Buffett Shelters his Billions and Tells Congress to Tax Other People's Estates

Estate tax is really not a worry when you have billions, and almost as many lawyers to help shelter your money. Buffett loves to go before Congress to urge them to reinstate without any changes the death taxes the Republicans have been trying for years to eliminate. He has done this a number of times and the democrats love him for it. But the truth is that he does have little to worry about (because you can be sure his lawyers have protected his wealth), and neither do other very very rich people (who also have plenty of lawyers). But there are a whole lot of us without lawyers on staff and without tons of millions who do not want to be double-taxed at death. It is time to get rid of this tax and, if needed, to tax the daylight out of the very wealth who are cheating the system while they are alive.

 

 Estate tax is really not a worry when you have billions, and almost as many lawyers to help shelter your money.  Buffett loves to go before Congress to urge them to reinstate without any changes the death taxes the Republicans have been trying for years to eliminate.  He has done this a number of times and the democrats love him for it.  But the truth is that he does have little to worry about (because you can be sure his lawyers have protected his wealth), and neither do other very very rich people (who also have plenty of lawyers).  But there are a whole lot of us without lawyers on staff and without tons of millions who do not want to be double-taxed at death.  It is time to get rid of this tax and, if needed, to tax the daylight out of the very wealth who are cheating the system while they are alive.

 

In 2011, if the democrats regain control, the gradual reduction over the last years in estate tax will be gone and it will again be reinstated at 55% for estates over $1 million dollars.  There are lots of places to increase taxes (corporate and personal) without having to take it from those who cannot argue the case – the dead.  This is a pathetic and mean-spirited tax that hurts those with farms and small businesses and those who have paid taxes all their lives in the hope of leaving something to their children and grandchildren.  Why are the likes of Buffett and Gates given this platform when those with small but taxable estates really need to be heard.

 

I am so tired of the hugely wealthy telling law makers to take their money on their death.  All Congress needs to do is look closely to see that these rich cats have carefully squirreled their money away in Foundations and corporations such as Berkshire Hathaway and Microsoft  Don’t cry for them -- there are plenty of us who own homes that have appreciated and who have a few savings who are the ones who will really be hurt.

 

If Congress can’t find the willpower to kill this tax, let them at least change the amount above which the tax goes into play from $1 million to $10 to 20 million.  As it stands, this is about as unfair a tax as exists and it is cold and cruel for the Buffetts of this world to ignore those of us also affected by the tax  -- those of us who will really be hurt by it.

Reviews

  • Cap10gil

    November 18, 2007

    These whiners evidently don't have a clue about Buffett.He probably has few lawyers. He wouldn't want to waste his money on them. As for estate taxes, you guys will be dead! How do you know that your heirs won't squander your hard earned money anyway. It would also be beneficial if you read exactly what Buffett is saying to Congress about estate taxes rather than relying on what you think he said.

  • wealthencyclopedia.com

    November 17, 2007

    Right on. Another socialist using the government to keep the rest of us from getting richer.
    From Wikipedia: " Buffett also announced plans to contribute additional Berkshire stock valued at approximately $6.7 billion to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and to other foundations headed by his three children. "
    Need I say more - the guy is putting his wealth in foundations run by his children - but for the rest of us, "little people", he thinks it's better that the government should take it away in taxes.

  • DM

    November 17, 2007

    Exactly. He's not enamored by the lifestyle they enjoy like the vast majority of ordinary people.

    He really is a chieftain extraordinairre. And personally I love him for it.

  • William Li

    November 17, 2007

    Buffett is the first one to sell out the merely wealthy and the near wealthy. He hates these people.

  • David Epstein

    November 17, 2007

    Buffett should insist on a special tax for those with more than $1 billion. Nobody needs that kind of money. Instead, he thinks that he can tell Congress to tax those who are only very moderately wealthy and while he gives the portion of his money not sheltered to Gates who will naively give it to bureaucrats in Africa. There is a naivete about the world here that seems right out of the Clinton, Obama, Edwards playbook.

  • marlene

    November 16, 2007

    Race to the Bottom is being like most people -- Buffett is venerated by many because he has made a ton of money. He's America's darling. I know he gave a lot of money to Gates' foundation. But, he has lots left, and you can be sure he has sheltered it very well. He will not be hurt by the estate tax -- many others will.

  • Steve Hegarty

    November 16, 2007

    Speaking of research....Berkshire Hathway has insurance companies as holding and as customers. Insurance Companies sell products to the wealthy to avoid or to help pay estate taxes. Mr. Buffet I'm sure disclosed this to congress prior to making his statements. Or was that an oversite by an old man that can't remember all the aspects of business engaged in by his vast empire. Those products are very profitable variable annuties etc.

  • Race to the bottom

    November 16, 2007

    You should research before you post dribble. Buffett is giving all of his money away (except for about 1 million each to kids, wife). It is not squirreled away in Microsoft or BRK. It is donated with the requirement that it be sold within a year of receipt. Also if you listed to his speaking you would have heard that he doesn't want the tax to start at a million....

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