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Warren Buffett's latest bets on big government: Wind and dialysis

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney,Environment,Big Government

Billionaire Obama fundraiser Warren Buffett has invested this Spring substantially in Davita, a leader in dialysis machines, and in a big Iowa wind farm.

Both of these should be understood as investments in big government.

Regarding Davita, see CNBC’s Javier David reporting in December:

U.S. companies like DaVita may be best positioned to benefit from changes in the health care market stemming from Obamacare, an analyst told CNBC on Wednesday.

With President Barack Obama’s health care bill slated to take effect within the next year, DaVita’s move toward serving broader swaths of the population may help it capitalize on moves toward managed care, Martin Brunninger, head of Medtech at Nomura Securities, told “Squawk Box Europe.”

And regarding his Iowa wind investment, Recharge News writes:

MidAmerican said strong political support in Iowa for renewable generation – and for the extension of the [Production Tax Credit]  – had helped create the right platform for the huge investment needed.

“Strong political support in Iowa” presumably refers to the push in the legislature to ramp up the rule requiring utilities to buy renewable power. And if Buffett is investing in wind based on a tax credit, isn’t he undermining his argument that tax rates don’t drive investment?

Recall that Buffett invested in Goldman Sachs in 2008 because he expected a bailout.

A final note: I find it very clever that Buffett is invested in Coca-Cola and Dairy Queen, and then also in dialysis machines. He’s got you coming and going.

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