`Scrap Obamacare and Start Over` ~ Warren Buffett (2010)

Via Money Morning:

When asked, “Are you in favor of scrapping [Obamacare] and going back to start over?”, famed investor Warren Buffett said on CNBC March 1, 2010, “I would be — if I were President Obama.”

Buffett insisted that without changes to America’s health system average citizens will suffer.

“We have a health system that, in terms of costs, is really out of control,” he added. “And if you take this line and you project what has been happening into the future, we will get less and less competitive. So we need something else.”

Three debate-ridden years later, millions of Americans still agree.

But now Obamacare is only weeks away from kicking off.

The government program, slated to begin in earnest October 1 when the exchanges go live, is one of the most hated bills in history.

Ask millions of Americans what they think about the new law, and chances are they’re ready to pop a jugular.

Critics heavily oppose the mandate requiring them to purchase health insurance. They’re also furious at all the new taxes, fees, and higher premiums they’ll be stuck paying, thanks to Obamacare. 

Yet, while millions of Americans loathe every facet of The Affordable Care Act, as it’s officially titled, another group of Americans see it as a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to get rich: Investors.

According to most Wall Street experts, Obamacare will create unheard of fortunes for investors who tap into the right companies.

That’s because the U.S. will spend billions, even trillions of dollars implementing, regulating, and enforcing Obamacare.

Select companies and their investors are set to make a fortune in the next several months – and years – as the full Obamacare plan gets underway.

…read more…

This comes via Weekly Standard and it:

You know things are bad for President Obama when even Warren Buffett has soured on Obamacare and says that “we need something else.” Money Morning writes:

[….]

“Buffett insists that without changes to Obamacare average citizens will suffer.

“‘What we have now is untenable over time,’ said Buffett, an early supporter of President Obama. ‘That kind of a cost compared to the rest of the world is really like a tapeworm eating, you know, at our economic body.’

“Buffett does not believe that providing insurance for everyone is the first step to take in correcting our nation’s healthcare system.

“‘Attack the costs first, and then worry about expanding coverage,’ he said. ‘I would much rather see another plan that really attacks costs. And I think that’s what the American public wants to see. I mean, the American public is not behind this bill.'”

…read more…

 And in another story, “Obamacare Hurts Michigan Businesses,”

Kalamazoo-based, medical-products maker Stryker Corp. says Obamacare’s 2.3 percent medical device tax will cost the company $100 million this year, reducing its research and development budget by over 20 percent — meaning a loss of 1,000 workers. The Fortune 500 company is just one of many Michigan employers being negatively impacted, making the state a witness to the national economic harm that Obamacare has wrought, even before state health exchanges mandated under the health care law open Oct. 1.

[….]

Stryker is concerned with the “medical device excise tax and its negative impact on jobs and innovation,” says CEO Kevin Lobo. At his 10 Subway sandwich shops, Michigan businessman Ken Adams has switched to hiring part-time workers to avoid Obamacare’s expensive, employer health mandate. He added 25 part-time workers this summer while reducing other employees’ hours. “We won’t start hiring full-time people,” Adams told The Wall Street Journal, even with the delay of Obamacare’s employer mandate until 2015. Cities like Dearborn have alarmed unions by also planning reduced employee hours. Meanwhile, the General Accountability Office has warned of the “potential for implementation challenges going forward” for Obamacare exchanges. Translation: They won’t be ready come October.

No wonder some of the Obama administration’s biggest allies are rebelling.

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Warren buffets Secretary makes $200,000 dollars or MORE! Rush Limbaugh Weighs In (plus: Ronald Reagan Acknowledging Lenny Skutnik-1982)

This nugget is from Forbes Magazine:

Warren Buffett’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek, served as a stage prop for President Obama’s State of the Union speech. She was the president’s chief display of the alleged unfairness of our tax system – a little person paying a higher tax rate than her billionaire boss.

Bosanek’s prominent role in Obama’s “fairness” campaign piqued my curiosity, and I imagine the curiosity of others. How much does her boss pay this downtrodden woman? So far, no one has volunteered this information.

We can get an approximate answer by consulting IRS data on tax rates by adjusted gross income, which would approximate her salary, assuming she does not have significant dividend, interest or capital-gains income (like her boss). I assume Buffett keeps her too busy for her to hold a second job. I also do not know if she is married and filing jointly. If so, it is deceptive for Obama to use her as an example. The higher rate may be due to her husband’s income.  So I assume the tax rate Obama refers to is from her own earnings.

Insofar as Buffett (like Mitt Romney) earns income primarily from capital gains, which are taxed at 15 percent (and according to Obama need to be raised for reasons of fairness), we need to determine how much income a taxpayer like Bosanek must earn in order to pay an average tax rate above fifteen percent. This is easy to do.

The IRS publishes detailed tax tables by income level. The latest results are for 2009. They show that taxpayers earning an adjusted gross income between $100,000 and $200,000 pay an average rate of twelve percent. This is below Buffett’s rate; so she must earn more than that. Taxpayers earning adjusted gross incomes of $200,000 to $500,000, pay an average tax rate of nineteen percent. Therefore Buffett must pay Debbie Bosanke a salary above two hundred thousand.

We must wait for further details to learn how much more than $200,000 she earns. The tax tables tell us about average ranges. For all we know she earns closer to a half million each year, but that is pure speculation.

I have nothing against Debbie Bosanke earning a half million or even more. Buffett is a major player in the world economy. His secretary deserves good compensation. At her income, however, she is scarcely the symbol of injustice that Obama wishes her to project.

 36 Obama aides owe $833,000 in back taxes