Democrats have had no better friend in high places than multi-billionaire Warren Buffett. However, the relationship between Buffett - the world’s third-richest person with an estimated net worth of $66.9 billion - and the Democrats just got weird.
Turns out, despite all of the Obama administration’s tough talk on ending corporate tax inversions, Warren Buffett is set to pay $3 billion for Burger King to buy Tim Hortons and move to Ontario, Canada.
You might recall President Obama honored Mr. Buffett as a Medal Of Freedom Recipient a while back. Click here to see a photo of that.
Now this, just one month after Mr. Obama denounced ‘inversion’ as an unpatriotic tax loophole.
Put simply, the world's third richest one-percenter - a veritable campaign-funds cash register for Democrats - has reportedly put up $3 billion so the Burger giant can buy a Canadian doughnut chain and move its corporate headquarters to Canada to avoid paying millions in U.S. corporate taxes.
Burger King advertises that it takes two hands to handle a Whopper; however, it will take a lot more than two hands to handle the crow Democrats are going to have to eat over their favorite billionaire’s involvement in this tax inversion scheme.
After word leaked out that Mr. Buffett was in part a financer of the proposed Burger King tax-inversion, Josh Earnest managed to tell us all what Mr. Obama thought about tax inversions in general.
“The goal here is to change the law and get Congress to pass legislation that would prevent the ability of American corporations to renounce their citizenship all in pursuit of trying to get out of paying their fair share of U.S. taxes,” he said.
It did seem rather odd that Earnest did not mention Burger King by name, when it was the biggest tax inversion game in town. Now, it’s not hard at all to imagine why the words "Buffett" and "burger" were not in the presidential spokesman’s teleprompter.
The media, generally a fan of Buffett, has been a bit slow in figuring things out - but now we know who Mr. Buffett is, as opposed to who he says he is. Patriot? You decide.
Recently, Mr. “B” defended Pfizer Inc.’s ultimately unsuccessful bid for the London-based AstraZeneca pharmaceutical company.
Here’s your sign! Why would Buffett, the deepest pocket and richest darling of the Democratic Party, and a swell investor besides, go and defend a company’s failed attempt at tax inversion, unless he was hip-deep in profits potentially reaped through such ‘unpatriotic’ ventures?
“I’m not saying they’re doing anything illegal at all in following the rules on inversion,” Buffett told the business news outlet CNBC. “I would personally change that part of the law...but I’m not attacking Pfizer for following the U.S. tax law.”
Apparently, Mr. Buffett is not quite ready to “personally change that part of the law” just yet. Nevertheless, the J. R. Ewing of burgers-and-fries may find it getting a little hot in the kitchen for a while.
On the other hand, parting ways with Democrats and the president isn't likely. All Mr. Buffett has to do is withhold campaign contributions from a handful of Democratic Senate candidates and he’ll have the Donkey eating out of his hand again in no time.