Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Warren Buffet's (alleged) Fix for Congress

A CHAIN-LETTER IS CIRCULATING (allegedly) FROM WARREN BUFFET ON HOW TO 'FIX' CONGRESS, & as usual, asks you to send it to 20 friends to make the entire country aware of its terms in 3 days. Mine came from my longtime friend, poet & biologist Dr. Bob Chute Sc.D. in Poland Spring ME.

Usually omnibus 'fixes' like this are superficially appealing, but reveal unobvious conseqences in their details:

I.] Are congress's salalries supposed to pay for more than just their personal living expenses in DC?

If so, 1) It will cause independently rich/self-sufficient congresspersons to predominate.

2) If, however, their salaries fund their entire office, not just their persons, (by whatever means rich) congresspersons will obviously be able to live richly in D.C.

II.]The terms of their collecting Social Security sound OK; however.

But...so would the wealthy's not being able to collect SS above a fixed income cap (not cited.). They obviously don't & won't need it. But many wealthy people do collect it, nonetheless. Proposal: It should be ended immediately, congress included, nobody excluded; enforced across the board, it would obviously save the federal budget much more than just reducing congressional salaries & perks.

Anyway, can we safely assume that Warren Buffet fully-researched these fixes & consequences before promulgating them? - if indeed he did. It might well be a bogus Buffet proposal. Anti-incumbent cranks come up with proposals like this year after year, esp. federal election years. It has the popular mania of a Tea-Party iniative to me. But what if it were proposed by U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (R.I.) - would you be inclined to believe it? Why/not? Let me know.

UPDATE: I've finally done what carolin always did, after saying "I'm one of Nature's suspicious people." Consult the debunking SNOPES website (www.SNOPES.com) where I quickly found that the alleged WarrenBuffeted 'fixing' Congress ACT 2011 is mostly based on an anonymous 2009 predecessor then called: "A 28th Amendment." Google: Buffet fix Congress SNOPES Then send its correction to whomever you sent the mostly-fake chain-letter - which in itself should have been an adequate tip-off: billionaire Warren Buffet recco chain-letters to communicate nationally? Hardly.


FionnFile said...

I sent a long, serious response to the 28th amendment proposal to my friend Anne Marie in Italy. The one she sent was not attributed to Warren Buffet, however. Now the other day she forwarded another variant, apparently sent her by another person in Italy. One wonders why these good folk are so concerned about the US Congress, when they have what is probably the mother of all corrupt parliaments right there at home!

FionnFile said...

Another thought on social security. After being in the FICA-taxed workforce for 49 years, I feel no guilt or shame about receiving social security income in addition to my private pensions, though I find it hard to adjust to living so comfortably. However, I will note that due to our household income level, which is about 70% above my (income-taxed) pension and SS income combined due to my wife's being still in the workforce (and paying FICA taxes), 1/3 of my social security income is being returned to the US treasury in the form of income tax. If others in comfortable circumstances are paying their taxes honestly, there is no cause for complaint. The solution is to move toward greatyer income equality by covering all citizens with private pensions in addition to Social Security, not to take away benefits from those who have earned them and who pay taxes on them.