U.S. fiscal deficits have consequences, warns Warren Buffett in annual letter



Billionaire Warren Buffett on Saturday slammed the U.S.'s "huge and entrenched fiscal deficits have consequences."

In his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Buffett said the "consequences of huge imbalance" have made near-term economic and market forecasts "worse than useless," as the U.S. Treasury received about $32.3 trillion in taxes but spent $43.9 trillion during the decade ending in 2021.

"Berkshire's contribution via the corporate income tax was $32 billion during the decade, almost exactly a tenth of one percent of all money that the Treasury collected," he added. This means that if there had been roughly 1,000 taxpayers in the U.S. matching Berkshire's payments, no other businesses nor any of the country's 131 million households would have to pay any taxes, said Buffett.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway on Saturday reported its highest-ever annual operating profit, even as foreign currency losses and rising interest rates contributed to lower earnings in the fourth quarter.

Buffett called 2022 a "good year" for Berkshire in his annual shareholder letter, after the conglomerate's dozens of businesses generated a record $30.8 billion of profit despite rising inflation and supply chain disruptions.

For all of 2022, Berkshire posted a net loss of $22.82 billion, though that largely reflected declines in its $308.8 billion portfolio of common stocks, led by Apple, the tech giant.