The $100,000,000 Gift To The Richest Man On The Planet


Uploaded by MSLawdotedu on 08.01.2009

Transcript:
we gave %uh as taxpayers we gave one of warren buffet's companies in two thousand and six
an interest-free loan of six hundred and sixty five million dollars and he only has to pay half of it
back twenty eight years from now
think about that for a moment imagine larry that you'd bought a house in nineteen eighty in the
price of nineteen eighty
and up until now you hadn't made any payments on the house
and this year you got to pay half in the dollar number of dollars you agreed to back then no
adjustment for inflation you think that loan might make you a wealthy man
I would hope yeah you would hope
we gave warren buffet another one of his companies a hundred million dollar gift
last year
in fact the state of new york had to create a special district
in erie county where buffalo is now the justification for this is that buffalo has the highest unemployment
of the cities in new york state
and this would create jobs it was a call center for Geico insurance the one that has the cave
men and the lizard
well first of all a competitor closed down their call center so there were no new jobs
created
and significantly
they didn't create this job center in downtown buffalo where the employment is they created
it in one of the whitest wealthiest suburbs where there's virtually no public transportation
again transferring money up the chain of command benefiting who the second wealthiest man
in america
there's more
warren buffett controls an electric utility that has operations in the midwest
%uh utah and
%uh oregon
oregon passed a law saying whatever income taxes are imbedded in the electric rates paid
to this monopoly electric company
must be paid to the government
or ratepayers get the money back
warren buffets' fighting that like mad because he knows that that company can permanently
capture those taxes if they're very smart about how they handle their finances
and enhance their profits
in iowa you mean
money that should go to the government will instead remain with the come with the company
forever and in fact enron which did not pay taxes i broke that story about seven or
eight years ago
%uh owned
%uh portland general electric in portland oregon and people paid close to a billion
dollars in their electric rates to cover its taxes money that never got to the government
buffet owns they create a shells and subsidiaries and buy tax shelters and
do other devices when I wrote a story about this on the front page of the new york times
the edison electric institute
wrote a letter as i expected they would complain they didn't say this wasn't true they just
said we're just doing what the law allows
but now there's one more element to this %uh buffets electric company in iowa
there used to be nine corporate owned utilities electric utilities in iowa they were rolled up into
two
the people in johnson city which is a manufacturing town and five or six little neighboring communities
got together and said we want lower electric rates you've consolidated rates should go down
no way
said the company
so they started organizing to buy out warren buffett's company and have municipal power everywhere
in america that you have municipal power it's cheaper
than corporate power
pretty soon they got advice and recommendations and help from the iowa association of municipal
utilities I think there are nine little city owned electric systems
and one day a guy named bob howg who's the executive director of this association of municpal utilities
was invited to the state capital in des moines
two prominent republican legislators sat him down and they said to him that they had a
bill
a bill that would tax these municipal power agencies and would hamstring them from any change
in their business model whatsoever in the future
and that unless they promised to never again
help people try to buy out mister buffett's company they had the votes to get this enacted
or as carol spasiani the retired city librarian in johnson city and one of the organizers
of this drive said
you know i turn on the television and here are these images and these news stories about this beneficent
billionaire warren buffet who is giving away all of this money
what nobody writes about is how he's gouging the people of johnson city
with excessive electricity rates and that's how he's making his money