Let’s listen to Warren Buffett

The billionaire – and one of the richest men on the planet – had some advice for lawmakers when it comes to taxes. In an article in today’s New York Times – Buffett argued for his own taxes to be raised – as well as others just like him. “While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet,” Buffett wrote, “we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks." He continued, “My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress.

It's time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice." Every single poll that’s come out on this issue shows that vast majority of American agree with Warren Buffett – that the rich need to pay their fair share in taxes. In fact – the only people who disagree seem to be the Republicans in Congress who’ve signed Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge.

And somehow – these are the Republicans that have wormed their way into the Gang of 12 – meaning Warren Buffett’s – and the American peoples’ – message will likely be ignored once again.

Comments

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 2 days ago
#1

People like Warren Buffet must realize that wealth really has no meaning if they have to live in a junk yard. And a junk yard is what the world is becoming and most of us are merely scavengers...soon to be ruthless cutthroats in order to survive. The police won't save you...that's socialism...they laid off all of the police! Of course, the rich will hire their own police protection from private protection agencies...like Blackwater. Just like in Iraq...they'll blast away first and ignore questions later.

The middle class was supposed to be the buffer, the infrastructure that made the civilization run smoothly..and a realistic goal for many of the poor who could make it if they worked hard enough...but that is being eroded by the decadence of the capitalist maggots feeding off the last morsels of a decaying and failing system.

The idiot lip-flappers on CNBC, defenders of the bubbles, Obama's icons, are so comical to watch as their bullish rhetoric sh!t piles come tumbling down and they have to resort to face-saving language like "market corrections"...yeah, right! So funny! They remind me of people at a Las Vegas casino placing bets on their favorite crap table or roulette wheel numbers. There used to be some real products behind those numbers which made it a lot less like gambling. But with the way the economy has devolved with the Republican way of doing business...scrapping manufacturing for the FIRE (Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate) economy and betting big time in derivatives and junk mortgages instead of investments in capital equipment and employees to make things in America, they chose to bet on bubbles. And when the bubbles popped they bailed out the big time gamblers who created the bubbles. Brooksley Born, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Hudson (the economist), Joseph Stiglitz, and many others were right all along. They were marginalized by the criminal schemers and their puppet politicians and now we suffer a broken empire run by criminals.

But one very important question needs to be answered...when will someone steal that stupid piece of metal in the shape of Ferdinand the bull on Wall Street...or at least remove his ba!!s so he doesn't cause any more damage to the world? They already spawned the worlds greatest idiots like Greenspan, Rubin, Summers, and other supply-side goons and ghouls.

stonesphear's picture
stonesphear 9 years 2 days ago
#2

Buffet isn't alone in this. GE for example has more or less taken the same position and no doubt there are others as well, announced or not.

Kids playing around a campfire and sword fighting with burning fire brands, sooner or latter the adults have to step in ----- otherwise ?

rasmus11's picture
rasmus11 9 years 2 days ago
#3

@ Palindromedary This short article is about the fact that Warren Buffett expressed his belief that: “While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks." and “My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It's time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.". It seems to me that he is on your / our side in this regard.

danowen's picture
danowen 9 years 2 days ago
#4

Will they listen to Warren Buffett? Of course not, they'll listen to the money pouring into their re-election campaign warchests.

RichardofJeffersonCity's picture
RichardofJeffer... 9 years 2 days ago
#5

R.E.P.U.B.L.I.C.A.N.S

Evil

People

Using

Bad

Legislative

Ideology

Crippling

America’s

National

Spirit

flyguy8650's picture
flyguy8650 9 years 2 days ago
#6

He is on our side, if he wants to give more, there is nothing stopping him or any well off American. Even if they confiscate all the wealth in America from tax payees, it will not be enough. Money is a drug for politicians, left and right. The citizens must decide if they want a freedom based capitalist country or a sudo socialist European style life. Tough choice, easy for small populations, almost impossiblenfor 300 million. It would take a dictatorship or kinder gentler hugo Chavez. Won't happen in the USA. Break the states up into small democracy.....maybe the yet to be born will make that happen. Utopia is a myth. Take us back to 1950 , that is America. I wish things were different, all we can do is take care of our family collectives when the shitnhits the fan. My goal, live off the land and off the grid. 20 acres, my own water, garden, cattle and guns.

Peace

wulfmahn's picture
wulfmahn 9 years 2 days ago
#7

I have just one solution to give, campaign funds reform. If we can limit the funds these crooks can receive from Corporations, then we can begin to wean from the greedy to the real public servants who give a hoot about the ordinary person, because they would be from the ordinary. We have to stop voting in this high power overstuffed Ivy League crooks to lead our country. We need engineers, scientist, civil service, house wives, and blue collar scholars to be in the mix in the decision making in this country. Only then can we have some equanimity in this society. So my fellow fed uppers, let’s stand together with one voice to strike back and cut the greed out of this country.

KassandraTroy's picture
KassandraTroy 9 years 2 days ago
#8

It's not just the republcians, Thom.

kkingeman's picture
kkingeman 9 years 2 days ago
#9

In response to flyguy, maybe Texas should secede then and Gov. Rick Perry with it.

dianhow 9 years 2 days ago
#10

Lets be accurate : US lived many years under Reaganomics deregulation of ruling class, corps , Wall ST -energy, trucking,airlines, and more. Reagan Bush GOP wealth favoring policies that tanked our wages, jobs sent overseas with big Bush cuts, Reagans total 1986 amnesty for slave labor. Paulsons 700 billion TARP joke on taxpayers.-we paid 100 cents of the dollar for worthless JUNK , we gave croooked banks AIG - even foreign banks, zero interests loans.. Bush waged 2 long failed wars , Iraq based on fear, lies , war profits, Bush failed at killing Bin laden US # 1 enemy . W even had a GOP congress 6 long yrs 2000- 2006 They gave him ALL he asked for No questions asked. 2 long UNfunded wars Bush did not know how to end, 2 huge corp cuts, subsides, loopholes. Those are the facts not my opinion. Obama has a decent record after taking on several crisis at once. Jan 2009 . Dealing with hate smears demonizing by Fox Beck Hannity Cheney Rove Palen Bachman + 800 con radio talk shows that spew lies- hate every single day . No other Pres ha shad to deal with that Last straw Bagger run GOP forced a very unfair bill under threat of US default Are those the kind of folks you trust with our future ? I think not

wmstoll's picture
wmstoll 9 years 2 days ago
#11

I think Warren should simply write the government a check instead of grandstanding. Other billionaires prefer to distribute their money to causes that want to support. They aren't the only people to not trust the government. Road taxes going to transit and bike paths,etc.

chef dude's picture
chef dude 9 years 2 days ago
#12

I am sorry I don't read the NY Times regularly. What page was the article on? 10 or 12 . It is sad, but I think unless we stand up this time they will disregard Buffet and every poll or expert that speaks truth to power. What about the millionaire pledge or letter that circulated before the deficit hostage event. If it is front page news, how can it not be given a voice on main stream media, and become part of the crucial discourse. There are other options than what Main Stream Media constantly broadcasts 24/7, misinforming the greater American Public with one side of the story. Why didn't the media report page 4 of the S&P report?

How did we get hoodwinked with the Super Congress. I didn't vote for it. How is developing a new branch of Government ok with out our approval. It makes me sick to think now we have exactly the same corruption as the Supreme Court. If 6 of the 12 have already decided what the raw deal will be, and the other 6 are 50/50 what are our chances of having anything close to a fair deal. We are being taken hook, line, and sinker on the race to the bottom while 1 % laugh all the way to the bank they own. Argh!

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 2 days ago
#13

Good for Warren Buffet, but I also think he realizes, like all credible economists, the real crash is just around the corner. The cuts in the debt deal are massive no matter how you spin it. Cuts in a deep job recession are sure to achieve the results the republican extremists on the gang of 12 are after.....a decimated economy just before the election, it's their GOD's will. So of course Buffet's words mean nothing to the party of terror and economic stupidity.

The possibility of the "trigger" could put a hurt $$$$$$$ on the industry of death and destruction, so watch for increased terror alerts and lots of fear based propaganda in the near future.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 2 days ago
#14

rasmus11: exactly right you are! And that's why I said that people like Buffet must realize that wealth has no meaning if they have to live in a junk yard. Buffet appears to be one of the wealthy who recognizes the fallacy of the failure of our government to tax and control those who cannot seem to help themselves but to be extremely greedy and selfish. There really are a few rich people who are not comfortable with being the target of all of that hate coming from the masses. Many, not only want wealth but they want to be loved and adored by their lesser fortunate creatures. Vermin like the Koch Roaches seem to be completely devoid of any empathy and continue to plot and control...despite some tidbits they might throw to the dogs, from time to time, in their vain attempt to fool some of their own high-brow fellows in that they are magnanimous and charitable. But of course, many wealthy creatures play these games mostly for the tax write-offs they get.

Like, for example, they may buy a painting at an auction for say $100,000, keep it for a few years...then donate it to a museum with the "estimated value" at say $2 million, so they get a tax write-off of $2 million on a $100,000 investment. They get the publicity and adoration of being generous but in reality they are making piles of money off of it. And the result is that the rich use such trickery to push the tax burden down to hard working people who cannot resort to such tax-cheating games.

Maybe we should all be thinking about the idea that the Donner Party had when crossing the Sierra Nevada mountains....EAT THE RICH!!! Of course, although it wasn't necessarily "the rich" that got eaten back then but if the wealthy push us further into poverty and we wind up hungry in the streets...many just may take the opportunity to pounce upon any wealthy-looking individuals roaming around in their expensive Ferraris. I say that figuratively, of course, maggot soup doesn't sound very inviting...but, then again, if we are starving........!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 1 day ago
#15

Back in about 2004, they had a "Tax Holiday" for people and corporations that had been sheltering their money and assets outside of the US. The deal was that the USG would forgive the 35-40% taxation...but require about a 5% taxation instead. The deal was ostensibly done with the agreement that these corporations would, in return, hire more employees. Well, after they got their tax breaks, they didn't hire more employees, in fact they laid more people off. This was also touted as being a one-time-only deal...that this was their only chance for such a deal.

Well, now the USG is trying to do the same thing all over again....it was thought that this would be part of the debt ceiling agreement but didn't make it in as part of the deal. But, according to Matt Taibbi, he has his ears constantly atuned to what is going on in Washington and he said that this is not off the table...that it is still being rumored to be quite possible.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/evil-corporate-tax-h...

RepubliCult's picture
RepubliCult 9 years 1 day ago
#16

Deadbeat Billionaires in America ...should be subpoenaed!

please follow this link to my post on Thom's site, it describes some logic to use this one constitutionally supported way to get closer to the heart of the problem:

http://www.thomhartmann.com/users/republicult/blog/2011/07/deadbeat-bill...

Meanwhile, we see how Warren has weighed in on how he stands on this. But back at the insane asylum of Repub-liar-cons... we see most of the mega-wealthy remain quiet cowards, lobbying behind the scenes to maintain their choke-hold on the neck of America's future, as they practice the dark science of Treasonomics - which includes the outsourcing millions of jobs to foreign powers while firing American workers, hoarding their wealth in off-shore accounts, moving corporate headquarters, manufacturing, and entire factories to foreign countries, selling American assets to China, India, and Russia...

MaryMary's picture
MaryMary 9 years 1 day ago
#17

You must be a Dumb-ac-rat.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 9 years 1 day ago
#18

Carole Lombard liked paying her taxes and openly said so. Accordingly, Buffet should double screen his airplane mechanics, especially anyone who worked for Boeing or North American anything.

thegroup 9 years 1 day ago
#19

MOST of our problems can be rolled back to corporate and wealthy influence on our government....Our legislators can't bring the jobs back that were outsourced because some of their biggest campaign contributors are the same people that sent the jobs overseas. Free trade, elimination of tariffs and the tax code have stunted G.D.P. growth. Does G.D.P. have anything to do with revenues?
We have a way to fix it.

www.shutupvotethebill.org

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 9 years 1 day ago
#20

I think Mr. Buffet wants to shame the unwilling and Washington politicians into joining his patriotic call. Yes, he can go ahead and give but there is currently no way to force the others into paying their fair share. He's asking for LAWS and tax code to make certain all are contributing their fair share. If there is an incentive to gaining wealth at all costs because current tax laws reward that behavior, then there will be even more scabs trying to get rich off hard-working folks--think hedge-fund managers and Bernie Madoff types.

Amen to living off the grid and on the land.

Alan Lunn's picture
Alan Lunn 9 years 11 hours ago
#21

I agree. This is the number one thing we need in this country to begin really fixing anything. As D.R, says, "We have a bought government." We have to band together in some populist uprising or movement to demand our government make a constitutional amendment to end money in politics.

That will rattle the right-wingers on the Supreme Court who have rationalized the idea that "money = speech" is constitutional. It will also be news to Romney who said -- in Ames, Iowa -- that "corporations are people." Right. Just like Joseph Smith was a prophet.

Ursel Twing's picture
Ursel Twing 8 years 51 weeks ago
#22

GE does most of their business OUT of the country and they paid ZERO taxes last year. To make matters worse, Jeffrey Immelt is one of obama's czars. What a joke.

Randy95023's picture
Randy95023 8 years 50 weeks ago
#23

Good for Warren Buffett! It's just possible that at his age he realized that he had SO much money that any pleasure, or security that a person can receive from "collecting" money was far surpassed. My little personal tale is similar to Andrew Carnegie on a MUCH smaller scale. After suffering through a divorce when I was 48 (to a woman I'd been married to since I was 21) I took a fresh look at my life. I had two wonderful kids, both university graduates, happily married with healthy children (MY Grandkids!). I had "done my duty" by age 50. I had stayed married through the Important years, worked the same job for 30 years, was still great friends with my ex-wife and financially got two kids through college and paid for my daughter's wedding. "Where to now?" I thought. After settling all the finances with my ex I was left with $150,000, a nice apartment and NO bills or debt of any kind. Now I know that 150 thousand dollars is a laughably small amount of money, but it was my life savings! After finishing two college degrees (online, using 120 units gathered over the years at two community colleges and one State University) I had a certain satisfaction with life. I had begun taking my Christianity seriously so my faith in God was in a good place. So, like Carnegie, I decided to give away some of my life savings. Not a lot, because I still needed to save for retirement, but about $25,000. I researched various charities and gave between $300 and $1,000 a month over the next couple of years. I got SO much satisfaction from giving that it was better than anything I could have bought with the money. I can sort of imagine how good a Warren Buffett or an Andrew Carnegie must have felt by giving away BILLIONS!! It's actually (and sadly) almost hedonistic to give away money. You get so much pleasure from giving that it's not really a "sacrifice" at all.

I don't understand why so many Millionaires and Billionaires don't enjoy the pleasure of giving away a chunk of their money. Read Andrew Carnegie's "Gospel of Wealth" and you can almost feel the intense pleasure that the once poor and hungry boy from Scotland felt in his giving. The satisfaction I got from giving away a pittance was just a taste of that "Satisfaction"! If the richest 1/3rd of Americans would give away just 25% of their wealth there would be NO poverty left in our Nation. If there is an afterlife I'd rather go where Buffett and Carnegie are probably going and NOT where Greedy folks like the Koch brothers are probably headed...

Peace, Randy

If Biden Wins, Get Ready for Trump to Punish America

Thom plus logo What could happen to America if Trump were to further, severely crash the U.S. economy the day after Joe Biden is announced as the winner of the 2020 presidential race?

As Trump tweeted on June 15, 2019, "if anyone but me takes over... there will be a Market Crash the likes of which has not been seen before!"
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Beneath the success and rise of American enterprise is an untold history that is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear. This is a seminal work, a godsend really, a clear message to every citizen about the need to reform our country, laws, and companies."
Paul Hawken, coauthor of Natural Capitalism and author of The Ecology of Commerce
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Right through the worst of the Bush years and into the present, Thom Hartmann has been one of the very few voices constantly willing to tell the truth. Rank him up there with Jon Stewart, Bill Moyers, and Paul Krugman for having the sheer persistent courage of his convictions."
Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth
From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen