Buffet, Gates oppose tax cuts, repeal of estate tax

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Aziz H.Poonawalla

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Feb 15, 2001, 3:36:00 PM2/15/01
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William H. Gates Sr. has signed 120 millionaires on a petition opposing
President Bush's estate-tax repeal, saying it would "enrich the heirs of
America's millionaires and billionaires, while hurting families who struggle
to make ends meet." Warren Buffett (world's fourth wealthiest man) didn't
sign because he thinks it doesnt go far enough!

Estate tax repeal, Buffett says, "would be a terrible mistake," comparable
to "choosing the 2020 Olympic team by picking the eldest sons of the
gold-medal winners in the 2000 Olympics. We would consider that as absolute
folly in terms of athletic competition.

"We have come closer to a true meritocracy than anywhere else around the
world," Buffett continued. "You have mobility, so people with talents can be
put to the best use. Without the estate tax, you in effect will have an
aristocracy of wealth, which means you pass down the ability to command the
resources of the nation based on heredity rather than merit."

The supposed $5.6 trillion, 10-year surplus estimate is only $2.1 trillion
once Social Security and Medicare reserves are removed, and Bush's supposed
$1.6 trillion cut will actually cost $2 trillion, at least, since it slows
the rate at which we pay down the deficit, thus increasing interest payments
on the debt. Further, the surplus estimates are just projections based on
the assumption that the economy would continue growing and increasing its
productivity along past trends during 2000 - something which doesn't seem
likely given the current weakened state (whch President Bush himself has
pointed out).

President Bush, Senior ridiculed Presodent Reagan's huge tax cuts in 1980
(during teh primaries) as "voodoo economics". President Bush, Junior should
listen to his father.


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Aziz H. Poonawalla


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