Buffett and the estate tax

There was some discussion via e-mail about Warren Buffett’s recent donation to the William and Melinda Gates foundation. I don’t want to concentrate on that, except to state the inevitability of a man like him donating money on the sure-bet charity created by one of his favorite bridge buddies. Oh yeah, before we go all Nora Ephron on Buffett and Gates, how come nobody has mentioned the Walton family? Certainly the poster family of what I want to talk about:

“It a very equitable tax. It’s in keeping with the idea of equality of opportunity in this country, not giving incredible head starts to certain people who were very selective about the womb from which they emerged.”
—Warren Buffett, on the estate tax

As is widely known but was denied by some, Warren Buffet comes down again on the side of keeping the estate tax.

I’ve never idolized Warren Buffett like my right-wing friends. Up until recently, they’ve used to speak very highly of him. As for me, I was indifferent. My esteem for his business savvy went up when I found out that he wasn’t investing in dotCom stocks (before the crash); my esteem for his politics went up when he stated that Proposition 13 was inequitable. The latter was so absurdly obvious as to defy argumentation (though some, like the Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, will loudly proclaim their own stupidity by doing just that).

Later, Buffett said, “It’s class warfare, my class is winning.” He lost a lot of his fan base, but he won me over with that. His argument is a lot more sensible than the incredibly ignorant: “Hey, it’s my money! I earned it. I should be allowed to bequeath every penny of it to who I want.” Since those people need to constantly play the victim card to get the corporate welfare that substitutes for good American business, I don’t think he cares about the loss.

Somewhere along the way, “conservativism” came to mean “radical overhaul of America’s tax system”—from the “tax revolt” of Proposition 13 to the phasing out of the “death tax.” When was wanting to keep America “a land of opportunity” not trying to conserve a key American social value?

So go ahead you fuckers. Label Warren Buffett a liberal. I’ll take him as an example of “tax-and-spend liberalism” (as stated by the aforemention Wall Street Journal Op-Ed) any day against your latest dip into idolatry, Karl Rove and Ralph Reed, and their hypocritical excuse for “conservatism.”

If you are wondering why I’m not voting for Arnie this election cycle, it is summed up in another quote:

“Like I told Warren, if he mentions Prop 13 one more time, he has to do 500 situps.”
—Arnold Schwarzenegger, on balancing the state budget

Multi-billionaire who flies coach and donates the bulk of his wealth to charity; terrorist-supporting Hummer driver on steroids. We can guess which of these two has the bigger penis and which one is just compensating.

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