Friday, November 30, 2012
Every year he says the rich pay too little, and less than the middle class. Every year conservative think tanks and pundits go to work tearing the reasoning to pieces, and every year Mr. Buffett ignores their reasoning.
Maybe it’s time for us to consider the idea that the usually very rational Buffett is in this case not reasoning at all, but simply emoting. That by adopting the Buffett Rule as the new operating principle of American tax reform, we’re not tapping into the best that his higher brain functions have to offer, but instead taking his own private psycho-drama of paternal conflict and hard coding it into the law of the land.
You see, Mr. Buffett is the son of Howard Buffett, the Ron Paul of the WWII generation. Howard Buffett ran for Congress in 1942 as a harsh critic of the New Deal, and surprisingly, he won. He was an ardent libertarian, friend of Murray Rothbard, and an entrepreneur who built his own stock brokerage firm. He gave gold jewelry as gifts to the women in his life, not principally for adornment purposes, but as an investment against paper money. The Buffetts were committed Christians, members of a conservative Presbyterian Church.
Buffett rebelled against his father. According to Roger Lowenstein’s biography, “Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist”, if memory serves me correctly, Warren actually visited his sick father in the hospital to announce his shift to liberalism and to the Democratic party, a sure and cruel blow to his father, a four term Congressman who had lost his seat.
His psychodrama, our money. --TS