Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The Media Should Stop Coddling Warren Buffett

I recently featured the video above of Bloomberg's Betty Liu interviewing Warren Buffett, and Reason's Ira Stoll writes about the interview in the article "Stop Coddling Warren Buffett":

"Ms. Liu deserves some credit for being a rare interviewer of Mr. Buffett who, rather than simply fawning, challenges him. Other journalists sought out by Mr. Buffett would do their profession and the country a favor by following suit. Some possible follow-ups for next time: “What’s your justification for making your tax apply only to “people who shuffle money around all day” but not to athletes or CEOs? Would it apply to CEOs of banks, insurance companies, or other publicly traded financial firms? Are there any other precedents for taxing income differentially by occupation rather than by source? Is that something we want to encourage in the tax code? Wouldn’t it just make things more complex?

And, Mr. Buffett, if you feel undertaxed, why don’t you lead the effort to get a group of “ultra-rich” to write voluntary multi-billion-dollar checks to the government, rather than waiting for others to do it first? And if you feel undertaxed, why focus your tax increase on your taxable income, which is relatively small, as opposed to on your unrealized capital gains or the assets of your (and the Gates’s) charitable foundation, which are relatively large?

Stop coddling the super-rich, sure. But the place for the “coddling” of Mr. Buffett to stop isn’t the tax code, but the press corps. Ms. Liu’s questions were a good start, but there’s plenty of room for more."


At 10/04/2011 10:18 AM, Blogger reprise8 said...

The media should stop coddling many more than just Warren Buffett.

At 10/04/2011 2:56 PM, Blogger Marko said...

They are afraid they won't get another interview with Him.

Why does anyone even care what this guy has to say about anything except what companies to buy? He is good at that, obviously knows nothing about taxes and politics.

He hasn't been that good at knowing what companies to by lately either. Sold my shares a while ago and kinda happy I did. (Although I wish I had sold my shares in everything a few months ago . . . )

At 10/04/2011 3:18 PM, Blogger arbitrage789 said...

Buffet says that if we stop "coddling the rich", we could raise $20B/year in tax revenues.

I'd be interested to find out what assumptions underlie that assertion.

At 10/04/2011 3:52 PM, Blogger Tom said...

The media love Buffet because he supports big government and higher taxes.

At 10/04/2011 5:23 PM, Blogger Marko said...

How the heck does any of this help the economy improve to the point companies hire more people? Tempest in a teapot anyone?

Hey, I have an even better idea - let's protest the idea of corporations - that is sure to help companies create more jobs!!

At 10/04/2011 8:00 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

I'm really tired of people wetting themselves whenever they talk to "the Oracle". Especially interviewers.

Today, a conference of women investors (WTF? I thought the point was to be accepted into the boys club) had the folksy "Oracle" sprinkling his self interest on them and I'm told the women were all in a lather as if it were a Doctor Oz convention.

Every time he told them to buy low and sell high, they swooned from the magic.

At 10/05/2011 11:03 AM, Blogger NormanB said...

All of the billionaires and hedge fund people who go on tv are doing just one thing: Using the media for their self-interest. Beware of Buffett, Soros, et al.


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