September 19, 2011
Warren Buffett is the outspoken ass of a generation. Perhaps that comes with being conservative in his demeanor yet liberal with other people’s money. But this extends well beyond Buffett’s constant caterwauling for higher taxes. Warren is an all-around offense, and what follows are some of the reasons why.
Warren Buffett is modest and he is more than happy to tell you so. Buffett will go on and on about the used auto he owned. Buffett will belabor the point that he lives in an ordinary home. Buffett will proudly proclaim he takes but a base salary. Given half a chance, Buffett will bluster any listener within earshot about his humble lifestyle and unassuming ways. He is the most unpretentious man alive, and he has written several books for you to read all about that fact.
Some might rejoin that when one already has over a billion dollars there is little need of additional salaried income. Moreover, an automobile becomes little more than an unneeded accessory once your company subsidizes a chauffeured limo to ferry you to all appointments. As for locales, a settled home becomes little more than an unneeded accessory once your business picks up the tab for an endless parade of Royal Suites during constant globetrotting.
Another of Buffett’s sanctimonious testimonies is that he intends to leave nothing of his considerable fortune to his children. If this alone doesn’t reek of asininity, nothing else could. Not only did Buffett make his money in markets far less regulatory than today’s environment (à la Old Joe Kennedy), but the mere fact that he has been so fiscally adroit seems little reason to disinherit his less able offspring.
Not that those heirs will be suffering much, since Warren has given some of them overpaid positions in his personal enterprises. Like father, like sons (and daughter), they all loudly proclaim themselves pleased to be shut out, though that is much easier to accept after one has been set up to succeed with high salaries in Buffett businesses or as officers of Buffett charities with golden parachutes to match. (Also saving them from want, their mother bequeathed each at least $10 million upon her passing.)
Even if one would deem some scant redemption in this act of disinheritance, the mere fact Buffett pompously promotes his intention so unremittingly strips it of any relevance whatsoever. His descendants are little more than stage props for this oversized egomaniac who uses their disenfranchisement to satisfy his personal desire for greater publicity. That he does it in the guise of a beneficent Horatio Alger-esque hero makes it all the more grating.
Which leads to Warren’s most recent shenanigans, demanding for the better part of a decade that we must pay more taxes. This has been his personal crusade as long as most have been paying attention to this clinging personality, and the ploy is wearing petulantly thin. One might have thought it would all be over now that we have nearly quarter-population unemployment and the very small business “millionaires” who would create most new jobs would be most impacted by this inane notion. Not so.
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