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Warren Buffett Will Match Personal Donations from Congress to Reduce National Debt (GOP Only Please)

By Doug Powers  •  January 12, 2012 05:35 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

Proof positive that you don’t get to be a billionaire by risking making matching fund challenges to people on your side of the argument who might actually take you up on the offer so they don’t appear hypocritical.

From Reuters:

Warren Buffett is willing to put his money where his mouth is, if only congressional Republicans would join him.

The American billionaire investor, in the new issue of Time magazine, says he would donate $1 to paying down the national debt for every dollar donated by a Republican in Congress. The only exception is Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell – for whom Buffett said he would go $3-to-$1.

The idea stems from a New York Times opinion piece Buffett wrote last August in which he said the rich ought to pay more taxes. It sparked an instant controversy, with some Washington conservatives calling on the 81-year-old “Oracle of Omaha” to voluntarily pay extra.

Maybe the Republicans should respond by pledging to match dollar-for-dollar any money Buffett pays the government, without objection, on what the IRS says his companies owe.

Just for fun though, let’s assume every member of Congress took up Buffett on his offer and kicked in his or her entire net worth in order to reduce the national debt. That would be about $2 billion. Buffett would match (in actuality Buffett would get out of about half of this on a technicality because he only said he’d match Republican contributions, but let’s pretend that’s not the case). That would make the total debt-busting haul $4 billion. Enough money would have been raised to keep the government running for maybe half a day — or to fund eight more Solyndras (not counting the whistling robots).

“Good news Mr. President. I’ve come up with a matching fund challenge that will demonstrate my concern for lowering the national debt without costing me a penny.”

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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