Economics

Warren Buffett's Economic Confusion

The Berkshire Hathaway CEO needs to keep his comments straight about government regulation and economic uncertainty.

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Warren Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and one of the richest men in the world, put out his annual letter  to shareholders over the weekend.

It got a lot of press attention, but, as is often the case with Buffett, even in the newspapers that he does not own, the attention was so worshipfully deferential that it ignored a glaring contradiction in the letter.

That contradiction, though, is newsworthy not just for what it says about Buffett, his company, and the press, but for the insight into the broader relationship between business and government.

In one part of this year's letter, Buffett mocks other corporate executives who have complained about "uncertainty." He writes, "There was a lot of hand-wringing last year among CEOs who cried 'uncertainty' when faced with capital-allocation decision… If you are a CEO who has some large, profitable project you are shelving because of short-term worries, call Berkshire. Let us unburden you."

This is a somewhat familiar theme for Buffett. It echoes his claim in a November 2012 New York Times op-ed piece that an investor who decides not to invest because taxes are too high exists "only in Grover Norquist's imagination." In that op-ed Buffett wrote, "maybe you'll run into someone with a terrific investment idea, who won't go forward with it because of the tax he would owe when it succeeds. Send him my way. Let me unburden him."

At least in those cases Buffett was consistent. But in this year's annual letter, just a few pages past the dismissive comments about CEOs complaining about uncertainty, Buffett offers his own mini-lecture about the need for — sure enough — certainty. In the section of the shareholder letter on "regulated, capital-intensive businesses," Buffett writes, "we are the leader in renewables: first, from a standing start nine years ago, we now account for 6% of the country's wind generation capacity. Second, when we complete three projects now under construction, we will own about 14% of U.S. solar-generation capacity. Projects like these require huge capital investments. Upon completion, indeed, our renewables portfolio will have cost $13 billion. We relish making such commitments if they promise reasonable returns — and on that front, we put a large amount of trust in future regulation… It is in the self-interest of governments to treat capital providers in a manner that will ensure the continued flow of funds to essential projects."

Got that? At the beginning of his letter, and in his New York Times op-ed, Buffett ridiculed other CEOs who might let their investment decisions be affected by government tax policy or by uncertainty about such policy. But in the section on investing in solar and wind energy, Buffett says he'll only invest "if" the return is reasonable — and he says that whether the return is reasonable depends on "future regulation" and on whether governments "treat capital providers in a manner that will ensure the continued flow of funds to essential projects."

Buffett or his defenders might try to finesse this contradiction by claiming that he was ridiculing concerns about uncertain tax or overall business conditions, not about uncertain energy regulation. But since the main energy regulation about which there is uncertainty is, in essence, a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, this is a distinction without much of a difference.

Not only is there a contradiction between what Buffett says about uncertainty and investment in one part of the letter and in another part of the letter, there is also a contradiction, or at least a big difference in emphasis, between what he says in the letter and what his company reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Buffett letter makes it sound like Berkshire Hathaway's utility, MidAmerican Energy Company, is mainly in the "green" energy business.

But that's spin. He gives the percentages of MidAmerican wind and solar as part of the country's wind and solar capacity. A more relevant figure would be MidAmerican's wind and solar capacity as part of MidAmerican's overall capacity. MidAmerican boasts more than 22,000 megawatts of owned and contracted generation capacity; the SEC filing  says its wind amounts to 3,697 megawatts, or about 17 percent of the total, and the solar "in operation and under construction" will be 1,271 megawatts, or about 6 percent of the total. As a result, according to the SEC filing, stricter emissions rules wouldn't help MidAmerican they way they might help a purely wind or solar company. Rather, the SEC filing says, "New requirements limiting greenhouse gas emissions could have a material adverse impact on MidAmerican."

In other words, even Warren Buffett, the businessman so rich and so successful he goes around mocking other CEOs for worrying about the uncertainty of taxes or regulations, isn't immune to government actions. Stricter emissions rules could hurt his energy business, but he only wants to invest more in clean energy if "future regulation" makes it worthwhile. A check of the Senate Lobbying records database discloses that MidAmerican — which Berkshire Hathaway owns — spent more than $1.5 million last year lobbying Congress on 41 pieces of legislation, including something called the "Energy Tax Prevention Act." MidAmerican is also a member of the Edison Electric Institute, which spent more than $10 million on its own lobbying activities in 2012.

The next time some lobbyist hired by Buffett shows up in a congressional office to plead his case, maybe the congressman can refer the lobbyist to Buffett's scornful remarks about handwringing, make some dismissive comments about "short-term worries," and offer to find someone else to take the investment off Buffett's hands.

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128 responses to “Warren Buffett's Economic Confusion

  1. ‘It is in the self-interest of governments to treat capital providers in a manner that will ensure the continued flow of funds to essential projects.”‘

    Corporatism, or crony capitalism: I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    1. Or rent seeking

      1. Or fascism.

  2. James Taggart’s Warren Buffett’s not worried, he’s got his man in Washington.

    1. Da Rock Obama?

  3. Warren Buffett is a senile old coot and a crony who tweaks the law to his own gain. I’ve got zero respect for him these days.

  4. Must be nice man, to have train loads of surplus cash lying around .Wow.

    http://www.AnonProx.da.bz

  5. So what’s this guy’s game plan? Is it to write pro-Obama op-ed’s and annual letters, and then get subsidies for green energy?

    1. If he’s getting subsidies, then the profits are passing right into his bank account. I’ve got MidAmerican and they explicitly stated that our energy bill would rise because of new environmental regulation.

      And it did! Honesty. Gotta love it.

      1. Sounds like he’s playing both ends (is that the right expression?). His company is lobbying to stop the tax and regulation as it would hurt his profits, but he is saying if they want him to continue to expand green energy then he needs subsidies.

        1. Sounds about right.

          1. But he wants to pay more taxes, so whatever flows into his coffers from government subsidy he will immediately write a check to the Federal Reserve so that he can pay a higher percentage of taxes than his secretary. What a nice old man.

    2. He just bought Heinz. Why not come up with some idiot CT about Obama catsup subsidies?

      Seriously, this is the great capitalist of the last three generations. But he doesn’t give a fuck about the GOP and is maligned for that here.

      1. What?? No CHRISTFAG shreeky?

        I am disappoint.

        1. Buffett is a rationalist (atheist/agnostic). That is probably a big reason he has no use for the GOP.

          1. Palin’s Buttplug| 3.4.13 @ 7:32PM |#
            “Buffett is a rationalist (atheist/agnostic). That is probably a big reason he has no use for the GOP.”

            Wrong, dipshit. The GOP hasn’t offered him the rent the Dems do.

      2. Palin’s Buttplug| 3.4.13 @ 7:08PM |#
        …”Seriously, this is the great capitalist of the last three generations.”…

        Great stock picker, even better hypocrite.

        1. He built Berkshire Hathaway, you stupid hick.

          And get this, every year they hold ‘Woodstock for Capitalists’ and thousands of people come listen to his every word. And they always discuss politics and never once does Buffett suck up to the Aborto-Freak GOP.

          1. Palin’s Buttplug| 3.4.13 @ 8:00PM |#
            “He built Berkshire Hathaway, you stupid hick.”

            I’m glad you agree, you stupid shit.

            1. He didn’t build that.

          2. Abort-Freak GOP, because life begins when?

      3. “Seriously, this is the great capitalist of the last three generations”

        Really?

        Prove to me that Berkshire’s success is more due to Buffet than it is his partner Charlie Munger.

    3. So what’s this guy’s game plan? Is it to write pro-Obama op-ed’s and annual letters, and then get subsidies for green energy?

      Yes. So far, working.

  6. I don’t think it’s splitting hairs to point out that Buffett was referring to future regulations that would affect the specific industry he’s talking about, while Republican/corporate rhetoric about “uncertainty” is focused on general tax and regulatory policy–which is always going to be changing, and always has been. I don’t think anyone’s suffering from the delusion that Republicans want anything but the “certainty” that taxes and regulations will be fewer, then fewer again.

    Obviously energy markets will be hugely affected by what government decides to do about subsidies. But history suggests that real entrepreneurs don’t sit around and wait for all policy questions to be settled absolutely.

    1. Tony| 3.4.13 @ 5:04PM |#
      “I don’t think…”

      That much is clear, shithead. And doesn’t all that spinning make you throw up?

    2. I don’t think it’s splitting hairs to point out that Buffett was referring to future regulations that would affect the specific industry he’s talking about, while Republican/corporate rhetoric about “uncertainty” is focused on general tax and regulatory policy–which is always going to be changing, and always has been.

      The strawman genocide continues apace.

    3. Republicans want fewer regulations? Someone should have given Bush that memo.

      1. Shhh, you can’t utter his name here unless it is in a hushed reverential tone.

        1. Palin’s Buttplug| 3.4.13 @ 7:29PM |#
          “Shhh, you can’t utter his name here unless it is in a hushed reverential tone.”

          Lying asshole.

        2. Because libertarians sure loved Bush

          1. Must be one or two…

        3. Shhh, you can’t utter his name here unless it is in a hushed reverential tone.

          Irony? You decide.

          1. “Irony? You decide.”
            Naah, this is shreek; stupidity

        4. That isn’t a hushed reverential tone, it is your ears full of feces.

    4. Hey, NEWS FLASH!

      Tony expresses his admiration for the likes of Astor, Vanderbilt, Ford, Duke, Rockefeller, Jobs, Tucker, Disney et al!

      1. “history suggests that real entrepreneurs don’t sit around and wait for all policy questions to be settled absolutely.”

      2. Why shouldn’t I? Some of them built some really neat houses.

        I have nothing but admiration for people who turned personal genius into huge personal success and changed the world. And I expect any such people to exploit the market and regulatory environment by any means possible to achieve their vision. I’m not interested in reforming people’s morals, just said environment.

        Although I do have a little less respect for their children, who were rewarded just as handsomely merely for being spawned in the right womb.

        1. “And I expect any such people to exploit the market and regulatory environment by any means possible to achieve their vision. I’m not interested in reforming people’s morals, just said environment.”

          And the milieu of heavy handed regulation you champion is one that rewards Cronyism more than innovation and hard work. It fosters a Big Business-BigGov coalition that feeds on ordinary citizens and small businesses.

          If you truly believed your statement you would favor a more libertarian approach of less regulation which favors smaller businesses and consumers due to lowering the barrier of entry and increasing competition.

          You have the correct diagnosis, but you wish to administer the exactly wrong cure!

          1. As a pertinent example, I would wish to have fewer, less powerful local police with a smaller scope of duty and more armed citizens than an all-powerful centralized police force that bans armed citizens and is bought and corrupted by the wealthy criminals.

            Both carry dangers, but the former offers the citizen a chance to defend himself and his property. the latter, ensures he loses out to the highest bidder for the corrupt police services.

            This is what our current business environment is. The SEC, federal regulators, and congressmen are all poker buddies with the CEO’s of these major firms and become simply all-powerful enforcers for their interests. I would much rather deal with the dangers of less regulation than the prosperity and soul-crushing dangers of cronyism.

            1. prosperity = prosperity destroying

    5. Warren’s letter called out other CEOs, not republicans, who were putting off specific projects due to uncertainty. Surely these other CEOs might have some industry and project specific worries, not just general angst about taxes and regulations.

      “There was a lot of hand-wringing last year among CEOs who cried ‘uncertainty’ when faced with capital-allocation decision? If you are a CEO who has some large, profitable project you are shelving because of short-term worries, call Berkshire. Let us unburden you.”

      1. The bit is that the protests about uncertainty are not genuine. If businesspeople were as valuable to society as is claimed, they should be able to adapt to a new regulatory and tax environment–they above all else assuming they have capital behind them.

        That’s not to say that government can’t be idiotic about it, but if CEOs want to complain about uncertainty they should not be parroting the GOP talking point, they should be screaming at the GOP for threatening to drive the whole economy into a ravine every time they don’t get their way on some ideological policy point.

        1. Tony| 3.4.13 @ 5:18PM |#
          “The bit is that the protests about uncertainty are not genuine. If businesspeople were as valuable to society as is claimed, they should be able to adapt to a new regulatory and tax environment–they above all else assuming they have capital behind them.”

          See, making money is EASY! Shithead just told us so.
          Please tell us, shithead, how many businesses have you run?

          1. Sevo, your worst nightmare?

            Being employed by Tony!

            1. Libertymike| 3.4.13 @ 5:26PM |#
              “Sevo, your worst nightmare?
              Being employed by Tony!”

              You can’t fire me! I QUIT!

            2. Oh, and imagine shithead working for my company!

          2. Never said it was easy. Facilitating entrepreneurship should certainly be among the goals of public policy. But it’s only public policy that also pays mind to other important things, like protecting people’s health and safety. At some point you have to tell business that it’s not allowed to make a profit if it can’t do so without violating people. Nothing wrong with that.

            1. Tony| 3.4.13 @ 5:35PM |#
              “Never said it was easy. Facilitating entrepreneurship should certainly be among the goals of public policy.”

              And adding regulation on top of regulation is the way to do that, right shithead?

              1. But as an ideologue you’re never going to claim that we’re being just regulated enough or are underregulated. You can’t be trusted on that issue. I think the financial sector is one that is far too underregulated (because of the existence of large risk to society as a whole), and it’s a rather important sector.

                1. Tony| 3.4.13 @ 5:43PM |#
                  …”You can’t be trusted on that issue.”…
                  Yeah, ignorant assholes like you *can* be trusted, right shithead?
                  Go fuck yourself.

                  1. I am thoroughly sick of reading liberal theorists who do nothing of productive and practical value comment on business.

                    It’s not the role of ‘public policy’ to create entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship derives from the creativity of FREE people. Do liberals actually believe it’s the government that fosters human initiative?

                    It’s mind boggling to be so far up the state’s ass.

                    Business adapts to policy all the time Tony and UNCERTAINTY is the key element of where we decide to invest you idiot. Who wants to invest in an unstable environment?

                    Here in Quebec they wanted to increase capital gains taxes? Guess what, people with money and budding ambitious people (greedy people to the left – but give me a job!) simply went/go where the capital gains are LOWER – Ontario.

                    We shift and move around in ways you could never see or understand. Business is far more adaptable than you think. When they do figure it out, the government closes that avenue down.

                    Now, we’re no longer in a cash economy so the it’s game over. The government will control all so fret not Tony. You’ll get your shitty little mini-France soon enough.

                    To me, you make no sense because all you do is build your argument with the government as a starting point. It’s like believing the Earth was the certain of the Universe before Copernicus, Brahe and Galileo set the ingrates straight.

                    Sadly, it’s the Force of Tony that form public policy and opinion these days.

                2. I think the financial sector is one that is far too underregulated (because of the existence of large risk to society as a whole)

                  The real problem with the industry is how they missed government agencies inflating the value of the underlying assets of derivatives through artificial demand. One good regulation: prevent the government from subsidizing an asset far in excess of its natural demand.

                  1. Repeat what Rufus said word for word.

                    “Do liberals actually believe it’s the government that fosters human initiative?” YES. Government is the birthplace of human initiative, without government human beings are just fallow fields lacking seed.

              2. Well, for a certain kind, of entrepreneur, you bet it is. See Buffett, Warren.

        2. Fuck you, cocksucker. Businesspeople make society happen–your government bureaucrats are nothing but worthless racketeers who produce nothing and royally fuck up everything they touch.

          “They should adopt to a new regulatory and tax environment” They are–they send their jobs anywhere that mooching socialist parasites haven’t sunk their fangs into. Your mentality is collapsing and destroying this once-great country, your idea of progress is primitive tribalism, and the businesspeople are abandoning the shithole you and your kind have turned this country into.

          The jungle is all you deserve, it is what you enshrine in your bullshit modern skeptical philosophy, humanities, economics, and esthetics.

          1. I don’t know of any business that’s not interested in selling in this country. Sure they’re going to take advantage of whatever maximizes their bottom line, and in a globalized world that often means escaping the tax burden of the civilized places their customers live. But it’s a short-term outlook (the primary reason business shouldn’t be in charge of everything–they are primarily interested in the short-term). The question is what makes a society ripe for entrepreneurship and for doing business in–and the answer isn’t “take as much of its wealth away from potential customers as possible and stuff it on an island tax haven.”

            1. “But it’s a short-term outlook (the primary reason business shouldn’t be in charge of everything–they are primarily interested in the short-term).”

              HA!!! I hope to god you aren’t suggesting that the Government has a long-term outlook…

              1. It does occasionally get things done that have a lasting impact. So does the private sector, but government is by definition the only entity whose responsibility is to the interests of the people as a whole. Some things are necessary that don’t turn a profit, or at least a profit that would be recognized as such in the private sector.

                1. Tony| 3.4.13 @ 5:58PM |#
                  …’but government is by definition the only entity whose responsibility is to the interests of the the elected politicos and their cronies.’

                  Fixed.

                2. Regardless of the government’s theoretical “responsibility to the people as a whole,” it is in fact responsible only to the interests of those in charge of it. And moreover, only to their short term interests.

              2. Well I suppose their debt payment plan is definitely long-term…

            2. Tony. What’s the flavor of your vomit?

              1. Does anybody else ever get the feeling TONY is just feeding us soft pitches? I know people are that stupid and believe that shit, but you rarely see it articulated so blatantly in unfriendly territory.

                It’s like a pedophile, he comes to the prosecutors office justifying his rape of children. We then prosecute the fuck out of him for raping children. Rinse and repeat to the next TONY comment.

        3. Why aren’t they genuine? If a company is considering investing billions in a project assuming the Government will continue the tax credits that make it profitable, the company is going to take account of the probability the Government will continue the tax credits. As that probability goes down (i.e. uncertainty increases), it becomes less likely the company will make the investment.

          1. Sure but what defines “certainty” then? A guarantee that all current policies will continue in perpetuity? Tell that to all the business lobbies trying to change current policy to favor their interests…

            1. Of course there’s no guarantee every policy will continue in perpetuity. Certainty is not having temporary tax provisions that have to rely on getting renewed every year or couple years (see much of the corporate tax code). Or enacting gigantic statutes reorganizing entire industries that depend on years of regulatory implementations to find out what the policy is actually going to be (see Dodd-Frank and Obamacare). Or enacting statutes that don’t have any guiding principles at all and leave massive discretion to executive officials to do as they please on an ad hoc basis without judicial review (see Dodd-Frank).

              1. Just as I suspected: uncertainty is laws passed by Democrats.

                1. Tony| 3.4.13 @ 5:58PM |#
                  “Just as I suspected: uncertainty is laws passed by Democrats.”

                  AMAZING! You got something (half) right, shithead.

                2. Just as I suspect: you have no actual response. Many of the dumb tax laws were passed by Republicans. It’s just seems that Democrats do dumb stuff even more often than Republicans.

                  1. I HATED blue team for their policy objectives and unholy socialist and liberty crushing accomplishments. Then I realized Red team created the same results using different language. We still end up with piles of regulations that create additional and unnecessary uncertainty. I can’t quite myself to hate red team in the same way, as their language sometimes masquerades as good principles. But I recognize the lack of policy differences.

                3. Right, Reagan and Papa Bush played yo-yo with the tax rates but no “uncertainty” with them.

                  1. Palin’s Buttplug| 3.4.13 @ 7:17PM |#
                    “Right, Reagan and Papa Bush played yo-yo with the tax rates but no “uncertainty” with them.”

                    Ya know, asshole, that strawman is probably capable of beating the shit out of a twit like you.

                4. Just as I suspected: uncertainty is laws passed by Democrats.

                  You keep on pushing that straw man, Tony.

        4. How have the companies in North Korea or Cuba been adapting to the tax and regulatory climate in those countries? Or even Europe. Surely businessman are finding ways to still make money, and those places are still thriving, right?

        5. “If businesspeople were as valuable to society as is claimed, they should be able to adapt to a new regulatory and tax environment…”

          Well, that’s precisely what they’re doing by trying to preserve capital to ride out the current policy and regulatory storm. You just happen to not be particularly fond of that optimal response.

          1. “You just happen to not be particularly fond of that optimal response.”

            You’re too kind.
            Shithead hasn’t the ability to conceive of what you post, let alone disagree with it.

        6. Tony – If businesspeople were as valuable to society as is claimed, they should be able to adapt to a new regulatory and tax environment

          James Taggart – You’ll think of something, Mr. Rearden!

    6. Re: Tony,

      Obviously energy markets will be hugely affected by what government decides to do about subsidies. But history suggests that real entrepreneurs don’t sit around and wait for all policy questions to be settled absolutely.

      They certainly don’t. They simply set up shop somewhere else where the goverment is less bat-shit crazy, hence all that crying from liberal imbeciles about “they’re taking our jebz overzees!!!”

      By the way, nice touch feigning interest in entrepreneurs and what they do, Tony.

    7. The main uncertainty comes from new regulations and associated “taxes” that sometimes congress or Obama don’t want to call taxes.

      Things like obama-care and all its new regulations, all the new regulations due to the post-housing crash legislation that also regulates banks and credit cards, and possible regulations and taxes on CO2 by congress and by the epa.

  7. Buffett will “unburden” those who depend on a distorted market to make money and use that capital in assured rent-seeking ventures.
    Works just fine.
    I’ll repeat this since it needs repeating: For all of Buffett’s ‘tax me’ claims, when he gave money away, he gave it to an outfit that demands results, not the wasteful government.

  8. “If you are a CEO who has some large, profitable project you are shelving because of short-term worries, call Berkshire. Let us unburden you.”

    Easy for him to say, as he has insider information. Maybe more than just information.

  9. It is also very interesting that Mr. Conservative Grahamite Dividend All-American Dollar Bull Himself (Buffett) has been secretly buying behind-the-scenes access to the Rand refinery in South Africa, the biggest gold refinery in the world. He has also purchased a family of “cash for gold” scrapping businesses, for such a (self-proclaimed) dollar bull and gold basher he’s surely buying himself a whole lot of behind the curtain access to mass quantities of gold!

    Don’t let his gold bashing/dollar bulling act fool you. He is crony capitalism incarnate, and he also didn’t get to be one of the richest in the world by being a dumbass neo-liberal (he just plays one on tv like everyone else); this guy knows he can’t tell the truth about the dollar without causing a run on it, I wish he would so we can get the collapse of leviathan over with. It’s tiring, everyone knows this giant government is propped up by perpetual 0% interest rates on the reserve currency, soon as interest rates move it’s game over.

    1. Link to Berkshire buying gold scrap firms.

      No Beck sites or any other wingnut liar sites please.

      1. Link to Warren Buffett saying that taking on more debt is sustainable:

        http://www.cnbc.com/id/4816680…..bt_Problem

        1. OK, but the claim was Buffett is buying into gold.
          Shreek is bat-shit crazy, but Libertarius claim is not yet shown.
          The guy was buying silver back when with no gripes, and he is a world-class hypocrite, but it hasn’t been shown re: long gold.

          1. “Civilized people don’t buy Gold…” – Charles Munge,r Bershire Hathaway

          2. OK I have been trying to post links with no luck, so just look it up for yourselves: Richline Group, a subsidiary of Berkshire, has purchased the largest jewelry supply business in South Africa (with backstage access to the Rand refinery) and Rio Grande, a New Mexico-based jewelry supplier which buys scrap gold from the “cash for gold” businesses.

            Like I said, for guys who like to bash gold on tv, the back pages of their 10-K tell a different story to anyone who is willing to dig.

  10. I find it amusing that Tony can elicit such a huge response from people on the same website that makes fun of a college for responding to trolls.

    https://reason.com/blog/2013/03…..-bigoted-t

    1. Yeah, and that group meeting…
      I’ll bet you can say “False Equivalence”.

      1. I can’t quite puzzle out what you mean there.

        1. phandaal| 3.4.13 @ 7:25PM |#
          “I can’t quite puzzle out what you mean there.”

          Simple: Your claim is false.

          1. Hey, I’m guilty of throwing a few nuggets of rage his way too, but that doesn’t change the irony.

            The writers here make fun of people who respond to trolls by playing into their game and on the same day Tony goes on a roll. A troll roll? Yup, we’ll go with that.

  11. It’s hilarious to watch the left be propped as useful idiots by the likes of Buffett. He invests in places they would abhor. Sorta like their man-crush on Soros and how he profits of the misery of people.

    So ‘civilized.’

    1. Isn’t that the point? They get to do what they want without interference, and the dumb progs idolize them for it. Win-win.

  12. Buffett writes, “we are the leader in renewables[…]”

    “That is, until the government runs out of money.”

  13. This article is fantastic. I really like studying your articles. rs accounts for sell Stay up the great work! Lots of persons are hunting around for this information, you could help them greatly.

  14. “Berkshire Hathaway stock produced a total return of 76% from 2000?2010 versus a negative 11.3% return for the S&P 500.”

    http://www.gurufocus.com/news/…..eat-decade

    Buffett is hated here because he never was captive on the Republican plantation. He thinks for himself. He is closer to John Galt than any GOP rent-seeker.

    Throw Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Larry Ellison in there with him. The GOP is spent trash now.

    1. Buffett is hated here because of the nakedly hypocritical and self-serving policies he espouses while actively avoiding their effects. Are you ever going to actually realize that libertarians are not the GOP?

      1. No because shrike is a dumb hick demfag who can’t think for himself.

    2. Palin’s Buttplug| 3.4.13 @ 7:56PM |#
      “Buffett is hated here because he never was captive on the Republican plantation”

      Yeah, you stupid shit, this is a GOP site. All GOP, all the time!
      Go see if someone will grant you a GED. Oh, and go fuck your dad; maybe you’ll ‘resolve’ some of your ‘issues’.

      1. Quit defending the GOP then, dumbass!

        1. Palin’s Buttplug| 3.4.13 @ 8:29PM |#
          “Quit defending the GOP then, dumbass!”
          Shitstain, learn to read.
          Oh, and go fuck your dad.

          1. To some people, criticizing one Team = praising the other Team. They can’t fathom that some of us are pretty sure there’s only one Team.

            1. Jerryskids| 3.4.13 @ 11:15PM |#
              “To some people…”
              Uh, it’s hard to qualify shreek as ‘some people’. Shreek is an ignoramus.

    3. Berkshire Hathaway stock produced a total return of 76% from 2000?2010 versus a negative 11.3% return for the S&P 500.”

      I haz a confuze… you hailed the S&P as proof that Obama was the most successful capitalist president in the history of time.

    4. Oh shit, here you are again, saying the same, fucking, thing.

      https://reason.com/blog/2011/06…..nt_2332312

      1. Whoa! You don’t mean to suggest that shreek is a lying, ignorant, daddy-hating asshole, do you?!
        Hey, shreek! Go fuck your dad and grow up!
        Or at least, grow up.

  15. Stupid rich people make me sick!

    http://www.EliteProxy.da.bz

  16. Palin’s Buttplug, I’ve never seen anyone “defend” the GOP here. It’s just that the GOP is more likely to be less hostile to libertarian ideas and ideals than the left/Democrats are.

    You keep insinuating or asserting that they defend Bush as well. That the criticism of Obama is tacit acceptance and approval of Bush. Yet, in the couple of years I’ve been here, I have not seen this.

    Saying “yeah but Bush was so much better” as an argument against a criticism of Obama is not an argument. It’s a strawman.

    Let it go with Bush. You’ll feel better. You’ll digest kiwi better. Your shit will float and not sink thus staining the bowl in your neighbours bathroom. You’ll see the sky as blue and not green. Your life will change.

    1. But don’t you see, telling him to drop the tired ass BOOOSSSHHH! bullshit (especially in light of Obama being exactly the fucking same) make’s us all GOP christfags.

      1. Rufus just described me exactly – I don’t mind the Bush bashing by liberals, except as an argument against criticism of Obama. Bush = interventionist warmonger and huge liberal spender. Okay, fine, so fucking what, lump him in with our last half century of Presidents. Now lets talk about the policies promoted by the guy in office now.

  17. As for Buffett. Again, no one begrudges him as an investor and never seen him attacked for his financial acumen. I think we’re all able to appreciate this quality.

    What they’re/we’re disputing is his sincerity and apparent hypocrisy.

    Cui bono?

  18. Tony and shreek lapping at the taint of Buffett – what a surprise.

    1. I think you rate them a bit too highly. Think lower.

  19. Warren Buffett is talking out his ass making comments about CEOs whining about uncertainty. Uncertainty in the law is an investment killer – that’s Economics 101. When you keep changing the tax code and the regulatory schemes and constantly threaten to change them even when you don’t, no business can make long-term plans. However profitable your plans might look today, who knows what they’ll look like next year. And what big opportunities to game the system of government give-aways might you miss next year by tying up your money in that investment this year?

    The head of a conglomerate like Berkshire knows full well that the uncertainty isn’t a matter of whether or not to invest, it’s where to invest. In Buffett’s case, he is investing in green energy production and is doing his damnedest to make certain that the green energy subsidies keep flowing – he’s certainly trying to minimize the uncertainty of future revenues.

    Unfortunately, that’s pretty much what you expect to get when you cross big government with big business. Concentrating on making and selling a good product at a good price becomes less important than rent-seeking from the government.

  20. That’s why in a business plan they ask about uncertainty or how you will handle unforeseen events. You can bet your ass Buffett looks at that. Buffett is talking less out of compassion for the “greater good” or “civilization” and more out of passion for the protection and enhancement of his portfolio.

    How nobody can’t see this from a mile away I don’t understand.

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