Warren Buffett makes another plea for government to take more from him and his net worth peers.
First, I’ll point Buffett to my advice for those who would like to raise taxes. Thankfully, many others are calling for Buffett to lead by example and voluntarily cut a check as well. Maybe Buffett will hear that message and respond.
I’ve also addressed Buffett’s analytical hypocrisy on this matter before. That didn’t seem to work.
I’ll try another approach.
Carefully read Buffett’s words from this paragraph of his editorial:
They’ve [Twelve members of Congress] been instructed to devise a plan that reduces the 10-year deficit by at least $1.5 trillion. It’s vital, however, that they achieve far more than that. Americans are rapidly losing faith in the ability of Congress to deal with our country’s fiscal problems. Only action that is immediate, real and very substantial will prevent that doubt from morphing into hopelessness.
He never mentions spending — only deficit. Buffett seems unwilling to hold our elected representatives accountable for spending way beyond our means.
I believe that’s partly due to an incentive effect. If it were Buffett’s own pocketbook that representatives spent from he might think otherwise.
Buffett’s business, Berkshire Hathaway, is a holding company that owns lots of other companies. He grew wealthy by buying good businesses run by good managers, keeping those managers and letting them do what they do best, run their businesses.
What do you think Warren would do if a business manager began spending much more than he was bringing in with no hope of closing that gap?
Do you think he would beg that manager to take even more of Buffett’s money so the manager could continue his spending spree?
I don’t think so either. I think he would fire him swiftly and find a replacement.
In my opinion, Buffett and his net worth peers, do much better for the economy by continuing to invest their wealth in productive ventures that make products and services that we value as consumers and provide jobs for millions of people, than by handing it over to politicians to help sustain the bureaucratic, rent-seeking behemoth we know as government.
I also think Buffett and his net worth peers could do much better by explaining this to folks and encouraging us to support and vote for politicians who would like to reduce the bureaucratic drain on society and double down on productivity.