Discover more from BRK Daily
2020: What's Buffett's opinion of the Covid Payroll Protection Plan?
BECKY QUICK: Warren, this question is from Lindsay Schumacher.
WARREN BUFFETT: Well —
BECKY QUICK: Did you have something you were saying?
WARREN BUFFETT: We probably ought to wind this up, maybe, in 15 minutes. Can you select the best ones? (Laughs)
BECKY QUICK: OK. Absolutely. Yeah. Well, I’ve got a couple more questions for you.
This one’s from Lindsay Schumacher. She says, “Warren, what’s your opinion regarding the (COVID-19) Payroll Protection plan?”
WARREN BUFFETT: Well, I don’t want to get into politics generally. But I think that’s a very good idea to take care of the people who are having terrible trouble taking care of themselves in a period like this.
I mean, if the government — and surrounding conditions and whatever it may be — if you’re telling a lot of businesses, essentially, you know, quit doing business for a long time — and it’s one thing to tell me, but to tell somebody that is living from paycheck to paycheck that way — you know — I’m — I’m all for it.
It must be hell to administer. I mean it — you know — any huge program. I don’t want to — I’ll never get into criticizing on how people do this or that, because I’ve had problems myself in running a few big things.
It just isn’t that easy to inaugurate incredibly large problems (programs). There’s going to be a certain amount of fraud. There’s going to be — you know, everything doesn’t go perfectly.
But I am a hundred percent for taking care of the people that really get hurt by something that they’ve got nothing to do with, and where it’s — you know — who knows how long it lasts.
You’ve got millions and millions of people that are worrying about something that they weren’t worried about a few months ago. And they didn’t do anything. They showed up for work on time, and they pleased the people they dealt with, and whatever it may have been. And now they don’t have a job, or they’ve been furloughed, or whatever.
So, I — I’m totally for the basic idea. And I think it’s very difficult.
We can’t carry it out perfectly. You do your best and you do it promptly. And I give — I give real credit to both Congress for acting promptly on what the problem is. They’ve sort of caught on from what they learned in 2008 and ’09, I think. And I give credit to trying to do what I think is very much the right thing, and I don’t sit around and think about how I could do it better. Greg?
GREG ABEL: I agree with the comments.