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Fri., Feb. 27
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Warren Buffet admits that wind turbine projects are all about tax credits

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“For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”

What a succinct explanation of the challenge facing a wildly popular political mantra of urban, environmental politics.

And it comes from none other than Warren Buffett, who held court in Omaha, Neb., over the weekend at the annual shareholders meeting of his incredibly successful company, Berkshire Hathaway.

Mr. Buffett has, on occasion, unashamedly advocated for higher taxes. He told his shareholders that Berkshire Hathaway gladly invested in an uneconomic industry that was made possible only by tax credits, which reduced the overall income tax bill.

Mr. Buffett is admired for his astute investing, and thousands of Americans appreciate monthly pension checks that come from investment pools including Berkshire Hathaway stock. In many larger cities, wind power is a darling of environmentalists who view it as a free source of power that leaves no polluting gases or effluent.

That enthusiasm is never dampened by the fiscal reality of wind turbines. The industry is uneconomic, existing only because of federal income tax credits benefiting high-income investors who look at any legal means to reduce their tax bills.

At least Mr. Buffett is not in the slightest bit embarrassed to admit he is ready to invest in something whose only benefit is a lower tax bill for his bottom line. Advocating for higher taxes on someone else is certainly easier if those tax dollars find their way back to you.

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