The Federal Reserve has “used up its bullets” to stimulate the US economy, Warren Buffet has said, as he warned that “D-Day” was here for politicians to strike a deal to solve the country’s “fiscal cliff” problem.
The billionaire investor said that it was now up to Congress to help boost America’s flagging recovery.
Speaking in an interview broadcast on Radio 4’s Today Programme, he said: “I think [the Fed] has used up its bullets pretty much. When you drive interest rates to zero and when you buy almost a trillion dollars worth of securities and how you start buying longer-term securities — you’ve done your part. I mean, Ben has given up the office.”
Mr Buffett also warned that the deadlock between Republicans and Democrats over a package of tax rises and spending cuts that will take effect in January if politicians fail to reach a deal could go on until the eleventh hour.
“We’ve kicked it down the road for a long time,” said Mr Buffett, “but D-Day is here and that doesn’t mean we’ll get the fiscal cliff problem solved by December 31.
‘Fiscal Cliff’ Could Put Millions of Taxpayers Into ‘AMT Shock’
One of the key questions lurking in the “fiscal cliff” talks — though well below the public’s radar — is what happens to the alternative minimum tax — or AMT.
Implemented in 1969 to make sure upper-income Americans pay their share of taxes, the AMT has increasingly snared more middle-income Americans over the years because it was never indexed for inflation.
During the 2011 tax year for example, the higher tax hit single taxpayers with incomes as low as $48,450 and joint filers making only $74,450.
But millions more Americans could be subject to the AMT in their 2012 returns if Congress fails to reach a deal on the fiscal cliff before year-end. That’s because the AMT is currently scheduled to hit individuals making as little as $33,750 a year and joint filers making $45,000. (Read More: Complete Coverage of ‘Fiscal Cliff’)
“I call it AMT shock,” Dick Hoey, chief economist at BNY Mellon, told CNBC recently.
All Of This Whining About The Fiscal Cliff Is Pathetic
The fiscal cliff is coming! Run for the hills! There have been endless stories in the mainstream media about the “fiscal cliff” that our country is facing if the Democrats and the Republicans can’t come to some sort of an agreement. If there is no agreement, taxes will go up and government spending will be reduced by a very small amount. And yes, that would likely push the U.S. economy into another recession, although there are many that would argue that we are already in a recession right now. In any event, there is a tremendous amount of distress out there about the fact that something might interrupt the debt-fueled prosperity that we have all been enjoying. You can almost hear them now: “No! Please don’t cut government spending! Please don’t raise taxes! Please keep stealing more than 100 million dollars from our children and our grandchildren every single hour of every single day so that we can continue this economic illusion that feels so very good.”
The American people want the government to give everything to everybody, but they definitely do not want to pay for it. They want a big government that showers them with government checks and government benefits, but they don’t want to cough up the ridiculous amount of money that it would take to fund such a government. So we just keep ripping off our kids and our grandkids. What we are doing to future generations is not just immoral, it is criminal.