Soros predicts double dip; Buffet begs to tax him

Warren Buffet (Mario Tama / Getty Images North America / AFP)
It’s not just the middle class in America that isn’t too keen on the US government right now. Two of the richest men in the country — and the world — directed some harsh words towards Washington this week.

In two separate statements published this week, hedge fund magnate George Soros and investment tycoon Warren Buffet, both billionaires, said that Washington was not doing what it should in order to curb the crisis hitting coast-to-coast.

Speaking to Der Spiegel, Soros said a lack of leadership was to blame for the current state of financial distress plaguing the country. Soros says that Obama’s $800 billion stimulus program did little to save America, explicitly stating that it was “not big enough” and wasn’t “directed at improving infrastructure nor human capital.” The stimulus package, says Soros, simply “was not productive enough.

Elsewhere in the interview, Soros says that Obama’s yielding to the Republican Party is causing the country to head towards a double-dip recession. Calling out Obama, Soros says that “The president would have to show leadership to counter the Republican wave, and so far he has not done so.”

Meanwhile in an editorial of his own published yesterday in The New York Times, Warren Buffet lashed out at Congress, saying that they weren’t handling tax breaks in a way that is best for the country. In the Op-Ed, the billionaire calls for higher taxes for the superrich of America — himself included.

"While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks,” writes Buffet, whose net wealth is valued at around $50 billion.

Buffet writes that, while he paid nearly $7 million in taxes last year, he should have forked over much more to the federal government but tax breaks kept him from doing so.

“These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species,” says Buffet.

“It's nice to have friends in high places,” the investor adds, but writes that Congress needs not “coddle” the super-rich any longer.

Buffet also suggests that “job one” for lawmakers on the Hill right now is to handle entitlement reform in order to take care of the country’s debt dilemma, but re-thinking their stance on taxing the super-rich could greatly help as well.

Last month, Soros spoke out that he would no longer be handling the investments of parties outside of his family. A statement released from the Soros Fund Management LLC revealed that the decision directly resulted from an increase in governmental regulations within the investment circuit.