Contrary to Buffet, government spending is not good

Recently wealthy investor Warren Buffet has been in the news for his advocacy of higher taxes. But is government — politics, in other words — the best way to allocate resources?

In a statement on the KochFacts website, Charles Koch disagrees with Buffet:

As part of the public discourse on government overspending and fiscal irresponsibility, Charles Koch offered the following public response to media queries on the topic: “Much of what the government spends money on does more harm than good; this is particularly true over the past several years with the massive uncontrolled increase in government spending. I believe my business and non-profit investments are much more beneficial to societal well-being than sending more money to Washington.”

We have to wonder if Buffet is really sincere about the wisdom of sending money to government. As I noted a few years ago, Buffet is giving most of his fortune to charity. In this way, he avoids the estate, or inheritance, tax. If Buffet really thinks inheritance taxes are good, he should keep his wealth and let the government tax it when he dies, like others have to.

Or, as many have noted, Buffet is free to give as much as he wants — right now — to the federal government.

But as it turns out, even the super wealthy don’t have much money when compared to the needs of government. Buffet’s fortune, the third largest in the world, would pay for just 12 days of federal government borrowing. Not total spending — just the new debt the U.S. government accumulates in less than two weeks.

8 Comments

  • I believe that your quote of Charles Koch is taken out of context. If your quote is accurate, Mr. Koch doesn’t say that ALL governmental spending is bad. His quote also isn’t directed at Warren Buffet’s statement.

  • Right, rich people!
    Best thing is to use your excess wealth to fund PRIVATE programs like schools, parks, job-training programs, etc.

    Govts, unless small locals ones, will always use the money inefficiently or counter-productively.

  • According to Weeks, all government spending is bad.

    Is government spending on your unemployment check bad, Bob?

    Who pays for this website to be updated and maintained?

  • Like most web sites, the ownership and operation is privately funded. Important material gets reported here that I don’t see reported anywhere else in the Wichita media market.

    Everyone is free to visit this site, or ignore it. That’s called freedom. Why is “secretly anonymous,” fixated on funding? That is what the critics of Fox News and talk radio resort to when they refuse to talk about the substance of the issues. Facts matter and ad hominem arguments deserve to be ignored regardless if they are issued by the statist residing in the White House or anyone secretly anonymous.

    Wichitaliberty is not the huffington compost.

  • ictator, you make an interesting comment noting ad hominem arguments.

    Are not many of the author’s blogs here also ad hominem arguments? It would seem that most of his arguments are particularly lacking in in-depth “balance”. One of the many things that the Wichita Eagle is accused of. It seems to me that while valid points are often made, they are undermined by the lack of balanced discourse.

    I believe that good government results from civil discourse that respects all viewpoints and perspectives.

  • Ictator:

    Thanks for completely destroying my argument with your pithy and poignant points about ad hominem attacks. I especially liked these nuggets:
    “That is what the critics of Fox News and talk radio resort to…”
    “…the statist residing in the White House…”
    “Wichitaliberty is not the huffington compost.”

    I completely agree with you, ad hominem arguments indeed deserve to be ignored. So, I’ll ignore basically everything you just said.

    So I’ll go back to my original point. It’s not an ad hominem–how am I attacking? I’m asking a simple question. It’s especially pertinent since Bob incessantly rails against government handouts to the poor and unemployed.

    Bob, how is this website funded? Is it only through your government-managed unemployment benefit?

    Thank you!

  • I noticed your comment went from “government spending on unemployment” to “government managed unemployment.” Is that because you realized unemployment is a tax businesses have to pay and isn’t financed through general taxes? Your comments are hilarious… if for some reason Bob is getting unemployment it would only be because Obama has made it possible by letting people draw it for 99 weeks.

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