Editorial Cartoon: The Generosity of Warren Buffet

Editorial Cartoon: Warren Buffet National Debt Challenge

Today’s editorial cartoon was inspired by a blog post from Jeff Jena that blasted Billionaire Warren Buffet for his pittance of a challenge to Republicans in Congress.   Now on one hand, I agree with Buffet that certain tax shelters need to be right sized.  CEOs who take little salary yet rake in stock options because Capital Gains are charged at a lower rate than income.    In the late 80’s and 90’s that rate was closer to 30% and now it is somewhere around 15% so there is precedent for a higher rate.  And we are familiar with the notion that Buffet paid less as a percent of income in taxes than his secretary.  Maybe Warren should start paying her in stock instead.

A Republican pushed through the Buffet Rule Act that gives individuals an option on the tax form allowing them to give more to the IRS to lower the national debt.   Buffet responded saying he would match any Congressional Republican’s donations to the debt dollar for dollar.  While it can be looked at as a “put your money where your mouth is” bet, it is CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP on his part.

Based on recent data, Buffet’s net worth is somewhere around $50 billion and the entirety of Congress is around $2 Billions (well overpaid but still 25x less than Buffet).  Let’s put that in perspective you and I could understand.  It would be the same as someone earning $100,000 a year (Person A) saying he would match dollar for dollar in donations that someone earning just $4,000 (Person B) did.  Let’s say they each donate $1000.   That is only 1% of Person A’s income while it is 25% of Person B’s.  $1000 to Person A is nothing so even if all the Republican’s in Congress donated 100% of their yearly income, it wouldn’t even put the slightest dent in Warren’s pocketbook.


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71 Responses to “Editorial Cartoon: The Generosity of Warren Buffet”

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  1. lisleman says:

    We agree on many things but this one ain’t one of them. I consider Warren Buffet a sensible socially-conscience rich lucky person. Check out the recent Time magazine article on him. What you skipped over in your “analysis” is his large charity contributions. Also, it’s not the sum of the “salaries” (most don’t go to Congress for the government paycheck) but the wealth of the members. I don’t know off hand what that adds up to but I suspect just the total wealth in the senate would surpass Warren’s wealth. In 2006 Buffet pledged 99% of his personal wealth to charity. Most of it the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. I like Warren’s idea of raising the tax rate on the rich.

    • Bearman says:

      We agree on everything you mentioned. I admire Buffet for telling his kids they need to go out and earn their own. I admire Buffet for giving away most of his fortune to charity.

      The net worth of all of congress was the most up to date info I could find…if you have another source, I’d be happy to be wrong. I quoted net worth not salary in the cartoon.

      My problem is his tit-for-tat that he was trying to do with the Republicans. If he really wanted to make an impact versus just trying to have a pissing match, he would have said 10 to 1.

  2. My net worth: $22.67 and half a pack of orange Tic Tacs :/

  3. Kellie says:

    While it is not a good percentage – I think the reality is missed that this is a volunteer effort and donation. He doesn’t have to give ANYTHING toward the national debt, and pretty much did this to show the politicians complaining the most about it, and the ones doing the least to help it.

    He could be sailing seas or sitting a penthouse on huge stacks of money, and not care at all – but he chooses to give and be involved.

    • lisleman says:

      Good point. It’s interesting that much of rich Republican support comes from people who are in the lower middle class economically. There are many socially responsible rich people and corporations (redundant if you think corporations are people) but there are many selfish ones too.

      • Bearman says:

        There are socially responsible rich and poor, right and left. There are also selfish ones.

        Kellie, the point is he wasn’t doing it to actually do anything toward the national debt. He did it strictly as a put up or shut up move. I applaud that but he can afford to turn up the heat. If someone of his stature said 25 to 1 or even 10 to 1, it turns up the heat on those in Congress to donate.

      • And it would seem that the cuts that Republicans often propose hit those same people in the lower middle class. They tend to use the “we share your values” argument to throw up a smoke screen so that the lower middle class doesn’t see what the other hand is doing.

  4. nursemyra says:

    Uh oh… maths

  5. jynksie says:

    The richer you are, the more places there are to hide your money from being taxed. So rather than complain about it, go make more money and hide it in offshore investments. What? …. o.O

  6. MJ says:

    Ha! Give until it hurts.

  7. Lynn says:

    Oh no ya don’t – I’m not getting pulled into another political post! I already violated my #1 rule of blogging this week. Catch y’all on the backside! 🙂

  8. Comedy Plus says:

    He can do with his money whatever he wants. We can do with our money whatever we want. If he hadn’t just singled out the republicans I’d be less likely to complain, but that’s what he always does.

    Have a terrific day. 🙂

  9. Yeah Buffet’s challenge is a little silly but no worse than the crap that politicians say in order to get elected and at least we are talking about it. I agree with your first paragraph more and no republicans want to admit that the tax regulations were more stick in the 80’s during the Reagan administration, their faithful hero.

  10. Friggin Loon says:

    $50 billion dollars you say? Hmm, is he married? United States of Buffet has a nice ring to it.

  11. Deb says:

    My net worth is about $11.73. But don’t tell anyone. I wouldn’t want to get mugged for it.

  12. Binky says:

    This reminds me of the celebrities who make $20 million a year, and get great publicity for leaving a thousand dollar tip after keeping the staff there half the night, or who donate ten grand to a charity. That’s like the average Joe donating twenty bucks.

  13. Well, that really puts it into perspective doesn’t it.

  14. planetross says:

    Warren Buffet is about 35 Billion Dollars tall on your cartoon graph.
    … I thought that might be important somehow.

  15. Looks like he’s daring someone to pull his finger. I bet at least 10 grand would fall out somewhere.

  16. colm ryan says:

    nice likeness of warren buffet there, bearman.

  17. George says:

    I wish I knew more about tax laws and banking so that I could find any and all loopholes that would benefit my family. These lawmakers are aware of things that us plebes have no idea even exist.

  18. Tony Mcgurk says:

    I will donate $1000 to my budget for the year if Mr Buffet will match me dollar for dollar in a proportional to the his/my income ratio. I do get the point you are making.

  19. Mark Stokes says:

    Speaking of wealth, that’s one rich cartoon you created of Mr. Buffet there, Bearman!

  20. Is that his middle finger he’s holding up? I think he’s flipping us all off.

  21. MC/Curtis says:

    50 billion… He could give every single person on the planet five bucks and still be a billionaire or something. When is it enough? Let’s hit him with a rock and roast him and eat him.

  22. Jande says:

    Not much I can say about this since I have no clue who this guy is. :`)

    I’ll just parade my ignorance instead.

  23. Bo Lumpkin says:

    I got here late and read all the comments and got kinda mixed up. I think what I finally pieced together was that if congress will be nice Warren Buffet will buy them a puppy..

    It was either that or Lynn and Loon are gettin out politics to raise chickens.

  24. Bo Lumpkin says:

    Is Warren’s Buffet one of them all you can eat places?

  25. Miss R says:

    Oh how true. Your cartoon says it all, even without your well worded and specific explanation (ie ‘if person A was making 100,000.00 a year).

    Another fine piece Bearman… and not just because I agree with you -grin-

  26. James says:

    This makes me want to buy a Warren Buffet plush toy.

  27. Nate Fakes says:

    If I did that I wouldn’t be able to afford my Ramen Noodles

  28. Mr. Captoon says:

    Nice information through a Caricature keep posting like this.

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