Welch and Buffett Agree: Obamacare Slows Down the Economy


Elite investors Jack Welch and Warren Buffett both agreed Thursday morning that the Affordable Care Act will slowdown the economy:

WARREN BUFFETT: But the economy continues to improve, but it doesn't do it at a rapid clip.

BECKY QUICK: That's very similar to what Jack has been telling us this morning, too. Jack you see that same thing with the business?

JACK WELCH: Absolutely. It's steady. It's slow. Nowhere's near enough. And I'm concerned that things, we got two big things coming at us. We got Dodd-Frank, which isn't out yet, really. And we got Obamacare. and Obamacare, when you look at the complexities in that plan, health care costs are going to go up, they're not going to go down. and you've got temporary workers to deal with. Retail has got a hell of a problem. Hoing from 35 hours a week to 30 hours a week for a temporary employee. If you've got 50 employees. You want 49. There's so many complexities in these two things. so my concern about acceleration, is regulatory. Warren may have a different view of that.

BUFFETT: Interesting thing is I agree with everything Jack has said, but it's — it's I don't come away as pessimistic as he does. But he's absolutely right about, you know, about what's happening with health care, and everything. I don't disagree with a word that he said. that he said.

WELCH: And I'm not pessimistic, Warren. I'm not pessimistic. I just think we — we're at a position where we could really take off if we had the right policies.

BUFFETT: Yeah. well I — I — the interesting thing kind of is that America really is doing better than the rest of the world. Which is, you know, everybody thinks we were lagging. But, I think from what I see the U.S. is the strongest part of the world. But it is not galloping back at all. It is — it is — it is incrementally improving, And Jack is right about the health care costs. And you know, there's always a lot of problems on the horizon, I always, you know, in the end, I go with that, with that new country song that every storm runs out of rain. And I think we will see improvement, steady improvement but not necessarily at a fast clip.

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway acquired Heinz Co. this morning for $23 billion this morning.  Heinz  Co. is chaired by Teresa Heinz, wife of Secretary of State John Kerry.  Secretary of State Kerry announced to the State Department today that they're would be no late meetings in light of Valentine's Day.


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