The Battle of the Nebraska Billionaires: Founder TD Ameritrade's Isolationism vs. Buffett's Pro Growth Ideas


Founder of TD Ameritrade via Joe Ricketts and Pete Ricketts of Nebraska are on an anti-obama campaign despite the economic gains under the Obama administration vs. the Bush Administration. Their restrictionist views hurt the middle class while lining the pockets of Wall Street fat cats and those who make up the elitist 1%.  Is Nebraska ready ready for Ricketts who will harm their economic driver via the agricultural industry?


The Rickett's family founded TD Ameritrade (NYSE:  AMTD) which helped put them on the Billionaire Club list. It is no secret TD Ameritrade lost customers over founder Joe Ricketts' anti-Obama Super PAC campaign. And I will never understand billionaires and/or millionaires such as Pete Ricketts who is running for Nebraska Governor --  and who owe their success to pro growth economic policies but who to their own detriment become supportive of restrictionism and isolationist views.  

On the other side of the billionaire spectrum we have Warren Buffett who gave Americans really good advice at the end of President George W. Bush's reign.  According to The Motley Fool: "Warren Buffett released his 2008 letter to Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A  ) (NYSE: BRK-B  ) shareholders in February of 2009. By this point, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were under government control, Lehman Brothers had filed for bankruptcy, and by any and all stretches of the imagination, the U.S. economy was in recession."

So which Nebraska billionaire is correct with regard to economic policies?

For starters, we now know unauthorized workers are paying an estimated $13 billion a year in social security taxes according to Stephen Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration (SSA).  Yet, it appears that both Joe and Pete Ricketts do not care about the ordinary baby boomers who rely on their Social Security pay checks every month that is helped and fueled off the backs of undocumented immigrants.  The Nebraska GOP candidate for Governor is simply ignorant when it comes to the economy, the agricultural industry, businesses who rely on competitive labor, and the baby boomer ticking time bomb

On the other hand, the likes of Warren Buffett, Sheldon Adelson and Bill Gates penned an opinion with regard to the much needed legal immigration reform pointing towards pro growth ideas:

AMERICAN citizens are paying 535 people to take care of the legislative needs of the country. We are getting shortchanged. Here’s an example: On June 10, an incumbent [Republican] congressman in Virginia lost a primary election in which his opponent garnered only 36,105 votes. Immediately, many Washington legislators threw up their hands and declared that this one event would produce paralysis in the United States Congress for at least five months. In particular, they are telling us that immigration reform — long overdue — is now hopeless.

*Note: The Democratic-led Senate passed legal immigration reform over one year ago while the Republican-led House of Representatives continue to do nothing to fix the broken immigration system.

But back to issues affecting cornhuskers, according to the Kearney [Nebraska] Hub, Nebraskans during the past two weeks have witnessed a number of situations that cast suspicion on Pete Ricketts’ ability to be the state’s next chief executive. Ricketts has not carried himself in a governor-like manner.  Since statehood in 1867, all Nebraska governors but one have lived in Lincoln.  Yet, according to, Ricketts has already made it clear that commuting — rather than living full-time in Lincoln — is on the table for him. He might split time between the official residence and his $1.2 million private home in Omaha.

While billionaires tend to be pretentious about their living spaces, we see Nebraskan Warren Buffett on the other side of the spectrum living in a relatively modest home which cost $31,500 in 1958. Most notably, it was Warren Buffett who received the call from the Obama administration to be an economic advisor as the Obama administration was inheriting a poor economy former President George W. Bush left behind, and it could be Joe Ricketts' ego was bruised when he didn't receive a similar call from the President. 

That said, we hope Nebraska will take a cue from it's neighboring State of Kansas and what they are doing because the agricultural community is doing what it takes to oust restrictionists and isolationists who are negatively impacting the ag industry.  In fact, the architect behind almost all anti-immigrant laws in our Nation via Kris Kobach is also lagging in the polls even in a conservative State of Kansas. 

Midwest farmers and businesses will have to ask themselves whether they choose a person (like Ricketts) who holds isolationist views restricting economic growth Vs.  the person (like Hassebrook) who embraces pro growth policies.  Somos Independents is an organization supporting pro growth policies, and we are asking Nebraska voters to vote their pocket books by voting for Chuck Hassebrook for Governor.  If Nebraskan voters are still unsure who to support come November 4, 2014, Election Day, we hope they would at least consider what their neighbors in the farming industry have to say.

Growing Nebraska states:

The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging Congress to pass immigration reform this year.  "Immigration reform is critical for the agricultural industry," said AFBF President Bob Stallman. "Many farmers rely on an immigrant labor force and without reform, growers will begin to plant less labor intensive crops or go off shore.   "Simply put, either we import our labor or we import our food," said Stallman.

Agriculture is Nebraska's chief economic driver. According to the New York Times, current Governor Heineman made anti-immigration his focus in his last election, yet we see candidate Pete Ricketts who is doing more of the same by aligning himself with the extremist Tea Party Republican Rep. Steve King.   With "Prejudice Pete" Ricketts aligning himself with Rep. Steve King, he essentially agrees with dehumanizing bigotry when King referred to Latinos as cockroaches, dogs and cattle.   Perhaps someone can give Pete Ricketts the memo that King is essentially talking about the Nebraska immigrant labor and workforce keeping Nebraska farmers afloat while they pay billions of tax dollars that is helping take care of our elderly and the baby boomers.


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An Independent American Voter Group merging Tip O'Neill Democrats and Ronald Reagan Republicans.