Within the business community, Warren Buffett is the greatest ally of President Barack Obama. There is even a proposal to raise taxes brought about by President Obama named the Buffett Rule, which obviously bears the name of the billionaire entrepreneur and investor.
And more often than not, President Obama appeals to the authority and business savvy of Warren Buffett when he needs someone to defend his policies. But some of the statements that Buffett made this week potentially tell us that he’s not completely sold on the policies of our current president.
In this past Sunday’s edition of the New York Times, they published an op-ed piece where some of Warren Buffett’s opinions differed on topics that both he and President Obama are both concerned. For starters, Buffett opposes an increase in taxes on those people making less than $500,000 a year. As of right now, President Obama is currently negotiating a tax deal where Republicans will have to accept rate hikes in households making $250,000 a year or more.
And in a personal interview that Warren Buffett gave on TV with Charlie Rose of PBS, he sang the praises of Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase Bank. Buffett thinks he would make an excellent Treasury Secretary. The interesting thing is that Mr. Dimon very clearly opposes the economic policies of the president and has openly criticized them. I’m particularly talking about financial regulations brought about from the 2010 Dodd-Frank law.
But during his interview, Warren Buffett said that Jamie Dimon is “terrific” and also mentioned to Charlie Rose that “if we did run into problems in markets, I think he actually be the best person you could have in the job.”
Even though Warren Buffett is considered President Obama’s biggest cheerleader throughout the business community, it is apparent that they do not agree on everything. This is particularly true of tax and regulatory policies that are a big part of the president’s agenda.
Is Warren Buffett a hypocrite because of this? I don’t believe so, not anymore then his advocacy of the Buffett Rule, since he exposes very little of his own fortune to taxation.