"the richest families in our country pay a lower tax rate than the people who take care of their children, or who teach in their schools, or who would put out a fire if their house were to start to burn," sperling said.
"you would have to attend 200 funerals to be at one where the deceased's estate had to pay that tax," he told senators.
buffett has promised $1 million to the charity of his or her choice for any billionaire who does the math in his or her office and proves him wrong.
buffett says three of his close friends have taken him up on the challenge and they all came up with the same results: ordinary folks are suffering under tax rates nearly twice as high as what billionaires pay.
Nov 18, '07
I think what he is speaking to is the fact that our tax coode has become increasingly regressive over the past several years. He is speaking to a misplaced set of National Priorities. He is also speaking in the interest of tax fairness. He is making the point that taxes on the middle class are disproportionately high and that people of his income class are not paying enough into the system relative to the benefits received by them from society.
The cost of the Bush tax cuts for the upper 1% of the economy has been reliably estimated at 60 billion dollars for next year alone. (That is something like twice the cost of SCHIP for the next FIVE years.).
The most recent Internal Revenue Service data back opponents' claims. In 2001, out of 2,363,100 total adult deaths, only 49,911 -- 2.1 percent
-- had estates large enough to be hit by the estate tax. That was down from 2.3 percent in 1999. The value of the taxed estates in 2001 averaged nearly $2.7 million.
Last edit by HM2VikingRN on Nov 18, '07
Nov 19, '07
It is quite easy for a lower income person to pay taxes that are greater on the margins than the very wealthy.
1. Property Tax
2. SS/Medicare tax 8.5% from dollar one earned in the year.
3. Sales Tax-anywhere between 5-9% on almost every purchase in most states.
4. Income tax.
5. Gas and motor vehicle taxes.
His argument is sound in that at lower incomes people are exposed to proportionately higher tax levels.
Today, more than 99 percent of estates pay no estate tax at all. Among the few estates that do owe taxes, the "effective" tax rate — that is, the percentage of the estate that is paid in taxes — averaged about 20 percent in 2005 (the latest year for which IRS data are available), far below the top estate tax rate of 48 percent that these estates faced.
Why is the effective tax rate so much lower than the top tax rate? Estate taxes are due only on the portion of an estate’s value that exceeds the exemption level, not on the entire estate. For example, at today’s $2.0 million exemption level, a $2.5 million estate would owe estate taxes on $500,000 at most.
Last edit by HM2VikingRN on Nov 19, '07