Friday, September 24, 2010

An Open Letter To Warren Buffett

Dear Mr. Buffett:

I have read about, and listened to, with interest your recent interviews on CNBC and elsewhere.  Mr. Buffett, I'm confused.  Could you clarify a few things for me?

You are familiar with the recent declaration from the National Bureau Of Economic Research (NBER) that the recession officially ended in June, 2009.  You disagree.

In fact you told CNBC that by your own "common sense" definition, the United States is "still in a recession."  In the same interview, you said taxpayer anger against President Barack Obama and Congress is counterproductive because policy makers took measures including deficit spending to stimulate the economy.  Yet you don't seem to understand why common folks like me are opposed to turning over more than one more cent to the government, which has clearly created the very mess we're supposed to entrust them to fix.

“The truth is we’re running a federal deficit that’s 9%  of Gross DomesticProduct (GDP),” Buffett said. “That’s stimulative as all get out.  It’s more stimulative than any policy we’ve followed since World War II.”

Always the altruistic one, you even castigated the rich by telling CNBC  that you don't buy the argument that raising taxes for them would derail the nation's economic recovery.  I think it's fantastic that you are so willing to sacrifice a much larger portion of your earned income.  Putting your money where your mouth is. Good show!

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but you make how many tens of millions?  What's that?  Could you speak a little louder?  Your salary is $100,000?  Is that per minute?  Per hour?  Per YEAR?

Ok, with salary and other bennies it's nearly $200,000.  So, wow, you'd be willing to chip in another 10K for the good of your country?  Good for you!

But isn't your net worth on the order of $50 Billion?  Wouldn't it do the country more good if you supported a tax on wealth?  By your own reasoning, I'm surprised you haven't whipped out your check book and written a $10 Billion check to Uncle Sam for the purpose of deficit reduction.  But you've given so much to charity, I understand.  Strange, but if the U.S. Government is so adept at re-allocating wealth, why would you rely on charities?  I'm really confused here.

And, since every taxpayer needs to do their fair share, I assume you give back your Social Security check.  If, by your own reasoning, it is incumbent on the rich to help reduce the deficit, here's a great way to start.  According to a recent inteview you did with Lou Dobbs, you keep the money.   Hey, every penny counts!

Mr. Buffet, you have made your billions by exploiting the capitalist, free market system.  A system not hindered by over-regulation and government intervention.  Sad, that you don't wish to see others free to take advantage of the same "land of opportunity" that blessed you.

Do, I sense just a wee bit of hypocrisy?

Well, I'm going to try to cut you some slack.  If I were 80 and interviewed by a woman as beautiful and intelligent as Becky Quick, I might not be able to contruct a coherent sentence.

Mr. Buffett, this is "Marko's Take".  I welcome you to TAKE ME ON!

Marko's Take

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