It could work! [Warren Buffett deficit proposal]

from here

How would you convince Congress to pass such a suicidal law, and how would you stop Congress from bypassing or repealing it?
Warren Buffet just went down six notches in my book for trying to pass such nonsense as “wisdom”.

Um, who passes that law?

I’ll do it right after I bell the cat.

My turn to do a Buffet!
“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes. We just have all the rich people volunteer to donate everything they earn over $5,000,000 to the Federal Treasury!"

Much better idea! Take out the “volunteer” bit and we’ve got a winner!

Not really. The Buffett Principle relies on large amounts of people voluntarily going against their own best interests. Thus his “brilliant” idea of Congressmen passing a law to cut their own political throats.

In 1995 the Supreme Court ruled that term limits for members of Congress are unconstitutional. It’s doubtful that they’d find Buffett’s proposal to pass Constitutional muster either.

That’s cool…until something important needs to be done.

I’m thinking this was supposed to be a joke. If not then it goes to show that having billions doesn’t buy you a clue in all cases…



But, but…aren’t all politicians (except for those nasty Republicans, they are evil) supposed to do what is best for the country. Surely the all loving, caring and honest Democrats would sign on to this as they only want what is best for the country…

All kidding aside, that is what we should *expect *politicians to do. Pols ought to be in it to serve the country. Get elected, do what they were elected to do and get out. Being a Congressman or Senator should not be a life long job.


Yeah, I’ve noticed that they all seem to be in it for themselves, not giving a shit what their constituents think.

I’m pretty sure he was joking.

Sorry, that wouldn’t do it. All the income earned by everyone in America earning over $5,000,000 wouldn’t even cover a third of the deficit.

This problem can’t be solved by taxing the rich. The real money is in the middle class. For example, the range of people who make between $50,000 and $70,000 have about double the income of all the people who make more than $5,000,000 per year. There’s just a whole lot more of those people.

By constantly demagoguing against the ‘rich’ while promising more goodies for the middle class, the Democrats are just ensuring that when the inevitable cuts or major tax increases on the middle class come, they will be as rancorous as possible.

You’d probably need to convene a Constitutional Convention and get the people to pass it as an amendment.

That would bypass Congress who, you are right, would never vote for such a thing.

Still, it requires state legislatures to make it happen and I suspect they are as beholden as Congress to special interests but still…you can in theory bypass the federal Congress for this.

400 Americans have more money than the bottom 150 million people in the US combined.

You may be right but those 400 are a lot easier to get on the same page, politically, than the millions you are talking about.

The rich have much, much greater pull over congresscritters than your (dwindling) middle class.

Pretty sure you know it too.

Are you really suggesting the middle class has the same, or even greater (as you imply), pull over congress than the very wealthy?

No, I mean to state outright that you can’t solve the deficit problem by taxing the rich. You can’t even come close.

Buffett is joking while making a serious point: if you want Congress to actually be effective, you need to make being so in the personal best interests of its members. But since it would require them to act against their own best interests to change the current system, it ain’t gonna happen.


Sure looks like letting the Bush tax cuts expire covers a lot of that.

Cuts may still be in order but a simple return to Clinton era taxes (which were lower than Reagan era taxes) actually does come close.

Not saying it is the only solution but it is clearly a BIG part of a solution.

“Never argue with a man whose job depends on not being convinced.” ~H.L. Mencken