Despite the intense political fighting over just the "fiscal cliff," Warren Buffett is optimistic the nation's overall debt problem will eventually be fixed.
In an interview on BBC Radio 4's "Today" program, Buffett said, "In the end, 535 people in Washington will not thwart the wishes of 312 million Americans."
"America has faced a lot tougher problems than this one. We'll get it solved."
"The United States is richer than it's ever been. We have $50,000 or so of GDP per person. But we've overpromised and we've also undertaxed to some extent, so we find ourselves with this great fiscal imbalance. But it was man made. We're a rich country. It can be solved. ... We'll be able to overcome this problem. America has faced a lot tougher problems than this one. We'll get it solved."
Buffett spoke with Melinda Gates, who is married to his friend Bill Gates, Microsoft's Chairman. Buffett has pledged most of his fortune to the Gates Foundation. "We have a great history of philanthropy, but that doesn't mean that we don't have the capacity to do a whole lot more."
He also spoke with Gates about the need to have more women in leadership positions.
"What a waste of human talent. Fifty percent of the talent of the country we've pushed off in the corner for almost 200 years. No Supreme Court justice was a woman. Believe me, I'll take Sandra Day O'Connor or Ruth Ginsburg. It was a shame to not be utilizing that talent. One of the things that makes me so optimistic about the future, when I see how far we've come only using half the talent in the country. And now I realize we're getting to the point, we're starting to use 100 percent of our talent. It makes me very optimistic. But we still have a ways to go."