In an interview with Charlie Rose last night, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett called the 2012 Republican contenders “pathetic” over their opposition to raising taxes.
When the candidates were asked if they would veto a 10-to-1 spending cut-to-tax increase deal to lower the deficit all 8 participating in the debate last week raised their hands.
“That was pathetic,” Buffet said. “I mean, listen, I like Republicans. If you got Democrats on some core issue to them, they’d probably do something just as silly. But when they take that attitude, they are really saying, you know, “I want to win this primary.” They are saying, “The country be damned, I want to win this primary.”
Buffett also said he was more bullish on the economy than the Federal Reserve, saying their decision to keep interest rates near zero for another two years was “a very, very stark statement.”
“When they say ‘We’re going to keep rates low until 2013,’ they’re really saying the economy’s not going to be very good until then,” he said. “It’s an unusual statement… I think there’s a chance they’re wrong. I think [the U.S. economy] may pick up before then.”
Buffett also turned his sights on congressional Republicans — calling their willingness to approach default “seemingly insane.”
“Let’s just say, Charlie, that you and I agreed that after we left the studio here we were going to go out to a track near here and I was going to get at one end with my car and you were going to get at the other end and there’s this line down the middle and whichever one flinches loses his net worth to the other guy. Do you want to play?
Whether you want to play depends on how crazy you think I am….So what do we do? Right as the engines start I throw out my steering wheel. Now you believe me, right? Well, Boehner didn’t throw out the steering wheel, McConnell didn’t throw out the steering wheel, but a group behind them said, “Throw out the steering wheel, Mr. Speaker, and make those people realise that we’re not going to agree to anything unless we get our way.” And if you have a sane person dealing with somebody that you feel may be insane by that point when they throw out the steering wheel you feel they’re insane.”