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Warren Buffett's Smile Missing as His "5-Minute Deficit Fix" Hits Facebook

Warren Buffett
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Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett's "five-minute" plan to fix the nation's deficit problem .. delivered with a laugh during a live interview on CNBC in July .. has gone viral.

What's missing, however, is the laugh.

The WSJ's Total Return blog notes there's a chain letter now circulating by email and on Facebook that features this line from Buffett's July 7 interview in Sun Valley, Idaho with Becky Quick:

"I could end the deficit in five minutes. You just pass a law that says that any time there's a deficit of more than three percent of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election."

The chain letter includes several other ideas to "reform" Congress, and tells its recipients that "Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people."

Now, the facts.

First, to state the obvious, Berkshire says in a statement that "the chain letter was not sent out by Warren of course nor did he in any way suggest a chain letter."

Second, the Berkshire statement says Buffett's 'five-minute deficit plan' was "not a serious proposal; just intended to emphasize the importance of proper incentives (and problems when they are absent)."

In our post that July day headlined "Warren Buffett's 5-Minute Plan to Fix the Deficit", we called it "his not-entirely serious (but not entirely joking either) plan."

Here's the video clip. Judge for yourself.

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