Buffet challenges GOP dollar-for-dollar on debt (Match this, Mitt!)

BOSTON — Warren Buffett is willing to put his money where his mouth is, if only congressional Republicans would join him.

The billionaire investor, in the new issue of Time magazine, says he will donate $1 to paying down the national debt for every dollar donated by a Republican in Congress. The only exception is Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell — for whom Buffett said he would go $3-to-$1.

The idea stems from a New York Times opinion piece Buffett wrote last August in which he said the rich ought to pay more taxes. It sparked an instant controversy, with some Washington conservatives calling on the 81-year-old “Oracle of Omaha” to voluntarily pay extra.

“It restores my faith in human nature to think that there are people who have been around Washington all this time and are not yet so cynical as to think that (the deficit) can’t be solved by voluntary contributions,” the Berkshire Hathaway CEO told Time for an article hitting newsstands on Friday.

He went on to tell the magazine that what the country needed was a system that favored people who were not born investors.

via Buffet challenges GOP dollar-for-dollar on debt – Business – US business – msnbc.com.

See folks…these are the kinds of balls you need to be one of richest guys on the planet.  Trust me, folks…many who talk about the vast economic disparity in this country don’t do it out of “envy” or “resentment”.     At this point, it’s no shit about the basic common courtesy of not being a greedy asshole.

And I LOVE that one of the folks he is calling out here is my b.s. spewing Senator, John Cornyn.  Here’s what he said…(well…”tweeted”).

Cornyn Calls out Buffett on Personal Contributions to Debt Reduction

Cornyn Calls out Buffett on Personal Contributions to Debt Reduction

Yes, they will.  Maybe that’s something campaigns can now compete over…especially Republican campaigns that constantly talk about reducing the debt.  Instead of buying commercials talking about reducing the debt..send that money directly to pay down the debt.  This does three things, 1) puts money where the mouth is, which is very convincing and 2) makes Warren Buffett spend some money, always hard to do and 3) IT PAYS DOWN THE DEBT.

Then, come election day…we vote for the guy (or gal) that did the most to ACTUALLY BRING DOWN THE DEBT.

UPDATE: OH, and BTW…if neither side will give that first dollar, I will….but I’m going to beg for it on the street first, just to make a point.

Mitt the Everyman (…born into a political dynasty with a few mill to fall back on…you know…like everyman)

Yahoo! News


What matters are the lessons that Romney himself derives from his financial success. So I want to step back for a moment and try to imagine what was going through Romney’s mind as he pretended to be just like every worker in America who fears being laid off. Part of his motivation was obviously a political effort to defuse the silver-spoon and Bain-Capital-tycoon attacks from the just-completed Meet the Press debate. But my hunch (and I am not trying to be one of those Forever Jung psychoanalysts from the press corps) is that there was also something else behind Romney’s ill-advised remarks. He was probably thinking back to a few moments of nervousness during his early days as a business consultant and his initial worries that Bain Capital, which he helped found, might not prosper. The hero of the autobiographical movie that is running in Mitt Romney’s head is a buccaneer risk-taker who is willing to gamble everything on his vision of business success.

If my theory is true, Romney sincerely believes that he is a self-made man. It would be one thing if he privately acknowledges all the built-in advantages in his life, starting with the family name and the business and political connections that came with it. It would be far different if Romney sees himself as the hero of a modern Horatio Alger story, making his way in the world through sheer pluck. In that case, there would be a temptation to scorn those who have not applied themselves to climbing the ladder of success like he has. So what I worry about is Romney’s compassion–or lack of it. And not whether he was pandering to voters when he claimed he worried about being fired.

This is probably the Romney pander that annoys me the most.  Although I think the very idea that venture capitalism is, in any way, about ‘creating jobs’ is right up there near the top.

Because We’re an Arrogant Culture

If Europe Can Learn From U.S., Why Not Vice Versa?: Clive Crook- Bloomberg


While thinking them over, the U.S. has plenty to learn from Europe, and vice versa. In the past 30 years, most of the learning has been on Europe’s side, until the Great Recession called some of it into question. The European Union’s single- market project aimed to create an economy that would rival the U.S. in vitality and innovation: hence the emphasis on un- European ideas such as deregulation, cross-border competition, lower taxes, lower government spending and curbs on state subsidies for failing industries.

Europe’s politicians looked at the U.S. and decided they needed, among other things, more American incentives and more American creative destruction. That was how to achieve faster growth and higher living standards . They said so explicitly: Unlike their U.S. counterparts, they weren’t embarrassed to point to the other model. And notwithstanding some of the exaggerations about the success of the American model, European countries have been right to move a good way in the U.S. direction. How strange, therefore, to see Romney’s fellow Republicans attack him for his time in the private-equity business, that quintessentially American force for creative destruction.

Workers Not Jobs

On the other hand, Europe can teach the U.S. a thing or two about social insurance — and not just in health care, the most egregious failure of the American economic model. Help for the unemployed has traditionally been ungenerous in the U.S. In the past it didn’t matter because the country’s flexible labor market sped people back into jobs. Now, a severe recession and a slow recovery have caused long-term unemployment to surge, and negative housing equity has made moving to find work harder. Income support and help for retraining and relocation need to be rethought. Don’t be embarrassed. Look to Europe to see what might work.

Good article that makes a number of solid points.  This really does highlight the downside of the concept of ‘American Exceptionalism’, a political ideology that assumes whatever America does is right (unless done by a Democrat, obv).

Banning Religion Unconstitutional? Yes…even in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma Case, Another Legal Blow To Sharia Law Bans – Atlantic Mobile


The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, not generally known for its progressive bent, on Tuesday affirmed a lower court ruling that had prevented Oklahoma’s so-called “sharia ban” from taking effect. The 37-page decision by the three-judge panel was unanimous and useful in providing some early context about the nature of these laws and the trouble they are likely to find when they bump up against the First Amendment’s religion clauses.