NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Huffington Post is out with another in the long series of non-Pulitzer Prize-winning accounts of how, where and why Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) chairman Warren Buffett is a hypocrite on Tuesday.
I would say this cottage industry within journalism had jumped the shark if jumping the shark hadn't jumped the shark long ago, and if I wasn't as guilty as the rest of being a card-carrying member of this non-exclusive group of Buffett lapdogs in print and news-aggregated pixel.
Reading the HuffPo headline about the results of an investigation that showed Buffett's NetJets subsidiary was lobbying K Street to preserve luxury jet tax breaks while Buffett has called for higher taxes on the rich sent me back to my freshman days at the University of Michigan.
|The 'Warren Buffett is a hypocrite school of journalism' has yet to produce a Pulitzer, but reams of copy? Well, no end to it.|
Bear with me: I arrived in Ann Arbor as the former president of my high school's Model Congress (i.e. no girlfriend during those awkward years), and as a "model" Majority Speaker I had sponsored legislation to return the United States to its rightful owners -- the tribal nations -- and to use Congressional funds to sponsor just about every socialist rebel army around the globe.Then I was hit over the head with the dawning of political correctness on campus in the early 90s and as a visceral reaction to the overwhelming liberalness, I became a knee-jerk conservative. So I'm cutting my Warren Buffett is a Hypocrite Club card today and testifying against my former crew and changing parties. It's time to call an end to these headlines, and I hereby promise this to be my last shameless attempt to turn Buffett is a Hypocrite into page-views (though using Buffett to generate page views remains an eminently acceptable, shameless tactic for the world of online journalism.) This NetJets one I really don't get, but then again, it's part and parcel of the Buffett is a Hypocrite headlines versus the details and realities of running a huge conglomerate and also being a media hound with overt political aims. >>View Warren Buffett's Portfolio Buffett has said that as a member of the elite he is not paying enough in taxes, and that the wealthy should do their fair share to pay taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. NetJets, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, lobbied in Washington D.C. to preserve tax breaks important to its business. So the CEO of a corporation using his pulpit to take a personal political stand about personal income tax issue and shine a light on his personal wealth, also has affiliates doing everything in their power to preserve a preferred tax status for the corporation. Should Buffett be as vocal about corporate tax reform as he is about personal income tax reform -- especially since President Obama has called out the private jet class specifically? Sure, why not? There is no end to the hypocrisy of which Buffett is guilty if we want to see it as such.
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