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If Congress does nothing, the amount one could exempt from the estate tax would drop to $1 million and the rate would increase to 55 percent.
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Buffett Joins Progressives, Soros in
Effort to Raise Taxes on Estates
Billionaire investors Warren Buffett and George Soros are calling on Congress to increase the estate tax as lawmakers near a decision on tax policies that expire Dec. 31.

In a joint statement today, Buffett, Soros and more than 20 other wealthy individuals asked Congress to lower the estate tax’s per-person exemption to $2 million from $5.12 million and raise the top rate to more than 45 percent from 35 percent.

An estate tax structured this way will “raise significant revenue to reduce the deficit and fund vital services, will only be paid by the top one percent of estates, will raise more from the wealthiest estates” and will simplify compliance, said the statement. It also was signed by John Bogle, founder of mutual fund company Vanguard Group Inc., and former President Jimmy Carter.

The renewed push for increasing the estate tax faces significant opposition in Congress, where Senate Democrats including Max Baucus of Montana and Mark Pryor of Arkansas have joined Republicans to support the current estate tax parameters. That intra-party dispute caused Democrats to leave estate tax changes out of legislation they passed July 25 extending income tax cuts...

Changes to the estate tax are among the more than $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to start in January.

If Congress does nothing, the amount one could exempt from the estate tax would drop to $1 million and the rate would increase to 55 percent. Obama wants to reinstate the 2009 levels, which include a $3.5 million exemption and a 45 percent top rate. Compared with continuing current policies, Obama’s plan would raise $119 billion over the next decade, according to his budget proposal.

In 2013, under the plan favored by Republicans, there would be an estimated 3,600 taxable estates in the U.S., according to the nonpartisan congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. Obama’s plan would double that number to 7,200. If Congress does nothing, 55,200 estates, or 2 percent of estimated 2013 decedents, would owe taxes.


Editor's Note: Again, the federal government extracts more in total amount taxes from the American people than any other peoples in the world. It also spends more of its taxpayers' money on non-constitutionally mandated projects and programs than any other country in the world. That said, only the disingenuous and the feeble-minded can argue that our nation has an insufficient revenue stream. When over 60% of total expenditures go to Progressive-created entitlement programs it can be successfully argued that Progressives -- exclusively own the American debt and have spent enough for our nation's lifetime. The United States has a spending problem; our government is a menagerie of spendthrifts...and Warren Buffett's credibility on the issue of revenue and taxes is now shattered in his alliance with currency-destroyer George Soros...

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