Warren Buffet doesn’t think I should get a break when I inherit my father’s estate (IF I inherit my father’s estate but that’s another story). I hate to think that I will have to liquidate part of the assets to pay for the tax but I may have to. I never have understood the reason why the government should be paid to transfer wealth among family. Sure they can take profits and earnings but transfer upon death has never made sense to me. So to you Mr. Buffet, why don’t you just leave your money with the government and help cover my taxes.
This is from the Baltimore Sun
by Mark Silva
“I think we need to … take a little more out of the hides of guys like me,” Buffett told the panel.
Buffett, one of the world’s richest men and most generous philanthropists, is outspoken against Republican efforts mainly to repeal or lower the federal tax on inheritances. Democrats mainly call its repeal a windfall for the nation’s wealthiest, while Republicans say the so-called “death tax” burdens many small businessmen and farmers as well.
Already, the tax is being rolled back as part of the tax cuts that President Bush pushed during his first term — with estates worth up to $2 million this year and next exempt. Bush has called on Congress to make his tax-cuts permanent, but Democrats aren’t rushing to that call.
By 2009, the exemption is slated to rise to estates valued at up to $3.5 million, and by 2010 the tax is to be repealed — but only for a year. Unless Congress acts, the tax will return with a big swing in ’11, taxing estates at over $1 million with a top tax rate of 55 percent.
Inheritance taxes preserve a measure of meritocracy, insists Buffett, an Omaha-based business phenomenon, arguing that great wealth should be recycled through society.
“The resources of society I don’t think should pass along in terms of an aristocratic dynasty of wealth,” Buffett told the Senate committee. “I believe in keeping equality of opportunity as much as you can in this country.”