The Oracle of Omaha Swings and Misses

In yesterday’s New York Times the Oracle of Omaha (Warren Buffet) wrote an editorial urging the President and Congress to raise taxes on the super-rich.  See that editorial here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html

While I agree with some of the substance of the editorial, it is a huge miss on two fronts, and while one must be careful criticizing the Oracle I’m going to rightly do so in this post.

First and foremost, he assumes the government needs more money and that it is running efficiently and fairly.  It is not.  It is rife with fraud, favoritism, cronyism, and waste, and in dire need of reform on many fronts.  Why would a successful business leader such as Warren Buffet not demand reform prior to sending in more money, or at least demand it at the same time he sends in more money?  i.e., clean up government and then you can have my money, or I’m sending more money but only on a deal that says you will clean things up too.

Secondly, the Obama Administration, never hesitant to lie and deceive, is already distorting Buffet’s editorial.   Buffet should have anticipated this, along with its consequences.  In his writing Buffet says “leave taxes unchanged for 99.7% of the population, but raise taxes on those making $1 milion a year, and raise them even more on those making $10 million a year.”

In Iowa yesterday the President turned the editorial into an endorsement to generically “raise taxes on the rich”, meaning those making $250k or more.  He and Democrat members of Congress, and his spokespeople, are greatly distorting the Buffet position.  It’s a far cry (4x, to be specific) from $250k to $1 million, and from $250k to $10 million.  But Obama and his cohorts don’t mind lying and deceiving, and are twisting the editorial to say something that Buffet did not say.

Even the Oracle can make mistakes, and he did so this time.

 

 

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