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Old 07-02-2006, 02:33 PM   #31
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


I would suggest that Warren Buffet’s message is quite the opposite regarding the Estate Tax. Rather than having the government bleed Buffett’s lifelong work dry, he is acting on his own and bypassing what the government would do (or not do) with the money. It is a bold statement of self action, instead of government action.



lol -- i'm emotional? well, i supose if you think that the big, nasty government would "bleed" the 2nd wealthiest man on earth, i suppose we know where our sympathies lie -- with the idea that we, too, could one day become that rich and that wealthy, when reality is quite the opposite. but that's what American operates on -- optimism against the odds.

well, i suppose you can take from it whatever you want. his phrase about leaving your kids "enough to do anything, but not enough to do nothing" fits perfectly into the whole point of the estate tax -- that we are not landed gentry. we are not 18th century europe were generations of inept aristocracy were kept in power on the basis of nothing but lineage. thank goodness we're much more of a meritocracy -- in this country, we strive (against the best efforts of the Bushes) to reward work and not pre-existing wealth, and to liberate the talents of the many not protect the wealth of a few.


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As for what an individual should pass on to their children, I hope the individual would retain that choice, instead of distant politicians determining how you should love your family.

yes, if i were straight, i'm sure i'd find Paris Hilton really hot too.

it also seems to me that you've made quite a misformulation of what "love" is and/or should be. i know it's natural to want to hand wealth to children, but this also seems to elevate the biological family to supreme status in our society -- it seems quite gauche, and certainly anti-philanthropic (if not totally misanthropic) to indulge this base impulse to benefit one's own genetic material. in other threads, i was told that i should make myself content with philia and agape - implicit in this suggestion was the assumption that these two other forms of love are superior to "family values" and the privilege of biology.

i wonder what Jesus would have left to the children he had with Mary Magdalen?

finally, it's amazing to me that we would ask even less of people to whom society has given so much, nepotism is corrosive to a democratic society, and i'm quite certain Buffet would agree with me:


[q]"Neither [late wife] Susie nor I ever thought we should pass huge amounts of money along to our children," said Warren Buffett, who said he plans to give away his remaining stock holdings after his death but that he has "quite a bit of cash" he still plans to leave to those close to him. "Our children are great," he told Fortune. "But I would argue that when your kids have all the advantages anyway, in terms of how they grow up and the opportunities they have for education, including what they learn at home - I would say it's neither right nor rational to be flooding them with money."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2500801_2.html

[/q]
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Old 07-02-2006, 02:36 PM   #32
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


So a man who busts his hump all his life to provide for his family shouldn't be able to pass that money on to his family without being taxed a second time on it?

Quite frankly, it's none of your's or the government's business what a man should do with his own money when he dies.


do you know what percentage of Americans would ever be affected by the Estate Tax?

do you know how much money has to be in one's estate to be taxed?

it is in the government's interests, and in any democratic society's interests, to at least not facilitate the creation of dynasties. and Buffet apparently understands this very, very well.
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Old 07-02-2006, 03:24 PM   #33
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Originally posted by Irvine511




do you know what percentage of Americans would ever be affected by the Estate Tax?

do you know how much money has to be in one's estate to be taxed?
So I am to infer that that you see nothing wrong with taxing the same assets twice as long as it's the rich it's being done to?

Sounds like the old "punish the rich for being rich" mentality to me.
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Old 07-02-2006, 04:43 PM   #34
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So I am to infer that that you see nothing wrong with taxing the same assets twice as long as it's the rich it's being done to?

Sounds like the old "punish the rich for being rich" mentality to me.


as long as it is above an established level that won't affect 99.5% of the population, then yes.

after all, this is how we do taxes -- those who make more, pay more. those who make less, pay less. those to whom society has benefited the most, the most is expected.

and let's keep in mind, that an estate tax is totally different from an income tax in that an estate is inherited, it is money gained through nothing other than being born to the right people, it is not money earned through work.

and i also don't agree with your formulation of said mentality, and you present it as if it's already been debunked/disproved.
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Old 07-02-2006, 04:56 PM   #35
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Complaining about the estate tax is like complaining that your Rolex watch is off by a 10 seconds, awww, poor baby!!!

If someone wants to leave me an estate in excess of $1,000,000 US and I have to pay taxes on it, then by all means, gimme! It ain't lotto but then again, here in Canada, lotto winnings are tax free.
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Old 07-02-2006, 05:10 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511



after all, this is how we do taxes -- those who make more, pay more. those who make less, pay less. those to whom society has benefited the most, the most is expected.

and let's keep in mind, that an estate tax is totally different from an income tax in that an estate is inherited, it is money gained through nothing other than being born to the right people, it is not money earned through work.
It is indeed money earned through work. That money was earned by the person who initially passed it down. It's his own money, and he should have the right to pass it down to whomever he wants, without it being taxed twice. Do you think it is ethical to tax money twice?
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Old 07-02-2006, 05:14 PM   #37
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Originally posted by trevster2k
Complaining about the estate tax is like complaining that your Rolex watch is off by a 10 seconds, awww, poor baby!!!

If someone wants to leave me an estate in excess of $1,000,000 US and I have to pay taxes on it, then by all means, gimme! It ain't lotto but then again, here in Canada, lotto winnings are tax free.
Here in the states, all income is taxed. Why should that income also be taxed when passed down to a family member? That's double taxation. Are you seriously okay with that?
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Old 07-02-2006, 05:41 PM   #38
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Originally posted by trevster2k
If someone wants to leave me an estate in excess of $1,000,000 US and I have to pay taxes on it, then by all means, gimme!
Let's take a middle road supported by experience, which can be sorely lacking in a thread like this. 13 years ago, people in my husband's family were accidentally killed. We, along with other familiy members, inherited his dad's house. Fortunately, the entire estate was under the then-limit of $500,000. Most of the estate's value was in real property; it was a very cash-poor estate. If the estate had been over the Estate Tax threshold of a half-million dollars, we would have been SOL. The only was to have possibly paid any inheritance tax would have been to sell the property. We still live in the house, and without the inheritance, and the increasing value of the property, neither of us would have been able to pursue our schooling, and I would most likely not be a teacher.

A million dollars sounds like a wind-fall, but in many, many cases, these estates are property, not cash. Houses on my block frequently sell for over $600,000. I would hate to think that a family that worked hard for the property would have to sell a house simply to pay the taxes.
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Old 07-02-2006, 06:20 PM   #39
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I can appreciate situations where the taxes become a burden and happy to hear that your experience worked out financially. Assets are taxed over and over again all over the place. Estates are no exception.

A similar event happened to the "winners" of Oprah's car giveaway a couple years ago. They were stuck with a tax bill for winning a car which some could not afford.

So maybe they should raise the estate tax amount to match the ridiculous increase in property values but there has to be a threshold applied somewhere. When my parents die, they will leave me with nothing, they have nothing, no bonds,stocks, cash, maybe property worth $250,000. So I have no stakes in this issue so I can say whatever I feel like plus being Canadian none of this affects me. I just don't see the big deal for the rich to pay on tax on having fortunes being passed around, it's more like a transfer fee in my view.
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Old 07-02-2006, 07:02 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
I would suggest that Warren Buffet’s message is quite the opposite regarding the Estate Tax. Rather than having the government bleed Buffett’s lifelong work dry, he is acting on his own and bypassing what the government would do (or not do) with the money. It is a bold statement of self action, instead of government action.
Warren Buffet has actually been quoted as being in favour of estate taxes.
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Old 07-02-2006, 07:41 PM   #41
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^^ financeguy is correct.
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The New York Times, June 26, 2006

Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor and executive, said today that he never seriously considered doing anything with his $44 billion fortune except giving it all away. "I'm not an enthusiast for dynastic wealth, particularly when 6 billion others have much poorer hands than we do in life," Mr. Buffett said at the New York Public Library, where he was appearing with Bill and Melinda Gates, the only Americans richer than he is.

Known as the Oracle of Omaha as much for his outspoken detachment from the usual habits and pretensions of the super-rich as for his spectacular financial success and folksy, astute investing advice, Mr. Buffett joked today about the attitudes he hears expressed by some others in his income bracket. "I love it when I'm around the country club, and I hear people talking about the debilitating effects of a welfare society," he said. "At the same time, they leave their kids a lifetime and beyond of food stamps. Instead of having a welfare officer, they have a trust officer. And instead of food stamps, they have stocks and bonds."

Mr. Buffett, the grandson of a grocer and the son of a stockbroker, has never made any secret of his distaste for inherited wealth, and has often said that he had no intention of making mega-heirs and heiresses of his children. So it was not surprising that he said on Sunday that he would give away more than $37 billion of his fortune. What was surprising, however, was that he outlined specifically what he would do with the bulk of his wealth while he was still very much alive. He had said previously that he would wait to do so in his will. Apparently mindful of the place in history held by philanthropists like Andrew Carnegie and J. Paul Getty, Mr. Buffett, 75, said today that he hoped his giving would inspire other wealthy people to give generously as well, and referred several times to John D. Rockefeller Sr. "I would hope that a few of them would pick up on this model; I think it's a sensible model," he said.

Not that his children will be left empty-handed. Mr. Buffett said that the assets he is not giving to charity today will be divided up later between other philanthropic causes and his family. His children, he said, were not at all disappointed not to be receiving the lion's share of his fortune. "They've known all along my views on inherited wealth, and share them," he said in a news conference this afternoon. "They have money that most people would dream of. They're lucky, in that respect, when they selected their parents."
Quote:
The New York Times, February 14, 2001

Some 120 wealthy Americans, including Warren E. Buffett, George Soros and the father of William H. Gates, are urging Congress not to repeal taxes on estates and gifts. President Bush has proposed phasing out those taxes by 2009. But a petition drive being organized here by Mr. Gates's father, William H. Gates Sr., argues that "repealing the estate tax would enrich the heirs of America's millionaires and billionaires while hurting families who struggle to make ends meet." The billions of dollars in government revenue lost "will inevitably be made up either by increasing taxes on those less able to pay or by cutting Social Security, Medicare, environmental protection and many other government programs so important to our nation's continued well-being," the petition says.

In addition to the loss of government revenue, the petition says, repeal would harm charities, to which many of the affluent make contributions as a way of reducing the size of their estates. "The estate tax," it says, "exerts a powerful and positive effect on charitable giving. Repeal would have a devastating impact on public charities."

Mr. Buffett, the Omaha investor who ranks fourth on the Forbes magazine list of the richest Americans, said in an interview that he had not signed the petition itself because he thought it did not go far enough in defending "the critical role" that he said the estate tax played in promoting economic growth, by helping create a society in which success is based on merit rather than inheritance.

Mr. Buffett said repealing the estate tax "would be a terrible mistake," the equivalent of "choosing the 2020 Olympic team by picking the eldest sons of the gold-medal winners in the 2000 Olympics...We would regard that as absolute folly in terms of athletic competition," he said. "We have come closer to a true meritocracy than anywhere else around the world. You have mobility so people with talents can be put to the best use. Without the estate tax, you in effect will have an aristocracy of wealth, which means you pass down the ability to command the resources of the nation based on heredity rather than merit."
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Old 07-02-2006, 08:56 PM   #42
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^you don't earn $37,000,000,000 by being a stupid man. Buffett sees the big picture which is perhaps why he was so successful as an investor.
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Old 07-02-2006, 09:42 PM   #43
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Originally posted by trevster2k
I just don't see the big deal for the rich to pay on tax on having fortunes being passed around, it's more like a transfer fee in my view.
If you see nothing wrong with a "transfer fee", as you call it, then you would see nothing wrong with the following scenario.

For her birthday, you give your sister a gift of $40. The government steps in and says "oh wait, there's a transfer fee that applies", and takes $10 away from your sister.

Since you are in favor of "transfer fees", you should take no issue with the scenario I just described.
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Old 07-02-2006, 10:48 PM   #44
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The two most interesting posts on this subject so far are Martha's personal experience with the estate tax, and the article that indicates that Warren Buffet actually supports the estate tax.

Both imply that this subject is a little more complicated then perhaps we'd like to admitt.
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Old 07-03-2006, 11:31 AM   #45
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It is indeed money earned through work. That money was earned by the person who initially passed it down. It's his own money, and he should have the right to pass it down to whomever he wants, without it being taxed twice. Do you think it is ethical to tax money twice?



he can pass on whatever money he wants when he's alive, it's that when he's dead, and children inherity the money through no work of their own that it gets taxed.

and he's perfectly allowed to pass it on. it's just going to be taxed because it is inherited money not earned income.

and it is 100% ethical.
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