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.

This column is cross-posted from Voice for Liberty in Wichita.