Thursday, November 15, 2007

Warren Buffet Rebuttal

The Oracle of Omaha opened his mouth this week and spewed forth fundamentally flawed froth: Warren Buffet actually told the Senate Finance Committee the government should “take a little more out of the hides of guys like me,” in discussing the future of the Estate Tax.

Here’s the deal: If your Estate is worth more than $2-million this year, and you die, anything over that amount gets snatched by the Federales at a 45% rate before your heirs get theirs.

In 2009, anything above $3.5-million is partially confiscated…and in 2010, the Estate Tax is Repealed, only to return with a vengeance—and a lower, $1-million threshold—in 2011, with a tax rate of 55%

I realize that for most of the American public, such thresholds far exceed most of whatever levels of wealth that may be amassed over a lifetime. These rules won’t apply. However, I have a basic problem with the Government deciding how assets must be managed, and I approach apoplexy whenever anyone proposes the government is entitled to 55% of anything earned by an American citizen, never mind that it is applied to amounts north of $1-million.
It’s just wrong.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley correctly noted, "instead of the free market determining when assets are bought or sold, the Death Tax makes that determination;" [it is] "fundamentally wrong when the government swoops in after a funeral to take a cut of what that person had worked their whole life for, and has already paid taxes on at least once."

Buffet’s supposed rationalization for encouraging confiscatory taxation on the nation’s wealthiest is to avoid the emergence of a meritocracy, or perpetually-funded aristocracy built upon the largesse of past generations.

Tell you what, Mssr. Buffet, why don’t we make it voluntary for you rich cats to give the government 45% of anything over $2-mil this year, and see how many want to buy in.

I have a sneaking suspicion that just because a fella is worth several million doesn’t make it any less painful to remit a chunk of it to Uncle Sam. That pretty well blows away the argument that “the rich can better afford to pay taxes because it is less of a slice of their pie,” etc., etc., yada yada yada, puke puke puke.

I know lots of rich guys—richer than me—and they’re tighter than bark on a tree. That’s how they got rich, in many instances, by being naturally frugal.

The second fundamental problem I have with this notion is the "more you make the more we take" mentality that’s pervasive in Congress.
Where did that come from?

So in America we'll still have the constitutional right of the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness, but if we get too happy (or profitable), we’ll be knocked down by Government fisco-Nannies, afraid we’re going to damage ourselves by spending all that money we make.

(Have these nimrods taken a look at Federal spending, lately?
And that’s not even their money—it’s ours!)

Nope, Warren, you’ve got this wrong.
Love you to death, you're a smart guy, even if you missed that whole Internet thing and all.

If you want to give the Federal Government a piece of your hide, fine. But never invite the government to confiscate earnings just because "rich" folks can “better afford” it, or because of a fear too much wealth might be concentrated in too few households.

The Federales are always changing the rules--or the definitions of terms, like "rich," for example. Cede to them this license, and "next thing you know, ol' Jed's a millionaire..."


Anonymous said...


I have heard Mr Buffet say this before. What I do not understand is why doesn't he and all of his rich buddies just start send more of their (his) money to DC. As far as I know their is no law against it. It seems like rich liberals don't mind telling the rest of us how or what to do with our money or how to live the way we want to.

Tell Mr Buffet to shut his pie hole and leave me alone!

Thank You

MGK821ZA said...

“Tell you what, Mssr. Buffet, why don’t we make it voluntary for you rich cats to give the government 45% of anything over $2-mil this year, and see how many want to buy in.”

I wonder why the Treasury is not overflowing with “voluntary” additional tax revenues for the Iraq war? Certainly all the millions of chicken hawks are doing more to buy in to the military effort than just talking up the war and hanging yellow ribbons on the back of their Tahoes and Expeditions. Certainly these folks must be showing their support for the troops with actual $10000, $50000 or $250000 additional voluntary tax contributions. Maybe not, since they are most likely tight wads, first and foremost.

I would think it fairly safe to wager that when it comes to “voluntary” contributions to the IRS, most people naturally act as tight wads in their own financial interest and are not going to send in anymore than required, regardless of the cause or purpose. And since we do still need money to continue to prosecute the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, why not get some of it from estate taxes on the wealthy, especially since they are dead and can’t take it with them anyway?