According to Forbes, Warren Buffett is the third richest person in America, behind Bill Gates (#1) and Jeff Bezos (#2) for 2016. Along with being the three richest people in America, they also are radically liberal in their political views. Buffett is supposed to have a net worth of over $74 billion. For someone like myself who has lived paycheck-to-paycheck my entire life and still struggled at times just to make ends meet, having $74 billion is unimaginable to me. That’s $3,112,513 for every day I’ve been alive, including today. Even $3 million is beyond my comprehension, let alone having that much for every day of my life.
Buffett was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1930 and started being an entrepreneurial businessman in his youth. As boy, he would go door-to-door selling anything possible including magazines, gum and Coca-Cola bottles in addition to delivering newspapers, postage stamps and groceries.
He was a shrewd businessman who learned early how to work the system to his own advantage. His first tax return was filed when he was 14 and he took business deductions for use of his bicycle and watch on his paper route.
Buffett visited the New York Stock Exchange with his father when he was only 10. He began investing in stocks, land and businesses early on. Unlike many others, he either reinvested his earnings or put it into savings. With each new investment and earning, his small net worth rapidly grew.
By 1950 at age 20, he had amassed $9,800 in savings (equivalent to about $97,600 today).
By 1962, Buffett became a millionaire. One million dollars in 1962 would be the equivalent of about $7.9 million today.
In the mid-1960s, Buffett’s partnership began buying shares of Berkshire. Soon after, the partnership was dissolved and Buffet kept controlling interest, and was soon able to take control of the Berkshire company. Once in control of Berkshire, Buffett began an aggressive campaign of acquisition and expansion and the rest is history.
Buffett has also been a longtime supporter of liberal Democrats including Barack Obama. He was a major contributor to both of Obama’s presidential campaigns as well as to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
During Obama’s reign in the White House, Buffett was fairly outspoken on many issues and generally whatever he said, Obama would do, including blocking the Keystone XL Pipeline. Why was Obama so adamantly opposed to the pipeline?
Because Warren Buffett says so!
Currently, Canadian crude oil is transported from Canada to the Texas refineries via the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF). This railroad is the second largest freight railroad in North America and a very large part of their business is the transportation of the Canadian oil.
In 2010, BNSF shareholders voted to accept an offer from Berkshire Hathaway to purchase the remaining 77.4% of the company’s stock that they didn’t already own. Berkshire Hathaway is owned by Warren Buffett who is one of the wealthiest men in America and the world.
BNSF Railroad makes about $30 for every barrel of Canadian crude oil they transport to the Texas refineries for an annual income of around $2 billion. If the Keystone XL Pipeline was approved and completed, it is estimated that it would cost only about $10 per barrel to transport the crude oil from Canada to Texas. If that happened, Buffett’s railroad stands to lose nearly $2 billion of annual revenue.
President Trump has been supportive of the oil and coal industry and at one time spoke out in favor of the Keystone XL Pipeline. So, when I saw Buffett’s statement in support of Trump, I was shocked.
As Newsmax reported:
“Warren Buffett said he ‘overwhelmingly’ supports President-elect Donald Trump’s choices for cabinet positions as the incoming commander-in-chief’s selections face confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate.”
It will be interesting to see if Buffett continues to overwhelmingly support Trump if he gets the Keystone XL Pipeline approved.
It’s also interesting that for someone of Buffett’s stature, who has overwhelmingly and financially support Obama and Clinton to come out in support of their political arch enemy, President Donald Trump.