Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Saint Buffet's Chutzpah

'I'll donate a dollar to pay down the deficit for every dollar that Congressional Republicans donate' taunts Warren Buffet in a Reuters article (n.b. indirect quote).

He must have finished President Obama's copy of "Rules for Radicals" and decided to get on the fun side--the media's side--of the Statist v. Liberty conflict.  Annoying your enemy, especially to the delight of Alinsky's realistic revolutionaries, is a winning tactic according to the handbook for community organizers.

The irony of the quintessential "Have" speaking in the name of the "Have Nots" to persuade the "Have Some, Want Mores" to play in a game that gives him, not them, yet more is rich.

This "Have Some, Wants More" isn't fooled.

In return for his advocacy of Statist governance, Buffet gets the President's private assurances that BankAmerica, for instance, won't be allowed to go bankrupt, and that it is safe for him to invest billions of dollars in it on buccaneer terms.

The person who said that higher risk was necessary to earn higher returns didn't understand crony capitalism.

If Warren Buffet wants to squander the prestige he earned as a capitalist on behalf of Statist politics and governance, that's his business.  We the people are free to ignore him, as we surely must do if only for the sake of self-preservation and that of the our country.

There were a couple of passages in the article, however, that begged a rejoinder.
The jabs over voluntary payments come as higher taxes for the wealthy and extension of payroll tax breaks for middle-class Americans are becoming increasingly contentious issues for the 2012 presidential race. Obama is trying to paint Republicans as only favoring the wealthy, while Republicans are trying to brand the president as relying on tax hikes to fund excessive spending.
While it is certainly the case that each Party is jockeying to paint the other in the least favorable light, someone should point out that the picture Republicans are painting accords with a plausible reading of reality, whereas the one that Democrats are painting does not.

Borrowing a line from the immortal Josh Steiner, Republicans' claims are more a Manet than a Monet; Democrats'  are much more a Munch--they say more about the painter's state of mind than about what they depict.

First, the President's claims that Republicans favor only the wealthy, are pure bloviation.

Unlike Warren Buffet, George Soros, Jon Corzine, Jeff Immelt, George Kaiser and the cadre of deep-pocket donors from Wall Street to Sunset Blvd. that fill the President's war chest to overflowing, Noman is not wealthy.

He knows that what passes for government since Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi took over Congress in 2006, and especially since Barack Obama took over the White House in 2008, favors neither the middle class, no-family nor him.

To benefit from Democrats' favor, one must know somebody rather than something useful, have pressure group connections, join the metastasizing public sector, or generally be willing to lay down, roll over and beg.

Democrats' economic initiatives hinder the nation.  Republicans' initiatives to reduce the scale and scope of government, taxes and regulation help the middle class and Noman by stimulating rather than suffocating private initiative, thereby unleashing rather than shackling the economy.

Republicans' economic initiatives promise hope for those skillful, lucky and blessed enough to seize opportunity.  Democrats promise effortless abundance that exists nowhere but in heaven and in utopian fantasies.

Noman prefers freedom--even if it means the possibility of failure--to servitude and a life dependent upon whom one knows rather than upon what.

On the other hand, the President is relying on tax hikes to fund excessive spending.  He fights like a rabid wolverine--a low-biting one at that--to defend every ounce of pork and patronage in the budget.  He snarls and growls for tax increases through the use of euphemisms like "fairness."

Then he has the audacity to lambast Republicans for not compromising.

Total national debt has levitated by 60%, to over $16 trillion, during his Presidency despite the government's receipt of $2.1 trillion in tax revenues each and every year of it.  How much is enough?

While current annual taxes slightly exceed 2005's amount, today's deficit surpasses that year's by $1.3 trillion. The difference is big government's spending of $3.8 trillion. The facts are plain to see.

That would constitute excessive spending in most people's estimation.  But, for Liberals, the Goldilocks standard applies.  Whatever the amount spent, as long as it increases year-to-year by a higher rate, it is never excessive and always just right (barely).

But, not for baby bear, whose belongings are casually appropriated by somebody else.

Before President Obama arrived in the White House with his notion of fairness, the federal government never spent more than $3 trillion in a single year.  Thanks to his exertions, it will never again spend less, and is projected to spend $4 trillion by 2015.

Any bets on the actual figure reaching $5 trillion as ObamaCare bureaucrats settle into their offices?

Which Party is painting a realistic picture, and which is just doodling?  You be the judge, in November.

The second point regards Saint Buffet's social theory, specifically his confusion of government with society.
Buffett said in the Time interview the United States needed a tax system that favored people who were not born investors. 
"We need a tax system that takes very good care of people who just really aren't as well adapted to the market system, and to capitalism, but are nevertheless just as good citizens, and are doing things that are of use in society," he said.
Noman begs to differ.  We need strong intermediate associations--e.g., family, church, schools; in short, educational, religious, cultural, charitable and other organizations--not a tax system that robs these associations to favor pet groups, and recycle money with strings attached.

In a revealing moment of the New Hampshire debate last Saturday night, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney explained how this operates for good citizens doing useful things for society.

For instance, the Catholic Church was forced to abandon its role as a provider of adoptions in the state of Massachusetts because of its unwillingness to genuflect before Liberals' sexual dogma.  For refusing to serve Baal, Catholic Charities has been denied millions of dollars in federal funding used to help victims of sex trafficking.

Why is this money in the governments' hands to begin with so that it can meddle with the religious beliefs of Catholics, and others?

Buffet apparently doesn't realize that the agency of government is not the only means to assist people that aren't as well adapted to the market system and capitalism as he is.

Yet, he uses his celebrity to debilitate the very system in which he honorably earned it.  By doing so he exposes his ingratitude, as well as ignorance of political economy and life in the middle class--as opposed to among those who deign from the heights to speak for it.

Then again, the government doesn't work as well for most people as it does for him.  He's in a select club of cronies, membership in which makes it worth his while to shill for Statists.

Noman prefers a less contrived game: one in which he and his no-children are free to become the next Warren Buffet, and in which the living legend doesn't labor to ensure that everybody stays in his or her place.

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