Late last week, self-proclaimed Socialist candidate Bernie Sanders got an endorsement from an unlikely source: billionaire investor and corporate CEO Warren Buffet. At the same time, Buffet offered his observations on Trump: “How can you not watch him?” Based on the report appearing in the International Business Times, Buffet – who was having a good laugh at the moment – finds Trump to be tremendously entertaining, if nothing else. He also wanted to assure the American public that Trump’s hair is indeed his own, and not a toupeé.
About Sanders, Buffet had this to say during an interview on CNBC:
I think Bernie Sanders has been a terrific campaigner. He campaigns exactly as I would campaign if I were a candidate…He’s not going around saying things about other people. He’s just saying, ‘Here’s my program.’ I think he’s run a model campaign.
Nonetheless, Buffet – whose taxes could increase tremendously under a Sanders Administration – remains committed to the mainstream Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton. And, despite his stated opposition to the SCOTUS ruling in Citizens United v. FEC and past statements criticizing “Super-PACs,” Buffet gave a sizable donation to the Ready for Hillary organization late last year. At that time, he said, “Hillary is going to win, yeah…I will bet money on it, and I don’t do that easily.”
About the GOP race, Warren told CNBC, “[It] reminds me of kids playing bumper cars at an amusement park.”
Sanders has described the level of Buffet’s wealth as “obscene” – and Buffet doesn’t seem to disagree. Last Friday, he told Huffington Post that “you really shouldn’t have an economy with over $50,000 in GDP per person and have lots of people living in poverty who are willing to work…that makes no sense.” He warned that regulators need to step in to address the issue.
And they do. Recently, French economist Thomas Picketty published a book confirming what Socialists have been pointing out for almost 180 years: extreme inequality, with the majority of the wealth going to 1% of the population while the rest fight over scraps, is the natural consequence of unregulated capitalism. It is not only grossly unfair and immoral, it is socially destabilizing – something of which Buffet is no doubt aware.
Nonetheless, although Sanders’ agenda of Progressive taxation and strict regulation of the financial industries would provide the only workable solutions to this growing crisis, Buffet does not appear to be ready to abandon the corporatist candidate.
Warren Buffet talks a good game – but we’d like to see him (literally) put his money where his mouth is.