Warren Buffett doesn't have a very big part in a new documentary that's trying to inspire Americans to take action against the nation's growing national debt. Buffett appears for a few minutes in I.O.U.S.A.talking about his concerns over the U.S. current accounts deficit.
He did, however, play a major role in the live panel discussion hosted by CNBC's Becky Quick that was beamed to hundreds of movie theaters around the country tonight as part of the movie's premiere.
Buffett was the self-described "token pollyanna" among the five men on the panel, who spent much of the evening arguing the nation faces a massive financial reckoning in the coming decades, as baby boomers leave the workforce and start collecting on promises of government-subsidized healthcare and retirement benefits. The theme of the night: average people need to educate themselves on the extent of the problem, start saving more, and put pressure on Washington politicians to tighten the nation's collective belt.
He predicts the U.S. economic "pie" will get bigger over the years to help pay for the many promises government has made to its constituents. And he repeated what he has said in the past, essentially that throughout U.S. history living standards have improved over time as American capitalism harnesses the incredible abilities and potentials of the people who live here.