Heirs Feel the Estate Tax Bite

Published November 29, 2007

“I think we need to … take a little more out of the hides of guys like me,” billionaire investor Warren Buffett told the Senate Finance Committee on Nov. 14 in arguing to keep the estate tax.

Mr. Buffett may be a brilliant investor but he apparently is a lousy logician. The estate tax does not affect him or others like him. It affects heirs, many of whom must sell homes or businesses to pay the tax.

If Mr. Buffett wants government to take more out of his hide, he could easily write the IRS a bigger check on April 15. Or he could lobby for a wealth tax like the one in France.

How about it, Mr. Buffett? Should government seize a big chunk of your estate each year you are alive? “Take more out of my hide” doesn’t mean much if you’re not alive to feel the impact of that tax bite.

Steve Stanek ( [email protected]) is a research fellow for The Heartland Institute.