Buffett a Kinder, Gentler Soros
By Doug Patton
August 29, 2011
"The largest single barrier to full employment of our manpower and resources, and to a higher rate of economic growth, is the unrealistically heavy drag of federal income taxes on private purchasing power, initiative and incentive."
It is one of the great political lies of modern American life that the ultra-wealthy are all conservative Republicans. If only it were true. Take Warren Buffett, for instance. He is one of the wealthiest men in the world, with a personal fortune estimated at approximately $50 billion. He has been an investor for six decades. As a businessman, you would think he was conservative. Well, you would be wrong.
Buffett is a hard core, left wing Democrat, a fiscal and social liberal of the first order. He is a staunch believer in big government, high taxes and all the failed dogma that goes along with it. One of his favorite causes is subsidizing abortion. Because he buys into the lie that the earth is overpopulated, he supports, promotes and funds radical population control measures all around the world.
When Arnold Schwarzenegger ran for governor of California the first time, he tapped Buffett to be his economic advisor. (This should have told us all we needed to know about the kind of left-wing Republican Arnold would turn out to be.) During that campaign, Buffett was fond of telling the press that he pays more in property taxes on his $500,000 home in Omaha than he does on his $3 million home in California.
Unfortunately, the statement was not meant to convey that California taxes are too high. Quite the contrary; it was intended as a lament that California’s property taxes were not as confiscatory as Nebraska’s — which, of course, they would be had California voters not put a lid on them back in the 1970s.
Similarly, Buffett writes in his recent opinion piece in The New York Times that his hired help pays a higher rate of taxation than he does. Yet rather than demanding lower taxes for them, he calls for higher taxes on himself and his rich cronies.
Buffett’s hypocrisy is legendary. He writes that he wants to be taxed more, yet he goes globetrotting around the world trying to convince his peers to leave their fortunes to tax exempt foundations — like he does.
Buffett takes a paltry $100,000 annual salary. Any additional compensation comes to him and his uber-rich buddies in ways that are taxed at lower rates, as written in the tax code. That, of course, is their choice, yet Buffett blames Congress for “coddling” him.
“These and other blessings,” Buffett writes facetiously, “are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places.”
I’m sure it is, and one of Warren’s favorite “friends” is none other than President Barack Obama himself. He has encouraged Obama in his reckless spending and socialist nanny state policies; now he is mustering support for the inevitable taxes that always go hand in hand with such irresponsibility.
The big question is this: Why doesn’t Warren Buffett simply write a check for $50 billion to the U.S. Treasury? Why not? If he has such faith in government, why is he sheltering most of his wealth from taxation while keeping it in private hands?
Could it be because he knows that Barack Obama would literally spend in a week what it has taken Buffett a lifetime to accumulate? Could it be that Buffett knows that if Obama confiscated all the assets of every American taxpayer making more than $200,000 a year, he would run out of money long before his term ends on January 20, 2013?
The Oracle of Omaha, as Buffett is fond of being called, likes to be thought of as a geriatric Wall Street rock star. In reality, he is just a kinder, gentler version of wicked old George Soros.
Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.