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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

What Buffett Really Said About The Buffett Rule

Media Matters for America

What Buffett Really Said About The Buffett Rule

Right-wing media claimed that Warren Buffett "blast[ed]" the Buffett rule and that he "isn't totally in favor" of it, citing a CNBC interview in which Buffett said the rule is a "small improvement" that "doesn't cure all revenue problems." But during that interview, Buffett said that he's "fine" with the rule as introduced by Senate Democrats and that it "encompasses the principles that I believe in."

Buffett: I'm "Fine" With The Buffett Rule; "It Encompasses The Principles That I Believe In"

Buffett On CNBC: "I'm Fine With" The Buffett Rule; "It Encompasses The Principles That I Believe In." From the May 7 edition of CNBC's Squawk Box:
ANDREW ROSS SORKIN (co-host): You know, Warren, to me, one of the most interesting answers that came out of the meeting was about the Buffett rule, and in particular, sounded to me like you were indicating that what the White House has done with the Buffett rule is different than what you would've done. And I think you used the quote that it's been butchered a bit. Could you elaborate on that?
BUFFETT: No, no. No, I said some of the commentary about it has been butchered or - but no, I would not say the rule at all has been butchered. Obviously, if I were writing a bill myself, there would be - there'd be a little difference. For one thing, there would probably be a different break point - maybe at $10 million or something of the sort. But, it's interesting - you mention the term "White House" because it's Senator Whitehouse who introduced the bill - Senator Whitehouse of Rhode Island. And I wrote him a letter after he introduced the bill and said I'm fine with it. I mean, everybody would do something a little bit differently, but it encompasses the principles that I believe in.
Buffett then responded to co-host Becky Quick's comment that "some of the criticism [of the Buffett rule] that's come out, though, has been that it's really a Band-Aid on a really bad tax system":
BUFFETT: Oh, it doesn't --  it is a small improvement in a very bad tax system. It doesn't cure all, it doesn't cure all revenue problems remotely. In my original article, I said, you know, we've got major problems on the expenditure side. And, no -- but it -- no, all it does is it says that when you've got 131 of the 400 largest incomes in the country that are averaging 270 million, you have a hundred -- a third of them paying at rates less than 15 percent, counting payroll taxes. That is something that should be corrected. [CNBC, Squawk Box, 5/7/12, relevant portion begins around 3:30]

But Right-Wing Media Spin Buffett's Comments To Claim He "Blast[ed]" The Buffett Rule

Big Government: "Buffett Rips The Buffett Rule." A May 7 Big Government post headlined, "Buffett Rips The Buffett Rule," highlighted a portion of Buffett's comments on CNBC and claimed that Buffett "came out today and criticized" the Buffett rule. From Big Government:
Warren Buffett came out today and criticized the Obama Administration's new "Buffett Rule" which would apply a minimum tax rate of 30 percent on individuals making more than a million dollars a year. Buffett thinks more should be done, and said that the Rule was:
a small improvement in a very bad tax system. It doesn't cure all, it doesn't cure all revenue problems remotely. In my original article I said we've got major problems on the expenditure side. All it does is say that when you've got 131 of the 400 largest incomes in the country that are averaging 170 million, you have a third paying taxes at less than 15% counting payroll taxes; that is something that should be corrected.
It would be nice to see GDP galloping at 4 or 5 %. But we've had a complete resuscitation of the banking system, in all cases but residential construction we've had the economy come back in a very significant way, and month by month it gets better. [Big Government, 5/7/12]
Fox Nation: "Buffett Rips The Buffett Rule." On May 7, Fox Nation linked to the Big Government post with the headline: "Buffett Rips The Buffett Rule":
[Fox Nation, 5/7/12]
Fox's Carlson: "Chances Are The President Never Expected [Buffett] To Blast The So-Called Buffett Rule." During the May 8 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson said: "Chances are the president never expected this guy to blast the so-called Buffett rule. Warren Buffett himself, the billionaire, now saying it won't do much to help our ailing economy." She later stated, "It's a little problematic when the guy you name it after isn't totally in favor of it." From Fox & Friends:
CARLSON: Chances are the president never expected this guy to blast the so-called Buffett rule. Warren Buffett himself, the billionaire, now saying it won't do much to help our ailing economy. Remember, President Obama named his tax-hike proposal after Buffett, who supports increased tax revenues on America's top earners. But during a recent Buffett announcement, he criticized the president's proposal as a small improvement to a very bad tax system that couldn't even remotely cure our revenue problems. And those are your headlines. It's a little problematic when the guy you name it after maybe isn't totally in favor of it.
STEVE DOOCY (co-host): Oops.
BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): They could've checked with him.
During the segment, on-screen text read, "Buffett vs. Buffett; Billionaire blasts rule that bears his name":
[Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/8/12]

Not The First Time: Right-Wing Media Have Previously Misrepresented Buffett To Claim He Criticized Buffett Rule

In September 2011, Right-Wing Media Twisted Buffett's Comments To Claim He Repudiated The Buffett Rule. After a September 2011 CNBC interview, right-wing media falsely claimed that Buffett would not "endorse" the Buffett rule, and that he "repudiates" it. [Media Matters, 9/30/11]
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Brian Kilmeade

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Media Matters Daily Summary

Media Matters for America
Here are today's news items from Media Matters for America, click on the title or 'read more' to read the entirety of each story.
Fox Touts Failed Fiscal Austerity Measures
Fox's Stuart Varney claimed that the result of the French presidential election showed that French voters "want to go backwards" because they are saying "no more austerity." But experts have said that European austerity measures have not improved the economic situation and have warned against similar measures in the United States. Read More
Fox's Flawed Solution To The Economy: What Would Reagan Do?
Fox has attacked the economic recovery under President Obama by claiming that if Obama just adopted the policies of former President Ronald Reagan, there would be a stronger recovery. But as economists have pointed out, the Reagan recession ended not because of Reagan's fiscal policies but because the Federal Reserve drastically cut interest rates. Because interest rates are already at zero, such a rate cut is not a possible option now. Read More
Journal Miffed By Bipartisan Support For U.S. Wind Power
A Wall Street Journal editorial criticizes Republicans who support extending the federal Production Tax Credit, a key tax break supporting the U.S. wind power industry. The Journal suggests that wind energy will not become competitive with fossil fuels, but energy analysts say wind is approaching that point and that the expiration of the tax credit would slow or halt that progress. Read More
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Tuesday's Daily Brief: Maurice Sendak Dies, Santorum Endorses Romney, New Gay Marriage Poll

Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Maurice Sendak Dead
Santorum Endorses Romney
Poll: Half Of Americans Support Same-Sex Marriage
WATCH: Anderson Cooper Calls Out Obama Over Gay Marriage
New French Prez Confirms Dramatic War Policy Change
Paul Krugman: How Bad Things Are
If you have any familiarity with the world, in short, you know that involuntary unemployment is very real. And it's currently a very big deal. How bad is the problem of involuntary unemployment, and how much worse has it become?
Noam Chomsky: Plutonomy and the Precariat
The Occupy movement has been an extremely exciting development. If the bonds and associations it has established can be sustained through a long, dark period ahead -- because victory won't come quickly -- it could prove a significant moment in American history.
Greta Van Susteren: Senator Marco Rubio and Elizabeth Warren! Can We Call It Even and Drop It?
I believe both Senator Rubio and Elizabeth Warren when they talk about their family histories. I believe both of them heard those stories for years in their families and just repeated them. Big deal. No one died. Let's move on to more substantive issues.
Mia Farrow: Making Mother's Day More Meaningful: A Different Way to Spend $14.6 Billion
Mother's Day is our chance to honor the women who bind families together and raise children from babies to adulthood.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: Petro Plutocracy
Last week the world got a preview of America's new, post-Citizens-United petro plutocracy, with the oil lords flexing their political muscles like oil-soaked bodybuilders pumped up on a steroid drip of campaign dollars. It was all about fracking.

Second Annual Midwest Black Male Educational Achievement Conference

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Second Annual Midwest Black Male Education Conference
 The Black Star Project
presents the
Second Annual Midwest
Black Male Educational Achievement Conference
Saturday, May 19, 2012
at the
Ramada Inn
4900 Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois
Dr. Umar Abdullah Johnson
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
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Umar Abdullah Johnson:
Dr. Johnson is CEO of African American Psychological & Educational Services For Children and author of The Psycho-Academic War Against Black Boys and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Black Boys  
He will teach parents, community members and educators to keep Black boys out of special education and away from the psycho-chemical drugs designed to trap Black boys in a chemically induced slavery. 
Dr. Ivory Toldson
Washington, D.C.
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Ivory A. Toldson:
Dr. Toldson is an associate professor of the Counseling Psychology Program at Howard University, senior research analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and current editor-in-chief of "The Journal of Negro Education.  He is also author of In Breaking Barriers: How School Leaders Can Help Black Males Achieve

Dr. Ivory A. Toldson will review the findings from national surveys and explain how they can be used as classroom solutions. His research discusses the importance of personal, emotional, social and school factors and how those factors impact academic success for black males.  
Dr. Garrard O. McClendon
Chicago, Illinois
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Garrard O. McClendon:
Dr. McClendon is an Emmy winning journalist, television host, author of
"Ax or Ask?: The African-American Guide to Better English." and has a doctorate in education from Loyola University.
Many schools have difficulties creating an environment and designing programs that motivate parents to invest in their child's learning.  His presentation will teach educators and administrators how to effectively engage parents in ways that empower them to be more involved with their child's education and school activities.  
Parents, educators and community activists from St. Louis, Missouri; Davenport, Iowa;  Detroit, Benton Harbor, Lansing, Battle Creek, Flint and Ann Arbor - Michigan; Milwaukee, Madison, Racine and Beloit - Wisconsin; Rockford, Peoria, Springfield, Rock Island, Kankakee, Waukegan, Joliet, Elgin, Decatur, East St. Louis, Danville, Quincy, Champaign and Chicago - Illinois; Indianapolis, Gary, Fort Wayne, Hammond, Michigan City, East Chicago and South Bend - Indiana should attend this conference.
Join us for one of the best conferences in the United States on educating Black male students with workable ideas and concrete solutions.  The cost for this one-day conference is $200.00.  This is one of the last chances for schools to use their parental involvement funds for this school year.  Please call 773.285.9600 for more information or to RSVP.
Click Here to register for the conference.
Click Here for special hotel accommodations at the South Loop Hotel, a Black-owned hotel.