Tag Archives | Warren Buffett

Legalizing Pot Would Raise More Revenue Than Buffett Rule

Medical-marijuana-signPhilip Klein makes a good economic case for legalization of marijuana, writing for the Washington Examiner:

Over the past week, President Obama spent time promoting the Buffett Rule surtax on millionaires and paid a visit to Colombia in which he reiterated his opposition to legalizing drugs. Though the two issues were unrelated, it’s worth remarking that legalizing drugs would actually do more to reduce deficits than implementing the Buffett Rule.

The Buffett tax, which failed to advance in the Senate last night, would have raised $5.1 billion in 2013 (theoretically its first full year of implementation), according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Yet a 2010 study by the libertarian Cato Institute found that legalizing marijuana alone would save the federal government $3.3 billion in reduced enforcement expenditures per year and raise an additional $5.8 billion in revenue assuming it would be taxed. If all drugs were legalized, the study estimated it would save the federal government $15.6 billion a year and raise an additional $31.2 billion in revenue — for a total of $46.8 billion.

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Warren Buffett: ‘Stop Coddling the Super-Rich’

Photo: Mark Hirschey

Photo: Mark Hirschey (CC)

Billionaire Buffett sounds off in the New York Times:

Our leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.

While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors.

These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species.

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Billionaires Donate Half Their Wealth To Charity

Ever wonder what billionaires do with all their money while the nation is struggling in debt? Bill Gates and Warren Buffett launched The Giving Pledge earlier this year, beginning this expensive trend. NBC reports:

More than three dozen of America’s wealthiest individuals and families have joined Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in agreeing to give away at least half their fortunes to charity.

The announcement was made Wednesday by The Giving Pledge, an effort officially launched by Gates and Buffett earlier this year to persuade the richest people in America to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to the philanthropic causes and charitable organizations of their choice, either during their lifetime or after their death.

In addition to Buffett and Gates — America’s two wealthiest individuals, with a combined net worth of $90 million, according to Forbes — 38 other billionaires are taking the give-it-away pledge. They include New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, entertainment executive Barry Diller, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, energy tycoon T.

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Basically, It’s Over: A Parable About How One Nation Came To Financial Ruin

Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s less famous but no less capable colleague at the helm of Berkshire Hathaway, makes some ominous predictions for 2012 (albeit in the form of a modern-day parable), and this time there’s nothing sketchy about the science. Be afraid, people. His parable appears in Slate:

In the early 1700s, Europeans discovered in the Pacific Ocean a large, unpopulated island with a temperate climate, rich in all nature’s bounty except coal, oil, and natural gas. Reflecting its lack of civilization, they named this island “Basicland.”

The Europeans rapidly repopulated Basicland, creating a new nation. They installed a system of government like that of the early United States. There was much encouragement of trade, and no internal tariff or other impediment to such trade. Property rights were greatly respected and strongly enforced. The banking system was simple. It adapted to a national ethos that sought to provide a sound currency, efficient trade, and ample loans for credit-worthy businesses while strongly discouraging loans to the incompetent or for ordinary daily purchases.

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