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In 2009, anything above $3.5-million is partially confiscated…and in 2010, the Estate Tax is Repealed, only to return with a vengeance—and a lower, $1-million threshold—in 2011, with a tax rate of 55%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