Warren Buffett: "Our first stimulus bill...was sort of like taking half a tablet of Viagra"

Billionaire tycoon Warren Buffett recently weighed in on the need for a second stimulus. On ABC's Good Morning America, Buffett had this to say about the recession, Wall Street, and...Viagra:

I think that a second one may well be called for. It is not a panacea. A stimulus is the right thing[...]you hope it doesn't get watered down in many ways. Our first stimulus bill...was sort of like taking half a tablet of Viagra and having also a bunch of candy mixed in...as if everybody was putting in enough for their own constituents. It doesn't have really quite the wallop.

I hope I'm not the only one who thinks the Viagra metaphor is a little off. So far the economy still seems to be going in only one direction: down. 

Buffett also put in his two-cents about the government's public-private investment plan, in which private investors buy up toxic assets from banks that received federal stimulus money:

I do not like the idea of any kind of a plan involving the government where Wall Street makes a lot of money. My plan provided that they would make no money whatsoever, and the American public would make the money. I just think that Wall Street owes the American people one at this point.

Coming from a man who made his fortune investing in Wall Street, Buffett seems pretty intent on preventing anyone else from doing the same. How does he manage to sleep at night with all that evil money lying around?

Matt Welch and J.P. Freire on Warren Buffett here and here

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  • What Nick Gillespie Would Say ||

    What, no link to our immensely popular "Stimulis" video? You know, sometimes I think you guys on the magazine side don't appreciate our work at reason.tv.

  • Warren Buffet||

    Fuck America--I'm already rich.

  • ||

    Biggest hypocrit ever?

  • Hugh Akston||

    I hope I'm not the only one who thinks the Viagra metaphor is a little off. So far the economy still seems to be going in only one direction: down.

    If the economy is Going Down, then it would seem that the stimulus/Viagra is working as intended.

  • Warren Buffet||

    I own enough politicians that I'm sure to get even more money from the next stimulus.

    Hey, who took my Viagra!

  • Steven Hall||

    "Warren Buffett: "Our first stimulus bill...was sort of like taking half a tablet of Viagra""

    Warren Buffett: "Our first stimulus bill...was sort of like taking a searingly painful, bloody, days long shit."

    FTFY, Warren.

  • Dello||

    Um, do I recall correctly that they've only spent something like 10% of the first stimulus package, and they're already calling for a second?

  • The Stimulus:||

    It's like a 1,800,000,000,000 volt shock to your nuts!

  • ||

    I take a quarter of a viagra everyday just to keep from pissin on my shoes.

  • ||

    well, some people do die from taking viagra, so we got that going for us

  • ||

    Buffet is the biggest con-artist in the business. Buy natural gas on margin, then get Texas and U.S. governments to subsidize all the infrastructure.

    His windmill project got 'eminent domain rights' to millions of acres in Texas. It hasn't produced a dime's worth of electricity.

    Advice:
    If his lips are moving, watch your wallet.

  • ||

    Possible side effects can include: needless spending, grandstanding politicians, sob stories, Imaginary "shovel-ready" projects, pork stuffing and temporary blindness. If you experience a condition known as despotism, an economic stimulus lasting more than 4 years, please see a revolutionary right away.

  • ||

    Warren has a shitload of money, which means he automatically knows better than us. Just like Oprah.

  • ||

    Dude, how can you even compare the two? Oprah has her own president.

  • ||

    She owns many people, ProL. Thousands. (at :44 seconds in)

  • hmm||

    Quick. The average schmuck need to bail out the shitty companies he invested in so he doesn't lose everything!'

    The fucking asshole will drive the country to its grave in his shitty old Buick as long as he profits.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    Yeah, but a whole president? I mean, sure, rich people have had the ears of presidents before, but I don't think they've ever owned the whole thing before.

    I wonder where she ranks Obama in her stable of owned people? Ahead of Dr. Phil? Below Rachel Ray?

  • ||

    Westmiller | July 9, 2009, 5:55pm | #
    Buffet is the biggest con-artist in the business. Buy natural gas on margin, then get Texas and U.S. governments to subsidize all the infrastructure.

    His windmill project got 'eminent domain rights' to millions of acres in Texas. It hasn't produced a dime's worth of electricity.

    Advice:
    If his lips are moving, watch your wallet.

    Think you're confusing Buffett with T. Boone Pickens.

  • ||

    What a rent seeking scum. Nobody should forget that his fortune, to a large extent, was made possible by the existence of the estate tax. It is no surpirse that he has steadfastly opposed the elimination of the estate tax. On that note, I must give the Bush administration some props as it did attempt to permanently gut the death tax.

  • ||

    One thing I don't like about Lebron James is his association with Buffet.

  • ||

    Hatin' on someone who uses the system's rules to make a sackful of money is like criticizing the man that gets off under the tutelage of a dominatrix.

    Right Epi?

  • ||

    Beware the advice of rich people. They do not seek company.

  • ||

    Not really, ben. Utilizing a system that uses force to game the system for yourself is not the same as voluntarily going to a dominatrix.

  • Lisa Simpson||

    Old men are obsessed with viagra. I suspect Warren is thinking with the wrong head.

  • LarryA||

    I hope I'm not the only one who thinks the Viagra metaphor is a little off.

    I thought it was right on. Congress took the Viagra and we got screwed.

  • ||

    Epi-

    Touche!

  • shrike||

    Buffett is the best investor of all time - measure it any way you like. The guy lives in a 3br ranch he bought in the 70's so "graft" or corruption is not his game.

    Like with Soros - the greasy headed conservative trash can't stand the fact that a brilliant man is also a liberal.

  • ||

    shrike-

    Come on. First, I'll assume that you are not including me in "the greasy headed conservative trash."

    Second, some of the conservatives here claim that Al Franken is actually funny. To each his own.

    Third, does it not bother you that he has made much of his fortune because of the estate tax? Doesn't it bother you that he has steadfastly opposed repeal of the estate tax?

    Fourth, see Epi's 6:58 post.

    Last, I'm concerned about your ability to sniff out bullshit. You know, ole Sam Walton drove around in a beat up pick-up truck.

  • alan||

    Like with Soros - the greasy headed conservative trash can't stand the fact that a brilliant man is also a liberal.

    Yeah, but it is the liberals who are in a constant state of shock about the fact some of their own are rich. Last week all the network anchors who reported on Walmart's support of whatever comes out of the Health Care Plan thing were gasping for air and in need of oxygen. Evidently, rent seeking is not a concept that comes naturally to them.

  • alan||

    And, oh yeah, I like that the greasy headed conservative trash. Nice!

  • shrike||

    Like Hayek, I dislike conservatives - but HOW did Buffett make so much off the estate tax?

    I am bewildered by that statement. Did Buffett avoid the estate tax? Legally or illegally?

    Sorry Mike - you're usually sane and easy to follow but I don't understand that at all.

    The fact that Buffett is giving his $45 billion away bolsters him in my view.

    (I would waste as much as I could in Vegas and Monaco)

  • ||

    ...was sort of like taking half a tablet of Viagra and having also a bunch of candy mixed in...

    Candy is dandy, But liquor is quicker.

  • shrike ||

    btw -- I am a Libertarian - not a conservative.

    I must check this site name again.

  • deluded1||

    I must check this site name again.

    I'm kinda new, does this mean I get to drink?

  • ||

    shrike-

    Say you started a business. You set up a corporation with the assistance of a CPA and/or attorney. You were the founder, the entrepreneur. Let us also stipulate that your business, after lots of the proverbial hard work and trial and error, became a real success story. Let us also stipulate that you did not getr your affairs in order-i.e., you did not prepare and execute an estate plan. IOW, you failed to take heed of your lawyer's advice (one of the few times when some of them do have your best interests in mind).

    Let us further stipulate that while your business was very profitable, making you a fairly rich man, a significant portion of your wealth was your onwership interest in the business, perhaps represented by you and your immediate family holding 70% of the stock in the concern. Then you die and have a nice fat estate tax due Uncle Sam. Suppose you left a wife, seven kids and 22 grand children. How are they going to get their inheritance when a good sized percentage of your estate is your stock? Sure, you might have several million bucks in cash and other investments, but your stock amounts to half or more of the value of your estate.

    For estate tax purposes, the value of your stock in the business is included in your estate. In order to pass on this interest, as well as any other property oin your estate, the IRS must be paid. If not, the IRS waltzes in and seizes/shuts down the business? Guess who has used that scenario to make a fortune?

    That is what I am talking about. No estate tax, no chance that your family/heirs would have to sell the business that you created in order to pay the feds. No Warren Buffet.

  • ||

    "Like with Soros - the greasy headed conservative trash can't stand the fact that a brilliant man is also a liberal."

    As a young man, George Soros said he looted the homes of disappeared Jews during WWII in order to survive and he recently said that he had no problem with that.

    That pretty much defines the man.

  • shrike||

    Mike Mike! You are so smart!

    But first you conflate Buffett with gains made from estate tax benefits! Wrong!

    Now you make a credible argument AGAINST the estate tax! Ok, fine - it has nothing to do with Buffett unless you are making a preemptive attack on his position on said subject!

    Buffett supports a meritocracy - Darwinian if you wish...

    Now what is wrong with a meritocracy - unless you prefer a landed caste system a'la the Walton family.... (R)...

    ahhhh... you don't like a meritocracy.. or Darwinism... like us brazen Rand fans...

    I see, I see.

    Say no more!

  • shrike||

    As a young man, George Soros said he looted the homes of disappeared Jews during WWII in order to survive and he recently said that he had no problem with that.

    Don't be an idiot. Soros is Jewish. If he survived from Nazi/fascists from the abandoned homes of other targeted Jews none would complain.

    Really pathetic, you shit-for-brains.

  • tarran||

    Shrike,

    One of Buffett's significant form of income comes from buying up small, privately held companies, and either incorporating them or selling their facilities/operations to bigger companies.

    These small companies are typically family business where the proprietor has died, and the family must sell the business quickly to pay the estate tax.

    He's like the mobster who pops in to a shop and makes the proposition that either the shop-owner sells the store to him, or he burns the store down. In Buffet's case he doesn't pay the enforcers himself, the U.S. government, which is after all the most dangerous and predatory organized crime ring we deal with, threatens the store owners for him.

  • shrike||

    tarran - some of these "small companies" must be known well.

    I am an investor and follow Buffett - his recent purchases have been in Goldman Sachs, General Electric, American Express, Wells Fargo, Coca-Cola, Gillette, etc.

    So he feasts on small-time operators?

    You're full of shit too.

  • shrike||

    yeah - so Buffett makes his $5 billion a nut annual dividend payment raiding Ma-and-Pop companies?

    The fucking idiocy here rivals the Fat Redneck himself - El Rushfat.

  • ||

    Shrike,

    I'm sorry that the truth doesn't fit well with what you have already decided is the truth. His recent purchases might have been big companies...but we aren't talking about his recent purchases. Talkin' about the things he did to get that money to make the recent purchases. You can't just say, "No, no he didn't. He didn't do that. You guys are wrong. I win." You can, but that just kind of makes you full of shit too.

    I don't think there is much evidence of Buffet supporting a Meritocracy. Maybe he says that...but his actions surely don't reflect it. I'm not sure why you would think anyone would take that statement at face value.

    I tend to agree with the sentiment that Soros and Buffet aren't big fans of the free market judging the politicians they support. They are like a lot of other corporate interests trying to protect themselves from competition and maintain there status quo.

  • Tom||

    Shrike:

    The examples listed in the Freire article are Dairy Queen and the Buffalo News.

    You can read it here.
    http://www.reason.com/news/show/36717.html

  • ||

    The idiocy I find at this website also astounds me. But its the idiocy from you mostly. You argue by calling people stupid, not with substance. Grow the fuck up and stop throwing a childish temper tantrum on the internet.

  • ||

    The idiocy I find at this website also astounds me. But its the idiocy from you mostly. You argue by calling people stupid, not with substance. Grow the fuck up and stop throwing a childish temper tantrum on the internet.

    I think this is the first time I've seen someone make an argument while, simultaneously, successfully refuting it. Somebody call Douglas Hofstadter!

  • BakedPenguin||

    Well, I think shriek has earned this. Welcome to the troll hall of fame, dude.

  • shrike||

    the great capitalist Buffett is hiding from the dipshitty little mraket fundies here...

    Let me alugh some more...LMAO

    Baked- you're in the fucking shithouse crowd - enjoy.

  • shrike||

    a bunch of waffle maker Mouch types trying to work over the top capitalist of all time.

    Unreal - "conservatism" is the boil on the ass of shit-kicking rednecks.

  • ||

    If there was a baseball player in history who best exemplified doing exactly the right things to win baseball games and avoiding the lings that helped lose them, it was Joe Morgan. He was like the perfect percentage baseball player. He drew walks by the bucketful, could run like the wind, and was a gold glove fielder at an important defensive position. Stole bases but always did so at extremely high success rates. Hit for power, hit for average got on base, scored runs and drove them in as well.

    If there was one baseball player who it appeared knew the game of baseball so completely more than any other player, it was Joe Morgan.

    A few years after he retired, Joe Morgan became an announcer. After a few years of listening to him do color commentary, it became abundantly clear that Joe Morgan had very little idea what actually made him a successful player. He constantly advocates what have been shown to be mostly losing plays.

    In short, he was simply a natural. He was such a great player because that just happened to be who he was, and it appears he had no more special knowledge about the game than any other player.

    In short, some people are excellent at what they do, but not necessarily excellent at something you might assume would be closely related. Warren Buffet's expertise in the wisdom of various government spending programs is not obviously greater than anyone else here. Maybe he's a natural at that too, but making a bunch of money in the stock market doesn't necessarily make it so.

  • ||

    I'll also note that Buffett also advised the current Governor of the State of California back when he was running and got elected for office.

  • johnny john john||

    If Warrent Buffet doesn't know what's good for the eonomy (I doubt he does), how the hell does anyone here know what's good for the economy???

    I think this is a great opportunity for libertarians. If the stimulus fails, the libertarian philosophy will receive a tremendous boost. If the stimulus succeeds, libertarians can always try to prove that the market would have recovered anyways without gov't intervention. Either way, we are about to find out how well mainstream economic theories stack up to reality.

  • kc||

    Heard on the radio yesterday, one after the other: Buffet says the first stimulus wasn't enough, implying we need a second.
    Speaker Pelosi says no, we don't need a second stimulus; too soon to tell.
    I thought I'd slipped into an alternate universe -- WTF?

  • kc||

    PS am I the only who sees senility in Buffett?

  • robc||

    Voros,

    Great analogy. Growing up as a Big Red Machine fan, watching Joe announce pains me.

  • ||

    "What does Buffett have to gain from another stimulus?" is the first question that occurs to me.

  • ||

    shriek, a Libertarian?

    I don't think that word means what you think it means.

    If Warrent Buffet doesn't know what's good for the eonomy (I doubt he does), how the hell does anyone here in Washington know what's good for the economy???

    There's a big difference between not knowing what's good for the economy, and leaving it alone, and not knowing what's good for the economy, and constantly fucking with it.

  • ||

    "What does Buffett have to gain from another stimulus?" is the first question that occurs to me.

    No shit. Whenever Buffet opens his mouth, you can be sure he is "talking his book," as they say.

    Buffett also put in his two-cents about the government's public-private investment plan, in which private investors buy up toxic assets from banks that received federal stimulus money:

    I do not like the idea of any kind of a plan involving the government where Wall Street makes a lot of money. My plan provided that they would make no money whatsoever, and the American public would make the money.


    Uh, news flash for ya, Warren. Wall Street is private investors. The latter can't make money without the former also making money.

  • ||

    @shrike

    From the December 20, 1998 60 Minutes interview:

    KROFT: (Voiceover) To understand the complexities and contradictions in his personality, you have to go back to the very beginning: to Budapest, where George Soros was born 68 years ago to parents who were wealthy, well-educated and Jewish.

    When the Nazis occupied Budapest in 1944, George Soros' father was a successful lawyer. He lived on an island in the Danube and liked to commute to work in a rowboat. But knowing there were problems ahead for the Jews, he decided to split his family up. He bought them forged papers and he bribed a government official to take 14-year-old George Soros in and swear that he was his Christian godson. But survival carried a heavy price tag. While hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews were being shipped off to the death camps, George Soros accompanied his phony godfather on his appointed rounds, confiscating property from the Jews.

    (Vintage footage of Jews walking in line; man dragging little boy in line)

    KROFT: (Voiceover) These are pictures from 1944 of what happened to George Soros' friends and neighbors.

    (Vintage footage of women and men with bags over their shoulders walking; crowd by a train)

    KROFT: (Voiceover) You're a Hungarian Jew...

    Mr. SOROS: (Voiceover) Mm-hmm.

    KROFT: (Voiceover) ...who escaped the Holocaust...

    (Vintage footage of women walking by train)

    Mr. SOROS: (Voiceover) Mm-hmm.

    (Vintage footage of people getting on train)

    KROFT: (Voiceover) ... by -- by posing as a Christian.

    Mr. SOROS: (Voiceover) Right.

    (Vintage footage of women helping each other get on train; train door closing with people in boxcar)

    KROFT: (Voiceover) And you watched lots of people get shipped off to the death camps.

    Mr. SOROS: Right. I was 14 years old. And I would say that that's when my character was made.

    KROFT: In what way?

    Mr. SOROS: That one should think ahead. One should understand and -- and anticipate events and when -- when one is threatened. It was a tremendous threat of evil. I mean, it was a -- a very personal experience of evil.

    KROFT: My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours who swore that you were his adopted godson.

    Mr. SOROS: Yes. Yes.

    KROFT: Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews.

    Mr. SOROS: Yes. That's right. Yes.

    KROFT: I mean, that's -- that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it difficult?

    Mr. SOROS: Not -- not at all. Not at all. Maybe as a child you don't -- you don't see the connection. But it was -- it created no -- no problem at all.

    KROFT: No feeling of guilt?

    Mr. SOROS: No.

    KROFT: For example that, 'I'm Jewish and here I am, watching these people go. I could just as easily be there. I should be there.' None of that?

    Mr. SOROS: Well, of course I c -- I could be on the other side or I could be the one from whom the thing is being taken away. But there was no sense that I shouldn't be there, because that was -- well, actually, in a funny way, it's just like in markets -- that if I weren't there -- of course, I wasn't doing it, but somebody else would -- would -- would be taking it away anyhow. And it was the -- whether I was there or not, I was only a spectator, the property was being taken away. So the -- I had no role in taking away that property. So I had no sense of guilt.

  • Steven Hall||

    Health Care Bill 'Delayed Indefinitely'

    House Democrats' health care bill has been delayed indefinitely as leaders continue negotiations with fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats.

    Committee chairmen had planned to release their bill on Friday and begin marking it up on Monday, but notices were sent out this morning noting that both the release and markup would be delayed.

    More at:

    http://www.rollcall.com/news/36666-1.html

  • دردشه عراقية||

    Thanks

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