Friday, November 16, 2007

Robin Hood, Luskin & Metz

Here's a lively exchange from last night's Kudlow & Company between Michael Metz, chief investement strategist at Oppenheimer and Don Luskin, chief investment officer at Trend Macro.

METZ: You know, one of the great advantages of being rich is you can be generous. And you can be compassionate. And this country has such an enormous amount of money and an enormous amount of wealth. Why can’t we subsidize the tens of millions of householders who make $20,000 dollar a year? We can afford it.

KUDLOW: Don’t we already subsidize them?

METZ: No we don’t, only very, very slightly. They still live very, very poorly.

LUSKIN: Excuse me. Excuse me. Wait, I have to jump in. Words like generosity, words like compassion—that does not have to do with a law that forces you to give your family’s money to the government to let bureaucrats spend. Generosity and compassion can only come from volunteerism. So let’s not use words like that to talk about confiscation of wealth and spending on earmarks…I am tired of this model where some kind of Robin Hood, where people like Warren Buffett get to act like they’re generous and compassionate because they go to the Senate and decide that these politicians should take your money, by force, and spend it on stuff that they decide to spend it on. This is our money. We earned it. If I want to donate it, I’ll be generous. I’ll be compassionate. I don’t want to have a gun held to my head to force me to be generous.