Who framed Warren Buffett?

Or rather, who framed his written argument? I don’t know if anyone else has picked up on this, but there’s an authorship question concerning Warren Buffett.

A month and a half ago, an editorial entitled “Stop Coddling the Super Rich” appeared in the New York Times. It complains, once again, about the high tax rates paid in his office by everyone but him, and suggests that not one of the other people in his office make any money from investments. It also names their top rate (which applies only to the highest portion of income) and states that this is the rate applied to their entire income.

These statements are false, as I and others have noted before. Continue reading

The Left Defends Buffett

Interestingly, leftist media is pushing back on the claim that Buffet objects to the tax plan. Oh no, they say, the GOP is just misinterpreting what he said.

Warren Buffett identified how many people he expected to be affected by his idea of the ultra-rich paying more:

My program would be on the very high incomes that are taxed very low. Not just high incomes.

He doesn’t give a income figure, but that doesn’t mean he gave no data: Continue reading

$50 million a year is not a lot of money

I’m amused that Warren Buffett thinks that President Obama’s “Buffett Rule” is a bad idea:

“It isn’t [my idea] to have the rich pay more taxes. It’s to have the ultra-rich pay more,” he said, according to The Hill. “What I’m talking about would probably apply to 50,000 people in the country.”

Later on CNBC Buffett said if it were up to him, people earning $50 million would not see any tax increases, only people who “make a lot of money and pay a very low tax rate, like me.” Buffett did not put on a number on what he considers a “very high income.”

He didn’t, but it made it clear that it’s north of $50 million per year.

So much for the name “Buffett Rule.” And it seems that Obama’s policies are being badly buffeted even by his supporters.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

Government Interference with Business Hiring

I’d written briefly about a move by the Obama administration to create a new protected class of people that can’t be discriminated against: unemployed people. Reader and friend GoodLuckFoxGoodLuckFox has a background in law and exposure to business; my situation is just the reverse of this. He and I disagree about whether this is a good idea. He wrote:

It’s my anecdotal opinion that having a large chunk of unemployment “gap in the resume” will MAKE you “less qualified” in the eyes of the people making the decision. Continue reading

The Powerful Future of America’s Past

I am reading, once again, a book from about 130 years ago accessible here: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain. Among many remarkable aspects of the book is protagonist Hank Morgan’s self-description from Chapter 3:

I am an American. I was born and reared in Hartford, in the State of Connecticut—anyway, just over the river, in the country. So I am a Yankee of the Yankees—and practical; yes, and nearly barren of sentiment, I suppose—or poetry, in other words. My father was a blacksmith, my uncle was a horse doctor, and I was both, along at first. Then I went over to the great arms factory and learned my real trade; learned all there was to it; learned to make everything: guns, revolvers, cannon, boilers, engines, all sorts of labor-saving machinery. Why, I could make anything a body wanted—anything in the world, it didn’t make any difference what; and if there wasn’t any quick new-fangled way to make a thing, I could invent one—and do it as easy as rolling off a log. I became head superintendent; had a couple of thousand men under me. Continue reading

Two STRATFOR posts on al Qaeda

One of these is from a couple of days ago: Cutting Through the Lone Wolf Hype. It describes how the jihadist threat is “devolving” from cells based upon/tied into al Qaeda’s core structure to threats from lone operators.

The upshot: Such threats are not new, can cause damage, but are very often unsuccessful or achieve only limited results, as the operators by the nature of the “lone wolf” don’t get training on how to mount an attack. The more grandiose the attack, the more likely it will be thwarted.

Still, Nidal Hasan and a few similar jihadists, plus Andrew Brievik, show that such attacks can still cause great harm both to life and to attitudes.

This trend toward lone-wolf operations indicates that al Qaeda is losing its effectiveness.

The second article, from June, is related: it describes a 100-minute video from al Qaeda in which they warn people NOT to try to join al Qaeda, and instead to conduct lone wolf operations against the West. STRATFOR sees this message as essentially admitting defeat, or at least great weakness.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle