Thursday, November 15, 2007

Scavenging for Dead Meat

With the exception of a few conservative writers, the way that billionaire Warren Buffett benefits from taxes on death goes widely unreported, thus lending undeserved credibility to his testimony before a congressional committee that the tax should be retained. Many Americans erroneously believe that Mr. Buffett's testimony runs counter to his personal financial interests. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Not only does Mr. Buffett own an insurance company selling life insurance for people who need to provide cash to their heirs to pay estate taxes, but he has also made his fortune largely from the financial plight of families forced to sell in order to pay high taxes. Those families have too often had to resort to the kind of fire sales that Mr. Buffett is so keen on.

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