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Buffett's Crystal Ball
Democrats' Favorite Oracle Predicts Pension Disaster

Typically, when Warren Buffet’s pronouncements buttress left-leaning policies, Democrats and their cheerleaders in the MSM are quick to disseminate the wisdom far and wide. When Buffett expressed support for a minimum tax on the wealthy, President Obama called it the Buffett Rule and talked it up at every opportunity. But now that the Oracle of Omaha is sounding warnings about public pensions? Crickets. The reasons for the silence aren’t that hard to fathom. They have to do with what we’ve called the Blue Civil War:

Local and state financial problems are accelerating, in large part because public entities promised pensions they couldn’t afford. Citizens and public officials typically under-appreciated the gigantic financial tapeworm that was born when promises were made that conflicted with a willingness to fund them. Unfortunately, pension mathematics today remain a mystery to most Americans. […]

During the next decade, you will read a lot of news—bad news—about public pension plans.

It doesn’t speak highly of state-sponsored defined-benefit plans, or the officials and politicians responsible for funding them, that Buffett refers to them as a “gigantic financial tapeworm.” Funny how the enthusiasm for quoting the planet’s fourth-richest man vanishes once he starts predicting nation-wide debacles wrought by blue pols and their partners in the unions and Wall Street.

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  • Jim__L

    The Blues are afraid that unless they can support unions and pensions, there’s really no reason any straight white male (or prosperous minority) should do anything but work day and night to dismantle everything else the Democrats stand for.

  • Tom_Tildrum

    Keep in mind that Buffett sells life insurance and other financial planning products, so, as with the estate tax, it’s in his own financial interest for people to believe that their pensions and retirement are in trouble.

    • Mark Michael

      You’ve noted correctly about Buffett. He’s shameless in advocating public policy that benefits his own company in that regard. In this case, w.r.t. underfunded public pensions, he’s on the right side of the issue. When his “secretary” was sitting in the audience at a State of the Union speech as a prop for raising the capital gains tax, at least on the rich, he made public statements that others later on found he directly contradicted in one of his annual letters to shareholders. He trusted that Big Media would not bother to do that kind of digging and uncover such blatant propagandizing. (It had to do with allowing tax rates to influence your investment strategies. Publicly, he claimed that raising the cap gain tax rate would not change the behavior of those high-income earners/investors, thus reducing any “take” the government might expect from raising the rates. In his letter, he said something to the effect, of course, cap gain tax rates are a big factor in investing. How can it NOT be?! Well, that’s the best of my memory of the matter.)

      • Corlyss

        I have a lot of trouble with celebrities from outside the public policy world taking positions on public policy for any reason. I’m going catatonic with the next syrupy crap ad on education that I hear from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I don’t care whether they are self-serving or putatively philanthropic, they should shut the f*** up because they’re all advocacy groups, not creditable authorities.

  • Ghosts of Benghazi

    Buffet is a snake

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