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Warren Buffett Can 'Fix the Deficit in 5 Minutes': Would His Idea Actually Work?

Politics 2011/07/08 18:56:17
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What are we sitting around discussing budget cuts for when Warren Buffett has a plan to solve the deficit in five minutes flat?

The renowned investor told CNBC his plan.

I could end the deficit in five minutes. 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 reelection ... [T]hey're trying to use the incentive now that we're going to blow your brains out, America, in terms of your debt-worthiness over time ... A more effective threat would be just to say, 'If you guys can't get it done, we'll get some other guys to get it done.'

Perhaps, but at this rate we'll run out of money before we run out of politicians who can't solve the deficit.

Read More: http://www.cnbc.com/id/43670783

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  • V~POTL~PWCM~JLA 2011/07/08 19:40:30 (edited)
    Yes
    V~POTL~PWCM~JLA
    +10
    It's Management 101: Identify the problem, find a way to measure it, and link something important to achieving measurable goals. Only when deficit control becomes a measure of performance with specific consequences will anyone take it seriously.

    I don't know if it would work in this case, but it's worth a try. Maybe even throw in a few bonuses if they can achieve a 3:1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases, or at least keep spending and tax increases under the inflation rate. There are a lot of fiscal measurements that could be built into a framework of carrots and sticks. But overall, I think the idea of automatic penalties would provide at least some hope for a self-cleaning feature in Congress.

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  • Pedro D... TheR 2011/07/09 09:39:05
    Pedro Doller ~Inc.
    +5
    I think default is the answer too. The sooner the better. The world can forgive our debt just like we did for Africa and South America and the former Soviet Union.

    I think the best way to default is for all 50 states to declare sovereignty, and then reform a new Federal government. The original constitution could be re-instated. Then all laws and treaties would have to be re-enacted or left for the trash pile (IRS &FED should be in the trash pile). All debt would belong to the extinct, defunct old Federal government with the new government having no liability. This is exactly what the Russian Federation did when the Soviet Union was dissolved)
  • Wally-M... Pedro D... 2011/07/09 10:36:29
    Wally-Molon Labe!
    +3
    I agree totally. Trying to right a sinking ship when its hull is full of holes is an exercise in futility. Burn all the trash along with any surviving politicians, lobbyists, banksters, and Wall St. hoodlums and demand honorable participation from the "New Americans". All doors in public buildings (except restrooms) removed for the new sunshine law. Absolutely reinstate the original constitution.

    This will be tough for a while. Bloody and dangerous. But it must be done. Default or go down with the ship!
  • Shigyrl... Pedro D... 2011/07/09 11:54:44
    Shigyrl but outspoken on my future
    +3
    That is an interesting idea. I think the world hates us so much. That they would take us over rather then forgive our debt.
  • Lady Wh... Shigyrl... 2011/07/09 15:22:27
    Lady Whitewolf
    +1
    considering the fact they wouldn't stand a snowball's chance at a Texas BBQ and they KNOW it!
  • Lady Wh... Pedro D... 2011/07/09 15:08:10
    Lady Whitewolf
    +2
    "The world can forgive our debt just like we did for Africa and South America and the former Soviet Union."

    EXACTLY!!!! And while we're at it, tell Chine to SIT DOWN and STFU. China WOULD NOT be where it is if it weren't for the United States! They would still be a 3rd world country!
  • Pedro D... Lady Wh... 2011/07/09 15:10:48
    Pedro Doller ~Inc.
    +1
    Them too. Everybody else too.
  • Lady Wh... Pedro D... 2011/07/09 15:21:23
    Lady Whitewolf
    +1
    SO agree!
  • Lady Wh... Pedro D... 2011/07/09 15:24:03
    Lady Whitewolf
    +1
    "(IRS &FED should be in the trash pile)."

    THAT ALONE would save a TON of money!
  • I am not real 2011/07/09 07:26:41
    No
    I am not real
    Snake oil anyone?
  • Charles R. Anderson 2011/07/09 07:01:59
    Yes
    Charles R. Anderson
    On this, I agree with Warren Buffett, providing we also replace them if they raise taxes as a percent of the GDP.
  • Radical 1s1am1st 2011/07/09 06:23:09
    Yes
    Radical 1s1am1st
    +1
    Warren Buffet for Dictator
  • UGH...LIBS ~ PWCM ~ JLA ~ 2011/07/09 06:18:00
    No
    UGH...LIBS ~ PWCM ~ JLA ~
    +2
    Much as Buffett would like to save Obama's hide for him, Congress would never pass such a law.

    And the unions would have a screaming fit.

    Good idea, otherwise.
  • Xed0 UGH...L... 2011/07/09 07:59:31
    Xed0
    +1
    I like hearing the screams of lazy assed union workers :)
    It brings me joy to see them actually have to work for a living like the rest of us.

    Also, for some reason, I just LOVE your name, It's wonderful in so many ways :D
  • VenomHalos 2011/07/09 06:00:51
    Yes
    VenomHalos
    Well, if people actually went along with the plan, anyways.
  • The River Rat 2011/07/09 05:41:06
    No
    The River Rat
    +1
    Warren Buffet and Donald Trump are two good examples of the fact that you don't have to be smart to become very rich. How does he ever expect to get such an idea passed by a Congress that is more concerned about getting elected than what would be good for the people of our country? If politicians where concerned about what is best for the people, we would already have such a law and we would have some better tax system, such as the Fair Tax or a flat tax without all of those deductions and credits.
  • r-w-wako 2011/07/09 05:33:19
    Yes
    r-w-wako
    Pass his law and it would never have to be enforced.
  • Common Sense Conservative 2011/07/09 05:25:21
    Yes
    Common Sense Conservative
    +1
    It would work. No question. No question. 500 nd something people run this country and all should be accountable.
  • Glfer65 2011/07/09 05:13:22
    No
    Glfer65
    Not in the real world. Too many corrupt people and many waiting their turn in the hot seat.
  • MrsJJS 2011/07/09 05:11:37
    Yes
    MrsJJS
    +1
    Performance is measured in all sorts of occupations…why not this one?
  • Tigger Too 2011/07/09 05:04:47
    No
    Tigger Too
    +4
    Warren Buffett claims that he can solve the deficit in five minutes flat? Yeah, right. It all sounds good in theory, but Buffett's answer has no basis in reality. Even if voters passed a law saying that anytime there's a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress would be ineligible to run for re-election, then this article has it dead right. The country would run out of money before we could get rid of all the incompetent, thieving, lying bums in Congress. I see the majority of folks voted YES to this survey, but come ON... In a PERFECT world, Buffett's solution could work, but NOT in the REAL world.
  • Common ... Tigger Too 2011/07/09 05:28:02
    Common Sense Conservative
    How do you know?
  • Tigger Too Common ... 2011/07/09 05:53:18
    Tigger Too
    +1
    And just how do YOU know it WOULD work? Warren Buffett's is the perfect solution in an imperfect world, and if you think that this is the answer to solving the deficit problem, then you are living in a parallel, Utopian universe. Ain't never gonna happen. NEVER, EVER, EVER.
  • Averus Tigger Too 2011/07/09 07:38:07
    Averus
    +1
    He didn't say he knew, he asked you a question; a question you didn't even attempt to answer. Not to be antagonistic, but unless you can present a valid reason that this idea isn't worth considering, why shoot it down?
  • Tigger Too Averus 2011/07/09 11:53:09
    Tigger Too
    I already ANSWERED his question in my original post. "The country would run out of money before we could get rid of all the incompetent, thieving, lying bums in Congress." Voters would be electing different candidates every election cycle. As the deficit stands now, Warren Buffett's answer to decreasing it couldn't be accomplished anytime soon, probably not for another millennium. The idea of booting politicians off of Capitol Hill when the deficit reaches 3% of GDP is ludicrous. I didn't say Buffett's solution was a BAD one, just that it was an IMPOSSIBLE one. It's easy to voice one's opinions, but it's another thing entirely to put those opinions into practice. Hey, I'm just being pragmatic here.
  • Common ... Tigger Too 2011/07/09 12:37:42
    Common Sense Conservative
    +2
    I don't. But, I know that if jobs were at stake the 507 people in charge would try harder. It doesn't take a utopia for harder work.
  • Tigger Too Common ... 2011/07/09 14:00:08
    Tigger Too
    Perhaps, but enacting any legislation that would force all 507 members of Congress to be unable to run for re-election would never pass. It's just like my argument for term limits in Congress. The oafs running the show are not ABOUT to vote themselves out of a lifetime job, where the only qualifications are lying, thieving and corruption. The bums in Congress may ACT crazy, but they're crazy like a fox! Thanks for your comments, and have a great day!
  • Averus Tigger Too 2011/07/09 15:16:27
    Averus
    +1
    On that point I most definitely agree with you. Unfortunately I'm not as familiar with our legislative system as I should be. Isn't there SOME way the voters can bypass or overturn the house and senate? If there isn't, there should be, otherwise what would stop all three branches of government from acting together in their own interests at the expense of the American people?
  • Tigger Too Averus 2011/07/09 15:41:32
    Tigger Too
    Even if the electorate overwhelmingly approved legislation such as that suggested by Warren Buffett, I'm sure those corrupt bastards in Congress would find a way to override the people's vote. Those bums have been in business for far too long to give up their lucrative jobs without a fight. As you said, MANY Americans are not as familiar with our legislative process as we should be. Yes, our government was divided into three branches -- executive, legislative and judicial -- for the specific purpose of not allowing a single entity to have unlimited power over everything and everybody. But sadly, those three branches ARE acting in cahoots to further their own selfish interests and nefarious plans, all to the detriment of We The People, the very people they were chosen to represent. Thanks for making some excellent points, and have a super day!
  • Common ... Tigger Too 2011/07/09 22:07:36
    Common Sense Conservative
    +1
    I agree, but it would work if it ever happened and that's what his point is.
  • Tigger Too Common ... 2011/07/10 11:02:54
  • Common ... Tigger Too 2011/07/11 03:48:01
    Common Sense Conservative
    +1
    This whole thing is about "IF"
  • Tigger Too Common ... 2011/07/11 04:16:23
    Tigger Too
    Exactly, my friend. It all sounds good in theory, but the devil is in the details. It always is! [Hey, look on the bright side. There's not likely to be any NFL football this season, so the Bengals and Raiders won't have losing seasons. Well, sort of...!]
  • Common ... Tigger Too 2011/07/11 04:18:56
    Common Sense Conservative
    +1
    Sorry but the Raiders WILL have a winning record this year when the season DOES start and finish.

    Also, lots of "IFS" do happen. Lots
  • Tigger Too Common ... 2011/07/11 04:37:07
    Tigger Too
    Ah, the eternal optimist! I can assure you that whether the Bengals play 16 games or 1 game, they WILL have a losing season! The only way these chumps will ever win a Super Bowl [what's that?] is IF every other team in the league dies in a fiery plane crash. And THAT, my friend, is one big IF! [Sorry, but I'm more of a "glass half empty" kind of tigger!]
  • Common ... Tigger Too 2011/07/11 06:10:03
    Common Sense Conservative
    +1
    Why wouldn't you be with that squad.
  • Tigger Too Common ... 2011/07/11 19:29:15
    Tigger Too
    Is it the Cincinnati Bengals "squad" of which you speak? If so, surely you jest! That organization is the biggest passel of thugs, losers and crybabies in the league. At least Carson "Worm-Burner" Palmer won't be returning to his crapulous quarterbacking this season. Mike Brown's name is anathema in Cincinnati, which is sad, because his father Paul was pretty beloved and respected in all of football. Sad but true...
  • Common ... Tigger Too 2011/07/11 20:00:08
    Common Sense Conservative
    +1
    Bengals = squad
  • Tigger Too Common ... 2011/07/11 20:10:56
    Tigger Too
    Here's a thought... Let's give Warren Buffett a chance to "fix" the Bengals squad in five minutes. Actually, addressing the deficit would be a piece of cake compared to THAT!
  • Common ... Tigger Too 2011/07/12 03:50:53
    Common Sense Conservative
    +1
    It's called "the coach."
  • Gary 2011/07/09 05:04:01
    No
    Gary
    It's a great idea but the idiots in Washington would take more than 5 minutes arguing about what to cut to meet the goal. Worse yet, solving the annual deficits does nothing to solve the already existing national debt.

    Of course if Congress could get the deficit to within 3% of GDP, then Warren could probably just write a check to cover it.

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