China. (http://bit.ly/cDGXqG)
I guess the oracle figures he might as well balloon his bottom line before he begins divesting for real. A number of people have pointed out that his taxation ideas for that bottom line are reflective of an “I got mine but I’ll be damned if you get yours” attitude.
Buffett recently went on record in favor of the president’s scheme to share the wealth by taxing the wealthy since he feels guilty for being so successful. He endorsed significantly higher taxes on the rich–people such as Warren Buffett, my neighbor, and on everyone else and on every small business raking in gross, stupendous sums of $200-$250,000.
Two hundred and fifty grand can seem like a lot of bucks in some areas but in my neck of the woods, the Long Island, NY neck, a quarter mil gross is hardly extravagant when annual real estate taxes can run to $25,000 and up and houses average $400k. Rarely mentioned is that the Obama-Buffett $250,000 figure also applies to “mom-and-pop” businesses which employ tens of thousands here and tens of millions nationwide.
In case Warren hasn’t noticed, the nation has an unemployment problem that has been compounded by Obama’s fiscal ineptitude. Hiking taxes on those “rich” moms and pops will only lengthen the lines at unemployment offices after mom advises pop they will have to lay off some help to pay their increased taxes.
Such reality factors either elude multi-millionaire Obama and multi-billionaire Buffett or, more probably, they fully grasp the ramifications but consider the trade-off worth it. The electoral benefits of inciting class warfare will salve Buffett’s conscience and make him feel better at being filthy rich while wrapped in a populist mantle at the same time they permit the president to perpetuate his socialist conspiracy for four more years.
Of the two, Obama and Buffett, it’s a close call but I would have to say the Omaha Oracle is more reprehensible.
The president is so immersed in his ideology that he can’t help himself. Warren Buffett, on the other hand, has conducted his life and businesses predicated on the rewards of astute capitalistic investment and ingenuity, which makes his reputed conversion to the dark side of Obamanomics hypocritically farcical.