Warren Buffet Is an Idiot

I wouldn’t want anyone to think I don’t like Warren Buffet because he’s rich. For one thing, I don’t engage in class envy or any other kind. Maybe if I found out he could play the piano or do impressions of movie actors or even juggle, I might be slightly green. But the unvarnished truth is that I don’t envy people like Buffet and Bill Gates their fortunes. I admit I’d like to be wealthier than I am because I don’t like having to think about money at all. But once you get to be as rich as guys like that, I don’t know how you have time to think about anything else.

When you have 30 or 40 billion dollars, I would imagine that just keeping track of it would keep you pretty busy. I bet billionaires spend countless hours meeting with boring guys in suits who cart around attaché cases and are named Roger or Malcolm, talking about what to do with all that loot. I bet it keeps them busier than a Jack Russell herding sheep.

I also wager they spend a great deal of time worrying about people stealing their money. I mean it. How would they even know? It’s not like they can keep it stuffed in their mattress.

Perhaps it’s all that worrying that explains why Buffet says so many really foolish things. But even his stupidity wouldn’t be so unbearable if he didn’t insist on compounding it with his hypocrisy.

For instance, in 2006, he complained that he only paid his income taxes at a rate of 19%, whereas his secretary paid at a rate of 33%. “How can this be right?” he huffed.

Well, the answer is pretty simple. He paid at a lower rate because his money came to him in the form of capital gains and dividends, whereas hers was strictly salary.

The better question he should have asked is why did he have to pay at such a high rate, considering he had already been taxed on the money that he then invested in stocks and bonds, thus helping to grease the gears of a capitalistic economy, allowing businesses to expand and hire more workers. Talk about no good deed going unpunished!

What’s more, when Mr. Buffet finally moves on to the big boardroom in the sky, the feds will scoop off even more of his money in the form of death or estate taxes.

In 2008, his worth was estimated to be $62 billion — that’s billion with a “b” — but, through the Bill Gates Foundation, he has since given away about $25 billion to various charities.

What I don’t understand is, one, why he is so anxious for the feds to take an even bigger bite out of his pile; and, two, why, if he is so offended by the low tax rate for rich people, he doesn’t simply write a bigger check on April 15th.

Even back in 2006, when he began bitching about his 19% tax rate, he only sent the IRS $48 million. What stopped him from sending them $96 million? There’s no law that says that just because the rate is 19%, you can’t pay 38% or 76%. Heck, he had $62 billion stashed away. Would he really have missed $30 or $40 billion?

Wouldn’t it have been a lot manlier of old Warren to just write a check that ended in nine zeroes than to gripe about what other people were paying? If I remember correctly, even his pal, Obama, only paid at a 20% rate last year. But at least he didn’t go around whining that he and Michelle weren’t paying enough.

But maybe Warren just isn’t the sort of guy who wants all the attention that would go with writing a $10 billion check. Still, what’s to stop him from paying lots of other people’s taxes? His secretary’s, for instance?

I’ll tell you what really isn’t fair. It’s not fair that although he claims he wants to send more money to Washington, he doesn’t; whereas I, who don’t want to send the schmucks a plugged nickel, can’t get away with shortchanging the IRS without risking a lengthy spell in Leavenworth.

Not content with having helped finance Obama’s re-election, Buffet has spoken out in favor of Obama’s desire to raise the tax rate on capital gains to something like 45%. He insists with a straight face it would do nothing to curtail investment. Oh, sure, just like the financial cliff and ObamaCare haven’t done anything to curtail investment. I knew that Buffet had a head filled with rocks, but does he also live under one?

Why on earth, and especially in this economy, would anyone take the risk of investing in the stock market if 45% of his potential profit would wind up in the hands of Washington bureaucrats?

The question often put to opinionated people of moderate means is: If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?

The appropriate question where a goofus like Buffet is concerned is: If you’re so rich, why aren’t you smart?

©2012 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.

Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
Author website: http://www.burtprelutsky.com/
  • Royalsfan67

    It is far easier to insist on paying higher taxes on forms of income when you have extreme wealth already in the bank that isn’t going to be taxed during your life.

  • ARJ127

    I’d say that Buffet is smarter than anyone posting here. He has the track record as an investor to prove it. I get the point about dividend income already being taxed at the corporate level. However, shyster lawyers and accountants have allowed a lot of corporate tax breaks that in turn allow these funds to be shunted to investors at very favorable rates.

    It’s time to take the loopholes out of the tax code.

  • Venter

    Why doesn’t Warren go to Washington with a great big check and go with his friend Obama and put the money directly to our debt. Warren could live on $249,999.99. Find some out of work AMERICANS give up his wealth directly to them and others that don’t have what he has.. He may have worked hard to become a billionaire that doesn’t count. Warren get with the Obama program . What is yours is ours and you can stop worrying about where to make new investments. Warren call your friends and bring check books to Washington. I think I like what Obama is saying . It could work, you use your brain and we get your money.

  • ron4993

    Buffet and the rest do not want anyone else to become rich like them. They are not only hypocrites, they are selfish.

  • x_Liberal

    Burt: Warren Buffet is a hypocrite, but he is not stupid… or at least not completely stupid. Much of what he says and does is designed to benefit Berkshire Hathaway, his corporation. Warren doesn’t care about raising the capital gains tax because most capital gains is paid on dividends and Berkshire Hathaway stock doesn’t pay dividends. Warren doesn’t care about the death tax because he has sheltered virtually all his money from it. What he isn’t giving to the Bill Gates foundation he is using to set-up tax-free foundations run by his children. Also, Berkshire benefits because sometimes they can get a sweet deal buying a family held business (like they did with Dairy Queen) where the survivors can’t afford to pay the death taxes and still keep the company. When that happens good old uncle Warren is there with his checkbook.

    Finally, if energy prices go up, Warren doesn’t care, he owns a railroad (Burlington Northern) which is one of the most cheapest ways to move product per ton that there is. He also owns one of the largest wind-farms in the country through his utility (Mid-American Energy). Last of all, when Obama demagogues corporate CEOs for flying around in their private jets, they sell their private jets. Do they start flying commercial? No, they use Net Jets, owned by, you guessed it, Berkshire Hathaway.

  • RickonhisHarleyJohnson

    I think he’s afraid of Obama.

    • Burt Prelutsky

      Rick: I can’t imagine why that would be.

      Burt

  • souvoter

    Maybe he owes a Democrat down the line?! I think he needs to put his money where his mouth is and pay off the national debt. Him and all the rest of the hyprocrites who want to keep raising taxes and hoard their own money.

    • Burt Prelutsky

      sou: The irony of the situation is that if Buffet, Gates, Ted Turner, Oprah, and the rest of the billionaires turned over every dime thay make or have ever made to Uncle Sam, it wouldn’t make a dent in the national debt. And even the biggest hypocrite in the world, Barack H. Obama, knows that to be the case.

      Burt

      • trailbee

        This is probably a stupid question, but would it be possible for a president to deliberately increase the debt to such a size that the gvt would default on private investment debt, thereby wiping out its own debts but also wiping out private assets, thus deliberately “impoverishing” part of the 1 or 2% and private pension plans?

      • http://www.facebook.com/walter.mattson.39 Walter Mattson

        Well said. It is equally interesting that people such as Oprah, Gates, Buffet and many other rich people do not fund foundations that help US poor citizens and cities nor give the money to their government but rather go to spend this money in foreign countries. I guess they know what we all know that if they spent the funds in this country, the money would be wasted. I have heard that many/most rich people believe this to be true. They try to tell the government that higher taxes would not be objectionable if there was some assurance that spending would accompany the higher taxes and that the funds aren’t wasted on junk.