Billionaire investor Warren Buffett says the debt ceiling should be done away with, arguing it is nothing more than an “artificial limit” that ends up wasting time in Congress.
“All it does is slow down a process and divert people’s energy, causes people to posture. It doesn’t really make any sense,” the Berkshire Hathaway CEO said in an interview with NBC News conducted Monday afternoon at the White House after he and Bill and Melinda Gates met with President Barack Obama about charitable giving.
Buffett’s suggestion to get rid of the debt ceiling comes after bond rating agency Moody’s made the same point in a report on Monday.
The debt limit has “change[d] almost 100 times over the years” and “I think seven times in the Bush administration,” Buffett said.
“The way to limit debt is by taking in revenues that are appropriate in relation to your expenditures,” he said. “And to have the artificial limit which gets raised in the end disrupt the activities in an important way of Congress periodically, I think it’s a waste of Congress’s time.”
Ultimately, the Oracle of Omaha said he sees a deal to raise the debt ceiling coming out of the latest “waste of Congress’s time.”
“We cannot go to Aug. 2 and tell the rest of the world, ‘Look because we’re having this little fight in our sandbox back here, that we’re going to essentially default on obligations of the United States for the first time in our history,’” he said.
“That’s a level of immaturity that I don’t believe even this Congress is up to. So it’ll happen, we’ll get something, and in the end we have to get something,” he added, suggesting that he might support the kind of “grand bargain” that Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have tried to negotiate. “But why not aim high rather than aim low?”
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