In a letter to Buffett, Rigell tells Buffett of his decision to take 15 percent of his Congressional salary for years 2011 and 2012 and send it to the Treasury in service of our national debt. Rigell's contribution totals approximately $49,000. In response, an impressed Buffet wrote, "I will be delighted to match both your 2011 and 2012 contributions."
Further, Buffet commented:
"This would be a form of competition between the two parties that the American public would applaud. 'Rivalry' in this matter might possibly lead to better cooperation between the two parties and it also might be helpful in restoring the faith of the American people in Congress. This is much needed and even small steps are important."
I happen to agree with Buffett on this one. Anyone who takes this challenge to put their money where their mouths are (hell, I find it much easier to spend other people's than my own,) ought to be commended. I also agree that, albeit symbolic, that this is a small step (the combined $98,000 contributions doesn't even put a dent in the $15,000,000,000,000 national debt.)
I am very interested to see how this plays out. Buffett said he will wait until April 20th (4/20) to stroke his check to see who all else opts to accept the challenge.
I certainly plan to provide updates on this story.
In the meantime, here is a recent interview with Rigell on Bloomberg regarding his accepting Buffett's challenge: