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'American Morning' Beams Over Pro-Tax Warren Buffett

     If you’re extremely wealthy and want to be treated like a rock star by the media, take a page from Warren Buffett’s playbook.

 

     Buffett, now the world’s richest man once again, was interviewed by CNN and clips of the interview were played on the May 20 “American Morning.” Buffett’s interviewer, Becky Anderson, fawned over him.

     If you’re extremely wealthy and want to be treated like a rock star by the media, take a page from Warren Buffett’s playbook.

 

     Buffett, now the world’s richest man once again, was interviewed by CNN and clips of the interview were played on the May 20 “American Morning.” Buffett’s interviewer, Becky Anderson, fawned over him.

 

     “[S]o a fascinating guy, great to meet. And he makes it all seem so simple,” Anderson said to “American Morning” fill-in host Kyra Phillips, who concurred and noted Buffett’s political affiliation.

 

     “Oh, he’s so down to earth,” Phillips said. “He just seems like a very genuine, real person you could have a great time with. And he’s a Democrat, right? I’m curious. Did he talk to you about who he is backing?”

 

     Buffett told CNN he would prefer Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and proclaimed him “my choice” at a press conference in Frankfurt, Germany on May 19. The Nebraska billionaire has adopted a populist tone in recent years. He testified before the U.S. Senate insisting high taxes were necessary for the government to offer more entitlements.

 

     “We need to raise about 20 percent of the GDP [gross domestic product] to fund the programs the American people want from the national government,” Buffett said before the Senate Finance Committee on Nov. 14, 2007. “Further shifting of this requirement away from the super-rich is not the way to go.”

 

     Buffett chronically campaigns for higher taxes for the wealthy, including himself.

 

     “The taxation system has tilted toward the rich and away from the middle class in the last 10 years,” Buffett said in an interview with former “NBC Nightly News” anchor Tom Brokaw on Oct. 30, 2007. “It’s dramatic and I don’t think it’s appreciated. And I think it should be addressed.”

 

     But there are critics of the “Oracle of Omaha.” Renowned short seller Doug Kass said on the May 19 CNBC’s “Kudlow and Company” he thinks Buffett has lost his way and he thinks Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway’s (NYSE:BRK.A) stock is set for a drop.

 

     “[L]ook, I worship at the knee of Warren Buffett and all he’s accomplished over the years,” Kass said. “But the reality is in the last decade he’s underperformed dramatically and he’s drifted in terms of strategy. He calls derivatives ‘financial weapons of mass destruction’ yet he has about $40 billion on his books and lost $1.2 billion in the first quarter. And everyone admires him and goes to the Woodstock of Capitalism in Omaha and praises his accomplishments. His stock is starting to do poorly.”