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Tax Buffett

Warren Buffett, who is the second richest man in the world, met with Senate Democrats yesterday, and told them that the rich are not paying enough taxes.

One of those Democrats, Claire McCaskill (D-MO) put it this way:

It was interesting to see someone who is such an aggressive capitalist, who believes so much in our capitalist system, saying we’ve got the scales way too heavily toward people who are very, very wealthy.

I think Warren Buffett is a hero. He is someone who worked hard and succeeded, and now wants to give back to the country that made it possible for him to become rich. That is someone who truly loves his country.



  1. Eva wrote:

    My siblings and I are descendents of Thomas A Mellon. We are of the “poor branch” of the family. We have to work. Still we have dividends and capital gains. The four of us were incensed when the tax on dividends disappeared under Dubya. I am a tax preparer. When I prepared my own very honest return for 2008, I had no tax obligation to the Federal Government. I paid social security on my business. That was it. I’ve tried telling everyone this, how this is not fair. No one cares. No one listens. I hope Warren Buffett is heard.

    I hope congress has enough nerve to lose those few selfish votes from the hugely rich. Going from 33% down to 17 ½% under George W Bush is unforgiveable. Imagine all the uninsured and how this extra money would help. Or to offset the 3 trillion George W Bush racked up so he could play war games and destroy two Nations: Iraq and the U.S.

    I think it is a good indication of how honest your representatives are in Congress. The honest ones will listen to Obama on the tax increase on those over $250K. My son and his wife make over the limit ($500K). They feel they should be paying more in Federal Taxes. They are strong Obama supporters. ebdoug

    Friday, September 11, 2009 at 3:30 pm | Permalink
  2. CanadaGoose wrote:

    Warren Buffett is the Platonic ideal of capitalist. That’s how he made so much money.

    The difference between him and many others is that he’s not a pig.

    Friday, September 11, 2009 at 4:48 pm | Permalink
  3. Mike wrote:

    Warren rules. Also, here is a good read from another wealthy guy, from before the Bush tax breaks:

    Friday, September 11, 2009 at 8:00 pm | Permalink
  4. Morrius wrote:

    Let’s not forget George w. Bush’s repeal of the Estate tax. Got forbid people born into money should have to pay taxes on their parents’ multi-million dollar estates.

    Friday, September 11, 2009 at 8:45 pm | Permalink
  5. Iron Knee wrote:

    The father of Bill Gates, William H. Gates, Sr., is a strong defender of estate taxes, and even co-authored a book “Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes“.

    Friday, September 11, 2009 at 11:20 pm | Permalink
  6. Sammy wrote:

    As long as small businesses that technically make someone a “millionaire” don’t get taxed out of business. I happen to work for one such company and the owner of our company has had to pay tens of thousands of dollars in life insurance to keep her son (who will own the company) from having to pay a quarter million dollars in estate tax upon her death (which is likely imminent due to brain cancer). Without that insurance policy, our company would go out of business within weeks of her death.

    And to make matters worse, she’s battled tongue and kidney cancer for 16 years, so finding a life insurance policy that didn’t cost $50k+ was impossible.

    Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 8:50 pm | Permalink
  7. Iron Knee wrote:

    Sammy, I work with small businesses and have started quite a few, and I’m not sure how her business could get in a position like that where the death of the owner would trigger estate taxes.

    Normally, you would organize a company like that as an LLC, in which case the company just keeps going when the owner dies. Even better would be an S corp, where she and her son could be the only shareholders. The only time I’ve seen a small business die like that is when the person who died had skills or energy that the company needed, and when they died the company couldn’t survive without them. Indeed, I’ve seen more companies die when the founder dies and the person who “inherits” the company — not having had to actually work to keep the company going — has no clue how to run it, and runs it into the ground in less than a year.

    So I would love to hear details of the company you work for.

    Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 10:54 pm | Permalink
  8. Sammy, good thoughts and all to you and yours. I fear for you for this up coming year.

    Monday, September 14, 2009 at 4:57 am | Permalink
  9. Sammy wrote:

    I’d love to go into the gory details, but I honestly don’t have the time to try and decipher it all. For various reasons we’re a C corp (in a low margin industry). But the company is considered part of her “estate” and that estate will owe a couple hundred grand in taxes (give or take, depending on several factors). She has Level Four brain cancer and her death (I fear) is imminent (but she’s fought and beaten cancer twice before, so I put nothing past her).

    In any case, we have estate taxes covered with very expensive life insurance, so liquidating the company won’t be necessary.

    As to her importance in the company, well, she has been the driving force and the lifeblood, but we’ll survive without her, as long as we keep her spirit alive in the corporate culture. Her son has worked here and been groomed to take it over for 12 years, and I’ve been here that long, as well, and know it like I know my route home.

    Thank you, TD, for your kind words.

    Monday, September 14, 2009 at 10:56 am | Permalink
  10. Iron Knee wrote:

    Well, regardless of the gory details, best of luck with the transition, when it happens.

    Monday, September 14, 2009 at 11:19 am | Permalink