Like excited teenagers on the red carpet at a Hollywood premier, the Washington Post and most of the rest of the major media have been in awe of the wealth of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, who are combining forces in the field of “philanthropy.” The coverage has ignored the left-wing bent of many of their charitable activities and Buffett’s pro-taxes agenda.
In a June 27 editorial about the announcement that Buffett is turning over $30 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which was already worth $29 billion, the paper acknowledged in passing that Buffett and Ms. Gates are members of the board of directors of the Washington Post Company. However, Buffett has never, to my knowledge, actually showed up at a Post annual meeting. It was rumored at the last meeting that while he would not actually attend the event and rub elbows with ordinary shareholders, Buffett was “in the building” somewhere. He was treated like an Elvis figure.
The size of their fortunes is staggering, and Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are very successful businessmen. But what are they doing with their money? Tragically, it looks like their money is going the way of Henry Ford’s-into the coffers of liberal and left-wing causes. This is the story that won’t be told by the mainstream media. The Post editorial referred in passing to the Gates Foundation’s involvement in “global health” but nothing was said about what Buffett, a prominent Democrat, was doing with his money.
A contributor and economic adviser to the John Kerry-for-president campaign, Buffett, according to Federal Election Commission records, also made contributions to Senators Hillary Clinton, Tom Harkin, Dick Durbin, Charles Schumer, and Russell Feingold, and Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark. It’s true that Buffett surfaced as an adviser to California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a nominal Republican, but Buffett broke with the movie actor on economic and fiscal affairs by calling for higher property taxes in California.
This is typical of Buffett, who joined with fellow liberals George Soros and Bill Gates’ father and liberal Senate Democrats to retain the estate tax. The Buffett Foundation (known by the name of his wife, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation) has contributed substantial funds to United for a Fair Economy (UFE), a “national advocacy” organization that favors big government and higher taxes, including retention of the estate tax.
The UFE board, which ranges from liberal to far-left, includes Alanna Hartzok, the co-director of the Earth Rights Institute who has called for the creation of a “benevolent yet powerful sovereign global governmental body” in order to “protect and to fairly share our common body Mother Earth.”
Hartzok, who also serves as the state coordinator of the Pennsylvania Fair Tax Coalition, has declared that “Before a global authority, be it a reformed United Nations or a federal world government, can be trusted to wield power benignly, the problem of the current undemocratic control of the earth must be addressed.” She has also said that “Once the human right to the earth is firmly established in the minds and policies of a democratic majority, land will no longer be taken by the few from the many either by the force of military might or by the mechanisms of the market.”
Hartzok calls private-property rights-which made Buffett rich-a fatal flaw and “crack in the Liberty Bell.”
Other members of the UFE board include former union official and Jesse Jackson supporter Peter Hardie, Thea Lee of the AFL-CIO, and Ann Lennon of the American Friends Service Committee.
Why is Buffett showering money on those folks? It looks like another case of a successful capitalist, because of liberal guilt, going socialist.