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Forum Post: Warren Buffet's solution

Posted 3 years ago on Oct. 14, 2011, 11:38 a.m. EST by baldeagle (0)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:

"I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election. The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971...before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc. Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land...all because of public pressure.

Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise. In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.

Congressional Reform Act of 2011

  1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

  2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

  3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

  4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

  5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

  6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

  7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.

THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!! If you agree with the above, pass it on. If not, just delete. You are one of my 20. Please keep it going.

21 Comments

21 Comments


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[-] 1 points by annemal (1) from Ochopee, FL 2 years ago

I got all excited about this and looking on line for action to take found this news piece debunking it:

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/susan-milligan/2012/03/13/warren-buffett-and-the-mythical-congressional-reform-act

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Good research.

I guess nothing is easy. We should focus on an anendment to get money out of politics.

"Move to Amend"

[-] 1 points by TjeChiwara (1) from Arlington, VA 2 years ago

Ironically, this kind of “reform” (and the reality that a minority of ill-tempered members can trash the whole Congress, like what’s happening now . . . ) would probably result in the populating of Congress with those least capable of making it work, a bunch of wealthy dilettantes with too much time on their hands, or more likely, a bank account fully loaded with the net results of their “connections”, and zero inclination to make it work for anything but their own momentary gain, or that of their friends (yeah, like the government that Grover Norquist imagines and would like to strangle in a bathtub, as would anyone, if only it were true)!)

This is the Art of The Flim Flam: take something simple, like an example of government foolishness or excess, declare it to be universally true, and then relentlessly attack any attempt to subject this declaration to any analysis not consistent with your purpose, in this case, to demonize government, and more easily, the Congress, or more personally, the President.

The Buffet Act idea purports to fix the “problem” of Congress. But the problem is not really “Government” or “Congress” . . . it is simply THIS CONGRESS and the “new Republican” politicians that do NOT want to pay for anything, live for the free lunch and the unearned profit, that don’t care a fig about making government work, hate education, idealize extreme wealth, believe Flim-Flam is the highest intellectual pursuit, as in “job-killing health care reform”, “job-killing government spending”, “EPA Seeking to Regulate God’s Dust!”, or “Obama’s War” or “millionaire job-creators”. Heck, according to this Flim-Flam, anything government does, kills jobs, while everything a greedy money-man touches, boosts the economy. And because all of Congress is presumed to be greedy money-grubbing self-interested cheats, except for those Anti-Congress Congressmen), we should kill ‘em all, cut off any incentive for them to be there as a career . . . a bit like, “kill all the lawyers”, and why stop there? There are some bad policemen, let’s kill all the policemen, kill all the IRS agents, kill the EPA, kill the census takers . . . kill all the teachers, all the union leaders if not all the members as well, kill all the students who protest, kill the doctors who don’t believe in the sanctity of the human sperm, and oh, yes, there are plenty of non-believers out there, in other lands who need to be saved or killed, who, if they would only believe unthinkingly in American Exceptionalism, will become, without any real effort, wealthy Republicans! As if society or civilization itself has nothing to do with the quality of its government, the cruelest Flim-Flam going.

This is not the Republican party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt (who stopped Arizona politicians from turning the Grand Canyon into an amusement park – a wise financial decision), or Ike, (or even Alan Simpson), but the KoolAid-Energizer party of Ronald Reagan who smoothly developed the Flim-Flam into a full-blown ideology of irresponsible gutting of regulations,( ie the rules of fair play), and the Trickle-Up economy that resulted in the wealth of our nation’s production being channeled to the very, very few, and laying the groundwork for the later incredible wasting of our nation’s wealth, mostly by projecting our Military Exceptionalism so we can feel good in a patriotic wartime-like way, while not paying for it, or sharing any of the gains of our productivity with those that created the wealth.

Of course, the main Flim-Flam here is that the “accumulation of wealth” is equated to “creating” it, the base Flim-Flam that labels the work of the poor or modest income unworthy, at least when compared with the unrelenting effort required to generate the profits of an Enron. The concept of “Honest Work” is considered so passé, those working at minimum wage really aren’t worth anything at all, just a drain on the economy, despite the tasks they perform or the purchases they make, or the families they raise or the education they try, struggling, to pay for. After all, “they” don’t even pay so much tax, so what should they complain about? And who really cares if we lay them off, or cutoff their payroll tax cut, or make their health care more uncertain, a greater burden, or simply unavailable?

As with all Flim-Flams, the game is coming to an end, like Madoff, like Enron, the massive theft revealed, and unless the Grasshopper-On-Party succeeds in gobbling up all the remaining money and power it can before being stopped, our nation will be left with another Dust Bowl of empty warehouses once filled to overflowing, roads, bridges and rails cracked and unusable, ignorant, unhealthy children and starving families looking stunned while a few still drive around heedlessly, or spend their remaining bonus money on $2,000 bottles of wine, or try to buy a sports team while the TV rights are still not determined.

Ironically, Warren Buffett’s nominal reform is largely a joke, and it is the nature of Flim-Flam to take a cute simplistic idea, such as a joke, project it into a solution for everything, don’t even imagine any consequences, and preach it like Gospel until rational discourse is impossible. Warren knows that there are good Congressmen and there are bad Congressmen. Warren knows that all Congressmen are subject to the laws of this nation other than in certain limited ministerial ways (this is a particularly evil example of the Art of Flim-Flam – somehow that Congress is above the law, which they aren’t). Warren knows that trashing the Congressional Health Care system would have zero impact on the politics, and that Social Security is not a “retirement plan” as the Flim-Flammers keep insisting, and that’s not exactly what is being said, though it is implied. Warren Buffett knows that whatever pay raise Congress has stupidly voted for itself pales in comparison to the monies delivered to lobbyists, financial managers, and the Gingriches of the world for work that has little social or moral value. Warren knows that most Americans do not have a fine old retirement plan, and, with the ridiculous increasing cost of health care, too many are stuck only with Social Security by the bitter end.

Just because a few ignorant Congressmen, largely but not exclusively of one political ilk, are holding the body hostage to Flim-Flam illusions, does not mean we should punish them all (and consequently ourselves as well) collectively. The key Flim-Flams are the notions that “Cutting Spending,” whether you are a housewife, a private businessman, a government, a corporate executive, a military commander, or even a politician, is a sure-fire way to create jobs, and that “Deregulating Business” enterprises, or cutting their taxes, always makes them more vibrant, healthy and growing. Big Lies, Big Flim-Flams.

The best Flim-Flam is one where you get people to act against their own interests, like persuading someone that putting a tack in their foot will help them walk a little faster or further, or that if they eat sand, they won’t get fat (I guess that last one could be true, but is it a good idea?) Or the Flim-Flam that “Capitalism Unleashed” means Invisible Hand, Milton Friedman, Martin Feldstein Magical Wealth Creation for all! (We should call that “Wealth Creationism” which meshes nicely with that elegant vision of humans dancing hand-in-hand with the dinosaurs) Or that Health Care, Education, and Environmentalism are all code for Socialism or worse. As we know, Socialism has nothing to do with Social Consciousness, Equality or Fairness, rather it is the system where only the Lazy are rewarded, and all others striped of dignity, freedom and any aspect of wealth or happiness. Flim-Flam!

So when will the Flim-Flam cease? Apart for some minor Democratic Flim-Flams, like “Elect Me, Racism will Disappear, and Everyone will Hold Hands”, Flim-Flam is really the key feature of Republican Politics, born in the magical thinking of Ronald Reagan, solidified and sanctified in the glib reasonings of Newt Gingrich and the pantheon of Republican Intellectual Giants, like Limbaugh, Beck, Bachman, Krauthammer, Robinson, Cantor and the mystical economics of Friedman, Feldstein & R. Samuelson . . . . I am afraid the only end to the Flim-Flam will be when ordinary Republicans, who used to pride themselves on being in touch with Reality, are embarrassed by their current crop of leaders . . . (“I’m going to Stop Nuclear Weapons in Iran By Talking Tough!”) . . . and remember the decency of the Party of Lincoln, Eisenhower and Romney the Elder.

No third party will help --- that’s another Glorious Flim-Flam . . . a magical bullet which will unfortunately wound the body politic more than it will help. The Democratic Party, with its conflicting pieces struggling with each other, is the only remaining institution that can bring our nation together, that is based on those fundamental precepts that said “United We Stand” and “Better to Hang Together than to Hang Separately” . . . Only when the Republican Party remembers that it was once the product of a democratic society, a party with a social and financial conscience, that believed in paying for what it took, that valued fair play as much as individual ingenuity, and hard work as much as secret connections, only then will the political discourse get back to what made our Country so great – Honest, Real, Fair, Creative, Non-Corrupt, and the necessary political debates and compromises will be made to move our nation forward.

The only realistic choice, now, is to vote Democratic, the Party that at least tries to represent the 99%. Not perfect, not monolithic, not magical, not Flim-Flam.

AZ

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 3 years ago

well, why didn't he? did he think he could leverage the good people of america? this ant monopoly this is life. wrong game. but i bet their are others who will play with you

[-] 1 points by sensiblepreps (1) from Sacramento, CA 3 years ago

Shouldn't there also be items to address (#8)restricting campaign fundraising, (#9)restricting insider trading and (#10) closing the revolving door between the world of lobbyists and corporations? In other words take the 'financial rewards' out of the serving in congress.

[-] 1 points by JimL (4) 3 years ago

We should care about the unemployment rate, not the deficit. Let's change the proposal to whenever unemployment is above 6% Congress members are ineligible for re-election.

You don't want Congress cutting spending when unemployment is high. Quite the reverse, you want a BIG deficit when unemployment is high to help create jobs! That's economics 101. Ask Krugman.

[-] 1 points by JimL (4) 3 years ago

We should care about the unemployment rate, not the deficit. Let's change the proposal to whenever unemployment is above 6% Congress members are ineligible for re-election.

You don't want Congress cutting spending when unemployment is high. Quite the reverse, you want a BIG deficit when unemployment is high to help create jobs! That's economics 101. Ask Krugman.

[-] 1 points by dotsconnectors (2) from New York, NY 3 years ago

Questionable chain e-letter attributable to Warren Buffett

This past week an email attributable to Warren Buffett has been circling the World Wide Web, with the aim of fixing Congress and lowering the deficit. Its second paragraph reads “Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise. In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message… The entire text of the email is available at:

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/c/congressional-reform-act-2011.htm

To the best of my knowledge the deficit that Mr. Buffett has been most vocal about over the years to the one that has been link to Berkshire Hathaway home page since November 2003, namely the U.S. trade deficit:

http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/growing.pdf

In the book 2008 book I.O.U.S.A. Warren Buffett warns that persistent trade deficits may create real political instability down the line, and increase the possibility that demagogues come along, with very superficial arguments and do some very foolish things. In just 31/2 years, political instability is bringing demagogues out of the woodwork. The central question regarding the aforementioned deficit email is: “Are demagogues using one of the habits of a highly effective propaganda, namely, testimonial to fraudulently rally support to reduce a deficit that is not Mr. Buffet’s primary concern?

[-] 1 points by radiomind30 (7) 3 years ago

THIS is excellent. Really Great. Everyone should do this!

[-] 1 points by Krissy (2) 3 years ago

I am totally supportive of this.... but please, please don't just be a fad that comes and goes. And continue to inform us on what's been happening in congress at the expense of the people.

[-] 1 points by Krissy (2) 3 years ago

I am totally supportive of this.... but please, please don't just be a fad that comes and goes. And continue to inform us on what's been happening in congress at the expense of the people.

[-] 1 points by catdance423 (1) from Chico, CA 3 years ago

Many people have told me Warren Buffet has nothing to do with the above. Also there are a lot of mistakes and not enough fact checking before written. I trusted you and shared. Now I feel stupid. We would not have made these mistakes in the '60s. Yes Congress needs to live as we do if the right decisions are to be made for the people. But when mistakes are submitted we will not be taken seriously.

[-] 1 points by blackbozo (1) 3 years ago

I love these ideas in principle, and would be more than happy to see this amendment passed. However, due to our completely messed up campaign finance system, more and more members of Congress are independently wealthy folk. I believe 99 out of 100 Senators are millionaires - you almost have to be to finance a campaign under today's system. It certainly offers you a big advantage.

As such, these pols would not be affected in the least by these rule changes. They would not be dependent on the public health care system or social security, and as a result this amendment would be ineffective at driving policy change. Vigorous campaign finance reform is the only way out of this mess.

[-] 1 points by FatBastard (2) 3 years ago

http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/28thamendment.asp

Why should I believe or care about anything else you have to say?

[-] 1 points by mantaraya (1) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

Warren Buffett has nothing to do with this "Congressional Reform Act".

The article, act, and specific justifications are pretty much garbage. Maybe someone will pen some reform that makes sense.

http://www.factcheck.org/2011/03/congressional-reform-act/

Let's back good ideas, not bad ideas.

[-] 1 points by betsydoula (143) from Beverly Hills, FL 3 years ago

I will spread this. There are similar suggestions posted elsewhere. The 99% declaration has some of this on there. They are proposing a national assembly July 4 2012. This should be the top priority!!

[-] 1 points by LazerusShade (76) 3 years ago

Looks good ill have to think about it a bit see if i can find anything negative about this but not coming up with anything at first glance.

[-] 1 points by rd1box12 (14) 3 years ago

Areal goal! great first step ! lets all get behind this ! it will make the change we all want

[-] 1 points by betsydoula (143) from Beverly Hills, FL 3 years ago

The99Declaration@gmail.com. Email these people and tell them to include this in their declaration.