Warren Buffett's plan to end the deficit

Feb 2011
18,210
12,925
The formerly great golden state
#1
Warren Buffett in Sun Valley, Idaho
CNBC
Warren Buffett in Sun Valley, Idaho
Warren Buffett says he could fix the U.S. deficit problem very quickly.

Here's his not-entirely serious (but not entirely joking either) plan, as told to Becky Quick during this morning's live interview on CNBC:

"I could end the deficit in five minutes. You just pass a law that says that any time there's a deficit of more than three percent of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election. Yeah, yeah, now you've got the incentives in the right place, right? (Laughs)
Now, that just might work.

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Likes: 6 people
Sep 2006
5,985
6,163
Englewood, Fl
#3
Trump more than likely thinks he is a much smarter money man than Buffett. He may be right because when Buffett takes a loan he's dumb enough to actually pay it back.
 
Likes: 5 people
Jun 2006
100,729
11,026
Vancouver
#6
I could reduce the US deficit in 5 minutes too.

Expel every country that does not meet standards of civil rights, rule of law, democratic government, liberalized trade and independent judiciary from the U.N.

Whatever that body is named, make a 1% GDP levy on member states for shared military bases globally. Member countries will maintain their own defence, but any overseas military action would be done using the shared facilities, together, after unanimous votes in favour. Without the unanimous vote, the facilities can’t be used.

The US can close their own bases around the world. You guys are sick and tired of paying for them, and the rest of us are sick and tired of you having them unilaterally. If we’re not going to pay for our own we should pay into shared ones.
 
Likes: 1 person
Jun 2014
61,627
35,976
Cleveland, Ohio
#7
I could reduce the US deficit in 5 minutes too.

Expel every country that does not meet standards of civil rights, rule of law, democratic government, liberalized trade and independent judiciary from the U.N.

Whatever that body is named, make a 1% GDP levy on member states for shared military bases globally. Member countries will maintain their own defence, but any overseas military action would be done using the shared facilities, together, after unanimous votes in favour. Without the unanimous vote, the facilities can’t be used.

The US can close their own bases around the world. You guys are sick and tired of paying for them, and the rest of us are sick and tired of you having them unilaterally. If we’re not going to pay for our own we should pay into shared ones.
You have given this matter serious thought! I'm impressed.

I also can eliminate the deficit. The U.S. can simply disclaim all its debt and stop paying on it.

Easy peasy.
 
Likes: 1 person

RNG

Moderator
Jan 2015
14,114
9,859
Left coast
#8
Retiring the national debt is a fractured fairy tale.
I don't believe that but to avoid massive upheavals, it would need to be done on a 20 - 25 year time scale.

And probably to achieve it, term limits of one term and making political parties illegal would probably be necessary from a practical perspective.

So maybe in all probability, you are right.
 

Rasselas

Former Staff
Feb 2010
71,077
47,968
USA
#9
That's one helluva way to cut entitlement spending for sure!

I'm all for it!
Cutting entitlements is only popular until someone seriously suggests we do it. More progressive tax rates is more likely. How can the wealthy buy elections when the people they support are no longer eligible to serve?
 
Likes: 1 person
Jun 2014
61,627
35,976
Cleveland, Ohio
#10
I don't believe that but to avoid massive upheavals, it would need to be done on a 20 - 25 year time scale.

And probably to achieve it, term limits of one term and making political parties illegal would probably be necessary from a practical perspective.

So maybe in all probability, you are right.
It's not like human being debt, IMO. It matters not whether the budget is balanced and certainly not worth the suffering that would be required to even reduce, nevermind eliminate, the debt.

But the US is dangerously close to the tipping point. Approximately 10% of current federal revenues are now dedicated to servicing US debt. It is not possible to persist in the freeforall borrowing that we have been since Reagan, especially as the Boomer population bomb and their effect on the budget (far less taxes paid and far more entitlements paid out, as they retire) already has a doomsday hanging over it.

Among other bad effects, what sort of innovative government programs can be adopted in the future when 90% of all future earnings are already spent?
 
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