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Author: rationalwalk Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 214197  
Subject: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/11/2012 6:38 PM
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http://www.cnbc.com/id/100301732
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Author: bearmarketbully One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196756 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/11/2012 7:15 PM
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More BS from WB. People are getting sick and tired of it.

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Author: ssalz Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196760 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/11/2012 7:58 PM
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I'll say it again. I will listen to what he says (about taxes), when he decides to give his money to the government rather than to the Gates Foundation. Which one would you trust your money with?

For such an incredible businessman, he sure has a very naive analysis of the government and ignores how it can be corralled by various interest groups.

I would prefer not to post on this subject, but when he goes national and what he says the White House uses to push their agenda, it irritates the hell out of me.

Dr. Steve

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Author: rationalwalk Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196763 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/11/2012 8:13 PM
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My view is that he can advocate for whatever he wants but the implications of an estate tax are far more interesting with respect to Berkshire than the income tax. The estate tax has distinct effects on family businesses such as the ones Berkshire has historically purchased. Owners of such businesses know they must sell at least part of the business to pay estate taxes. But they want the business to remain in good hands since they care about it beyond the financial aspects. So Berkshire is a natural fit. And, in the past, many have been able to obtain Berkshire stock in tax advantaged ways.

So the estate tax has probably benefitted Berkshire significantly in the past.

This is less relevant today since we need elephants now, not smaller family run businesses. But it was important in the past.

I'm sure Buffett believes what he says about the merits of the tax (and I couldn't disagree more strongly). But this is also a case where a very strong perceived conflict of interst might exist and that remains largely unexplored by the media.

It sure is a better argument than the "Buffett should send his money to the IRS and shut up" line of attack.

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Author: ProfPepperwinkle One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196766 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/11/2012 8:49 PM
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"For such an incredible businessman, he sure has a very naive analysis of the government and ignores how it can be corralled by various interest groups."

For reasons like this, and many others, I think it's quite legitimate for BRKA shareholders to worry about Mr. Buffett's decision making processes as he enters his dotage.

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Author: rationalwalk Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196767 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/11/2012 9:11 PM
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For reasons like this, and many others, I think it's quite legitimate for BRKA shareholders to worry about Mr. Buffett's decision making processes as he enters his dotage.

He has been a vocal estate tax supporter for decades.

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Author: Mungerish Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196770 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/11/2012 10:56 PM
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So WEB proposes to lower the current $10mm threshold to $4mm. Does this new threshold take in to consideration how many children/grandchildren there are? I am going to guess....ahhh...no.

So I have 4 children and hope to have grandchildren. If I am worth $10mm when I die and leave it to between 4-8 heirs, is this really "dynastic" wealth? Really?
To me that sounds more like a decent home in greater Boston...maybe a ski condo in NH to escape the rat race and a few years’ worth of college for the grandkids for each one of those "Lucky Sperm Club" members who will probably/hopefully be age 50 or 60 before I kick the bucket. ( and that is in Todays nominal dollars)
This has now gone beyond the "passionately rational" approach he has championed for so long IMHO.
Very disappointing.

Even if it does consider $4 mm per heir...Who are they to be the arbiter of what is really Dynastic Wealth in this day and age when a guy/gal has spent an entire lifetime building a business?
I don't believe in leaving big $$$ to kids or ever letting them know they are going to get any inheritance personally
BUT...The whole principal that one can pay Corp. Taxes, ordinary income taxes, cap gains taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, gas taxes, phone bill taxes and layers of fees, permits, and assessments for ones entire life only to get wacked with another 45-50% upon death is just sickening and a gross injustice to me.
Did anyone hear Warren call in to CNBC before the election to talk to Jack Welch about purple shoes? It was overtly childish and went over like a senile fart in an elevator.

I have a huge BRK position (for me, in percentage terms) and have been a huge admirer for years...but this is getting a little bizarre

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196771 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/12/2012 12:46 AM
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BUT...The whole principal that one can pay Corp. Taxes, ordinary income taxes, cap gains taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, gas taxes, phone bill taxes and layers of fees, permits, and assessments for ones entire life only to get wacked with another 45-50% upon death is just sickening and a gross injustice to me.

Good thing it doesn't happen, right? You're dead. You don't pay one thin dime.

Gift taxes are a different issue, but we're not talking about those.

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Author: rationalwalk Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196775 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/12/2012 7:00 AM
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The whole principal that one can pay Corp. Taxes, ordinary income taxes, cap gains taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, gas taxes, phone bill taxes and layers of fees, permits, and assessments for ones entire life only to get wacked with another 45-50% upon death is just sickening and a gross injustice to me.

Exactly correct. And if the concern is really over establishment of a "plutocracy", the cutoff would have to be far, far higher than a $4 million taxable estate. Is someone worth $5-$10 million really in a position to bestow upon his heirs the ability to rig the democratic process? That's barely enough money for a US Senate primary campaign in a competitive state. Sure, someone with that level of wealth can choose to get a seat at the table through campaign contributions but that's a separate issue. It seems to me that those who dislike the campaign financing status quo may be supporting the estate tax as a way of limiting political influence over multiple generations. I'm not sure how else to interpret the "plutocracy" line of reasoning. But even if that is the true concern, the threshold for a taxable estate should be far higher than $4 million.

But this isn't about plutocracy but about tax revenue. Like the statement Buffett signed clearly says, setting the threshold above $4 million leaves "money on the table" for government. Of course, that money is on the table of the individuals who after a lifetime of earning money and paying taxes (many times at multiple layers on the same income).

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Author: Mungerish Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196777 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/12/2012 7:49 AM
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Good thing it doesn't happen, right? You're dead. You don't pay one thin dime.

Gift taxes are a different issue, but we're not talking about those.


Brilliant! Jeez, do you think your splitting hairs?
Some days it seems like this board has become Sycophant Farm
They’re going to feel it when a larger chunk of their life and capital is now spent with lawyers, CPA’s and other “croupiers” trying to make sure 45-50% of their life’s work does not get flushed down in to a pig trough of government waste, political patronage and cronyism.
There will be more of this, only on a personal level:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142412788732402400457817...
Funny, when WEB is making an emotional plea to a business owner to sell, he talks about putting it in a “museum” to protect the business he or she so lovingly created….but when it comes time to decide how to distribute your wealth, it’s seems to be much more of a “My way or the highway” approach ( take the giving pledge, foundations for your kids, and enough for them to do anything but not nothing, etc). Meanwhile, when he continues to pursue a lifelong obsession for collecting things, ( which happens to usually represent something another has actually created) he is painting a life long painting with his brush.
I’m happy to be a part of the enterprise and grateful for what I have learned from studying him….but I’m going to try an look at things as they really are and $4mm is not a lot of $$$ today and the creator of that business should have a right to do with it as he/she choses without fighting off their own government as the plan to die.

There is occasionally hypocrisy in WEBS positions because they fit the life he has chosen for himself…..BUT he should chose to live it for himself and leave the rest of us that were not able to turn an awkwardness and obsession with numbers in to so many billions to live out our lives without more interference from scummy politicians.

How about the fact that while there has been all of this talk about taxes , there has been no talk about how the coming rising taxes will affect his position on whether he should pay a dividend (?) I am not advocating a dividend per se, but do you think the guy might spend a little less time pushing higher taxes and a little more time talking about how the bar has just been raised on whether to return capital to shareholders before 12/31/12? It seems Jim Senegal and Costco found time to do it in between advocating for higher taxes
This is from the 2005 annual meeting: “One reason not to pay a dividend is taxes, but we’ve always said that even if we could have paid a tax-free dividend, we would not have done so. Our test has been whether, if we retain a dollar, will it be worth more than a dollar in present value. So far we’ve always passed this test.
But it’s no fun sitting on $40 billion, which earned less than 1% last year after tax. The burden of proof will shift in the next few years. We always ask, “Can we use the money effectively within our business?” So far, the answer has been yes. This will be discussed at our board meeting on Monday.”

As Charlie would say: ““[An] increase in rationality is not just something you choose or don’t choose, it’s a moral duty to keep up as much as you reasonable can. It worked so well at Berkshire , not because we were so darned smart to start with…we were massively ignorant…many of the great successes of Berkshire started with stupidity and failure.”

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Author: rubberthinking Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196778 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/12/2012 8:20 AM
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More BS from WB. People are getting sick and tired of it.

First of all there is little truth in what you said.....people are not sick of it.....second you expecting to inherit? is that the problem...???

Dave

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Author: rubberthinking Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196779 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/12/2012 8:21 AM
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For such an incredible businessman, he sure has a very naive analysis of the government and ignores how it can be corralled by various interest groups.

I would prefer not to post on this subject, but when he goes national and what he says the White House uses to push their agenda, it irritates the hell out of me.

Dr. Steve

you are out of step with America......you sure you are not anti American?

Dave

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Author: rubberthinking Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196781 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/12/2012 8:23 AM
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For reasons like this, and many others, I think it's quite legitimate for BRKA shareholders to worry about Mr. Buffett's decision making processes as he enters his dotage.

aren't you long this stock????

you have hit a high of arrogance......

dump the stock then...and STFU......

Dave

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Author: rubberthinking Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196782 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/12/2012 8:27 AM
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The whole principal that one can pay Corp. Taxes, ordinary income taxes, cap gains taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, gas taxes, phone bill taxes and layers of fees, permits, and assessments for ones entire life only to get wacked with another 45-50% upon death is just sickening and a gross injustice to me.


stop expecting the military to protect the wealthy.....stop expecting a road system worth trillions to move the wealthy's goods to market.....stop expecting welfare recipients to shop with the wealthy, an effect that gets multiplied a few times over into profits.......

Stop expecting so much for less......

I find conservatives to be anti American.....and it is not just me.....

Dave

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Author: thesaltyone Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196784 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/12/2012 9:12 AM
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"The whole principal that one can pay Corp. Taxes, ordinary income taxes, cap gains taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, gas taxes, phone bill taxes and layers of fees, permits, and assessments for ones entire life only to get wacked with another 45-50% upon death is just sickening and a gross injustice to me."


"stop expecting the military to protect the wealthy.....stop expecting a road system worth trillions to move the wealthy's goods to market.....stop expecting welfare recipients to shop with the wealthy, an effect that gets multiplied a few times over into profits......."

"Stop expecting so much for less......"

"I find conservatives to be anti American.....and it is not just me....."


Elizabeth Warren .... is that you?

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Author: rubberthinking Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196786 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/12/2012 9:17 AM
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Elizabeth Warren .... is that you?

surprise surprise.....an American bankster shows up on the BRK board.....

Dave

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Author: downisland Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196822 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/12/2012 11:27 AM
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Among the other signatories: Buffett's friend Bill Gates, former president Jimmy Carter, investor George Soros, and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.
Yeah they are all a bunch of bleeding heart idiots.

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Author: twopairfullhouse Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196837 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/12/2012 1:15 PM
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For such an incredible businessman, he sure has a very naive analysis of the government and ignores how it can be corralled by various interest groups.

I don't think this is the result of naivete or dotage. I think it is part of a careful plan to both manage his public image and put himself in line for any political favoritism that Obama might be inclined to send his way. He invested in green energy companies late last year, and only a few months later, began saying how raising taxes are fine by him. I don't think it's a coincidence. All of his recent tax-related statements have very clear political implications, and all of this may be WEB's way of saying, "Don't hate the playa, hate the game."

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Author: jtayan Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196871 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/12/2012 7:45 PM
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I believe we should have an alternate minimum estate tax. It would garner a minimum payment for those who leave large estates to charity, so the government would at least get something. I wonder what Buffett's opinion is on this?

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Author: hrse Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196879 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/12/2012 10:46 PM
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Owners of such businesses know they must sell at least part of the business to pay estate taxes.

This is something I have long been confused by.

If you are trying to avoid estate taxes, then why do you continue to hold 100% (or close to it) of the assets until you die?

Wouldn't it be better once the heir's graduate and start earning for the family business that you pay them in shares of the company?

Is the only reason they don't do this is because the share of company earned each year would be taxed as ordinary income?

I will qualify this as being limited to those cases where there is a family business and the head of the family lives to quite a mature age.

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Author: downisland Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196903 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/13/2012 12:56 PM
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Berkshire also sell Life Insurance the proceeds of which can be exempted from the Estate Tax. This is accomplished through the use of an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT). You could claim a potential conflict of interest here too. Buffett is just trying to sell more life insurance. I think the conflict of interest stuff is kind of silly. Berkshire is so big that everything Buffett says and does could be construed as a conflict? I think he is just proposing what he thinks is fair tax revenue wise for the country.

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196906 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/13/2012 1:57 PM
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It is not clear to me how anyone familiar with WEB's statements on the "ovarian lottery" could expect him to take a different position.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiTkU9eIFPs

Btw, it is not too different from Rawl's "veil of ignorance".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Theory_of_Justice

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196928 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/13/2012 9:03 PM
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I'll say it again. I will listen to what he says (about taxes), when he decides to give his money to the government rather than to the Gates Foundation. Which one would you trust your money with?

Without question, the government. I have no say, zero, over what happens at the Gates Foundation. I never will. Nothing I can ever do will influence them. With government, at least I get a nominal vote every two years, and if I lose, well, I still had a chance.

Moreover, the Gates Foundation has many goals which are meaningless to me, while government has many that I find important. Like building roads, hiring teachers, paying police and firemen, forming an army, and, sometimes not so well, regulating financial markets and other things which I think a pretty good idea.

The Gates Foundation also has many laudable goals, but I'm not sure "better flush toilet" or "encouraging use of computers" is a biggie, either.

As for "trust", well, I view the guy who ran Microsoft as a criminal enterprise after agreeing to stop the anti-competitive practices and then continuing them in violation of his own consent decree, while fighting in court his right to stomp competitors into the dirt with monopolistic practices, as particularly untrustworthy. Perhaps he has reformed. Even Andrew Carnegie built libraries.

For such an incredible businessman, he sure has a very naive analysis of the government and ignores how it can be corralled by various interest groups.

Given that he was one of them, spent untold millions being on of those interest groups, this is a particularly ironic assessment, or perhaps blindered on your part?

I would prefer not to post on this subject, but when he goes national and what he says the White House uses to push their agenda, it irritates the hell out of me.

I would prefer not to post on the subject, too, but when people tell Warren Buffett that he should keep his mouth shut because he is somehow too stupid to understand how the economy works, it irritates the hell out of me.
 


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Author: razorfangius Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196955 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/14/2012 11:17 AM
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With government, at least I get a nominal vote every two years, and if I lose, well, I still had a chance.

Funny! Tell us how many times your vote swung an election ...

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Author: 99lashes Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196958 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/14/2012 11:42 AM
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I would prefer not to post on the subject, too, but when people tell Warren Buffett that he should keep his mouth shut because he is somehow too stupid to understand how the economy works, it irritates the hell out of me.

Hypocrisy should be called out from everyone when evidenced. Buffet built an empire on tax evasion ( retained earnings, no divident, etc.), scuttled his estate assets to keep it out of government hands and now at the end of his life he thinks no one else should be able to do this.

I find that troubling to say the least.

99

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Author: rationalwalk Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 196959 of 214197
Subject: Re: Buffett Calls for 'Strong' Estate Tax Date: 12/14/2012 11:47 AM
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Hypocrisy should be called out from everyone when evidenced. Buffet built an empire on tax evasion ( retained earnings, no divident, etc.), scuttled his estate assets to keep it out of government hands and now at the end of his life he thinks no one else should be able to do this.

That's an interesting definition of tax evasion. You might want to look up what the legal definition of tax evasion is. By the way, Berkshire pays taxes as you can see from the annual reports.

I am not aware of Buffett favoring any changes to the estate tax that would prohibit giving away money to avoid the tax. In fact, I'm pretty sure he is against that since it would mess up his own plans. In fact, the Giving Pledge is intended to encourage others to do as Buffett has done ... by giving away money.

I completely disagree with Buffett's views on the estate tax. But this type of poorly thought out attack on Buffett is not only unwarranted but also counter productive. It is irritating for a conservative to have to be subjected to this kind of garbage argument while the President and the Democrats run away with public opinion because Republicans cannot come up with coherent rationales for opposing tax rate increases. From a pure political perspective, the President deserves to win big here and the GOP humiliated. If I was in Obama's shoes, I wouldn't be giving an inch.

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