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Death and Whoopi's Taxes
The Wall Street Journal ^ | December 10, 2007

Posted on 12/10/2007 11:38:09 AM PST by Dane

Death and Whoopi's Taxes December 10, 2007; Page A18

We don't normally look to Tinsel Town liberals for insights on U.S. tax policy, but Whoopi Goldberg's comments on the estate tax last week deserve more attention.

During a discussion of Republican Presidential candidates on ABC's "The View," which the comedian co-hosts, Ms. Goldberg said, "I'd like somebody to get rid of the death tax. That's what I want. I don't want to get taxed just because I died." The studio audience started applauding, but she wasn't done. "I just don't think it's right," she continued. "If I give something to my kid, I already paid the tax. Why should I have to pay it again because I died?"

Back in 2001, before President Bush signed estate tax reform into law, the death duty topped off at 55% on estates worth more than $3 million. Today the top federal rate is 45% with an exemption of $2 million, and under current law the rate falls to zero in 2010. In 2011, however, the death tax is resurrected, with the top rate restored to 55% and the exemption set at $1 million.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government
KEYWORDS: buffett; deathandtaxes; deathtax; estatetax; redistribution; taxes; tedkennedy; warrenbuffett
Whoopi gets it, unlike Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.
1 posted on 12/10/2007 11:38:10 AM PST by Dane
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To: Dane
The estate tax is unpopular. No one likes it. The federal tax ought to be permanently abolished.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

2 posted on 12/10/2007 11:41:25 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Dane
No, whoopie didn't know that Bush and the evil and vast RWC are the supporters of abolishing this tax, otherwise she would rant herself horse about how we are giving tax breaks to the rich and taking the food out of the mouths of poor babies and old people.

By now she knows, and you will never hear another peep from her about it.

Buffet and Gates are execrable

3 posted on 12/10/2007 11:43:06 AM PST by bill1952 (The right to buy weapons is the right to be free)
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To: Dane
She gets it ! On Bill Gates, I understand it is William Gates, Sr that favors retaining the death tax not M$ CEO & Chairman Bill Gates, Jr. Kind of sick, many corporate executives favor retaining this unjust tax. Now on Whoopi, it would be nice for her to support the Republicans who support killing this tax.
4 posted on 12/10/2007 11:43:20 AM PST by CORedneck
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To: Dane
Whoopi gets it, unlike Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

No, Whoopi wants it like Gates and Buffet. ;-)

5 posted on 12/10/2007 11:44:47 AM PST by Ouderkirk (Hillary = Senator Incitatus, Clintigula's whore...er, horse.)
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To: Dane

That twit whoopi must be off her meds........


6 posted on 12/10/2007 11:46:20 AM PST by rockabyebaby (HEY JORGE, SHUT UP AND BUILD THE BLEEPING FENCE, ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS.)
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To: Dane

“and under current law the rate falls to zero in 2010. In 2011, however, the death tax is resurrected”

Memo To: Warren Buffett

From: Your Kids

Message: Please die between Jan 1st, 2010 and Dec 31st, 2011.

Love, Your Kids


7 posted on 12/10/2007 11:48:09 AM PST by skipper18 (Freshmeat!)
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To: goldstategop

Oh, I’d say the estate planners like it, the life insurance salesmen like it, the prefer-stepped-up-income-tax-basis people like it . . and of course, liberals love it.

But other than those, you’re clearly right. The FET is a disgrace.


8 posted on 12/10/2007 11:49:10 AM PST by A_Former_Democrat
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To: Dane
I actually watch the View with some frequency. It can be very hard to take, very infruriating, but there are often very interesting moments.

I won't say I like Whoopi, but she is not a leftwing kool-aid drinker. I think she is a true moderate, believing in some leftwing ideas, and some rightwing ideas.

I find myself agreeing with her on a number of issues. But I'm not sure I have ever nodded at Joy Behar or Barbara Walters and said, "Ya know, she has a point!". Whoopi may not be my kind of girl, but she's different from the others on that show.

9 posted on 12/10/2007 11:49:17 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (The broken wall, the burning roof and tower. And Agamemnon dead.)
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To: Dane

It’s the “stopped clock” thing.


10 posted on 12/10/2007 11:49:24 AM PST by SouthTexas (Have a Merry and Blessed Christmas.)
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To: rockabyebaby
That twit whoopi must be off her meds........

Not to worry, her masters will have her back on her meds soon and she'll be preaching the redistribution of wealth line again in no time.

11 posted on 12/10/2007 11:53:56 AM PST by rhombus
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To: ClearCase_guy
I won't say I like Whoopi, but she is not a leftwing kool-aid drinker.

I think that is because she has worked other real jobs and never had a silver spoon in her mouth as the leaders of the modern democrat party(Madam nancy, hillary, etc.) have.

One of her jobs was to dress hair at a funeral home. She said it was a great job because there were no complaints.

12 posted on 12/10/2007 11:55:39 AM PST by Dane ("Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" Ronald Reagan, 1987)
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To: Dane
What Buffet and Gates know but refuse to acknowledge is that it’s perfectly legal to donate $$$ to the US government both while you’re alive and when you die (through your will).I’ve read that it’s surprisingly common for people to donate to the government by way of their will.It’s said that many such people are foreign born folks who wish to show gratitude to the US for making it possible for them to have a safe and prosperous life.
13 posted on 12/10/2007 12:00:22 PM PST by Gay State Conservative (Wanna see how bad it can get? Elect Hillary and find out.)
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To: Dane
Here’s something that liberals are going to have to consider in the future. As more and more of those people hit hardest by the cruel conservative agenda (women and minorities) amass wealth and want to pass on their estates to their kids, they are going to have to pony up death taxes as well. Let’s see how Nancy, Hillary, Howie and the rest of the leftists tell the Black Caucus that black owned businesses have to be sold off when the owners die so Uncle Sam can get his cut.

Should be worth a few $$$ a ticket.

14 posted on 12/10/2007 12:02:36 PM PST by misterrob (13 down, 6 more til the Pats win the SB again.)
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To: rhombus
Not to worry, her masters will have her back on her meds soon and she'll be preaching the redistribution of wealth line again in no time.

Liberals never include themselves in the redistribution of wealth. It is our money they wish to redistribute, not theirs. Whoopi must not have had a lawyer create tax-evading trust funds yet.

15 posted on 12/10/2007 12:04:07 PM PST by knuthom
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To: Dane
Warren Buffet gets it, he just lies about it. I am not sure on Bill Gates Jr. (the Microsoft one). But Bill Gates Sr. is another ultra wealthy individual who gets it but lies about it.

If Buffett was truly worried about not having to pay death taxes he would unshelter his estate and he wouldn't give the vast bulk of it to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to avoid the death tax.

16 posted on 12/10/2007 12:04:30 PM PST by Phantom Lord (Fall on to your knees for the Phantom Lord)
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To: Dane
Now my advice for those who die,
Declare the pennies on your eyes, form the Beatles Taxman.

Let me tell you how it will be,
There’s one for you, nineteen for me,
‘Cos I’m the Taxman,
Yeah yeah, I’m the Taxman.
Should five per cent appear too small,
Be thankful I don’t take it all,
‘Cos I’m the Taxman,
Yeah yeah, I’m the Taxman.
(If you drive a car), I’ll tax the street,
(If you try to sit), I’ll tax your seat,
(If you get too cold), I’ll tax the heat,
(If you take a walk), I’ll tax your feet.
Taxman.
‘Cos I’m the Taxman,
Yeah yeah, I’m the Taxman.
Don’t ask me what I want it for
(Ah Ah! Mister Wilson!)
If you don’t want to pay some more
(Ah Ah! Mister Heath!),
‘Cos I’m the Taxman,
Yeah yeah, I’m the Taxman.
Now my advice for those who die,
Declare the pennies on your eyes,
‘Cos I’m the Taxman,
Yeah, I’m the Taxman.
And you’re working for no-one but me,
(Taxman).

The Beatles.

17 posted on 12/10/2007 12:05:59 PM PST by dblshot
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To: CORedneck
Kind of sick, many corporate executives favor retaining this unjust tax.

Here is why. The ultra wealthy and exceptionally powerful corporate titans view the death tax as a vehicle to purchase businesses and assets at greatly reduced prices. When the busines owner dies, the family has to pay a huge sum, and often to raise it they have to sell that which brought them wealth to begin with.

Thats how Warren Buffett has become so wealthy. Snapping up businesses at discounted prices because of forced sales.

18 posted on 12/10/2007 12:06:59 PM PST by Phantom Lord (Fall on to your knees for the Phantom Lord)
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To: Dane
The death tax elimination is a pretty easy sell most often because it is so personal in nature.

My aunt is a big lib. Wholly based on her guilt of being so successful and others having "so little".

I remember way back in the early part of the decade being at a dinner at her house. This was shortly after Bush was elected and the elimination of the death tax was a hot topic. She came out in opposition to the elimination of it in the conversation. I let her go on for a bit on why. I then got her to reaffirm her postion, the death tax should remain.

Doing a good bit of financial work for her and her husband I know many an intimate detail about their finances, holdings, net worth, etc... So I had a good bit of ammo most wouldn't for this conversation. They also had one daughter in high school and one in college at the time.

I asked her, if you and Uncle X were to die in a car crash tomorrow you would want your daughters to get the house, cars, and assets right? Of course she replied yes. I then asked her where these two teenagers would come up with the nearly $700,000 in death taxes the estate would be liable for.

Until that moment she never realized she was one of the evil rich and would actually be subject to the death tax.

It didn't change her mind. She is still a person wholly driven by guilt and feelings. Like 99% of libs.

19 posted on 12/10/2007 12:15:59 PM PST by Phantom Lord (Fall on to your knees for the Phantom Lord)
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To: Dane
Whoopi gets it, unlike Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

Gates and Buffet and the other trust fund hustlers pushing for the return of the Death Tax are totally full of crap because they already know they can pay as much tax as the want to. When I can see some copies of 7-figure checks they have written to the below, then I candider them to be something other than liars.

From the United States Treasury Department FAQ.

How do you make a contribution to reduce the debt?

Make your check payable to the Bureau of the Public Debt, and in the memo section, notate that it is a Gift to reduce the Debt Held by the Public. Mail your check to:

Attn Dept G Bureau Of the Public Debt
P. O. Box 2188
Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188

20 posted on 12/10/2007 12:29:25 PM PST by Ditto (Global Warming: The 21st Century's Snake Oil)
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To: Dane
Looks like last year there were only $2.6 Million in voluntary taxes paid to the Federal government. Gates and Buffet and the Clintons could easily double or tripple that figure.
21 posted on 12/10/2007 12:36:07 PM PST by Ditto (Global Warming: The 21st Century's Snake Oil)
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To: Dane

Whoopi, despite some of her major leftist views and personal abortion history, does seem to tend towards a fiscal and economic conservatism at times. It’s not the first time she has.


22 posted on 12/10/2007 12:37:24 PM PST by RockinRight (Bill Clinton + Jimmuh Carter + Pat Robertson + Gomer Pyle = Mike Huckabee)
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To: ClearCase_guy

You’re correct. She’s been on Sean Hannity’s radio show a few times and made some level of sense.


23 posted on 12/10/2007 12:38:23 PM PST by RockinRight (Bill Clinton + Jimmuh Carter + Pat Robertson + Gomer Pyle = Mike Huckabee)
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To: ClearCase_guy

We watch it because it comes on after the Local AM Northwest and before Martha.

I am running around doing work stuff so the View is on in that time space.

To the point I agree 100% with your post and to add to that the other black woman is adament about her Christian Views and keeping Govt out of her parental teachings as a Christian.

We watched when Ron Paul was on and that was very frustrating to have Joy B take over the whole segment with her pro choice rant so bad that Ron Paul could barely get a word in.

Seems he was trying to explain his pro life veiw but who knows she ranted so loud and long.


24 posted on 12/10/2007 12:42:20 PM PST by Global2010 ( Hmmmmmmm)
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To: Gay State Conservative

Given the existing “expiring” tax law the Gates found another tax that is good for you but not for them. They are arranging to give the money to Foundations that they will control and thus keep the money out of reach of the big spenders in Congress.

They will control where the money goes and to whom and pay the salaries they choose and take all the credit and get sucked up to for it.............


25 posted on 12/10/2007 12:43:36 PM PST by scannell
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To: bill1952

You’re right.


26 posted on 12/10/2007 12:45:41 PM PST by donna (Whoopi on Communism: “We haven’t given it enough time.”)
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To: Dane
Well, Whoopi, if your thinking keeps getting clearer, you'll become a Republican. And if it gets even clearer, you'll be posting here on Free Republic.

C'mon, girl! We're pulling for you!

27 posted on 12/10/2007 12:47:49 PM PST by Savage Beast ("History is not just cruel. It is witty." ~Charles Krauthammer)
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To: skipper18

I believe Mr. Buffett, long time advocate of the Estate Tax, recently gave away a substancial amount of his fortune to charitable (assumedly tax free) donations...in advance of his meeting with a Mr. G. Reaper.


28 posted on 12/10/2007 12:47:59 PM PST by 50sDad (Liberals: Never Happy, Never Grateful, Never Right.)
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To: misterrob
As more and more of those people hit hardest amass wealth

Not exactly part of the Democratics' plan.

29 posted on 12/10/2007 12:49:13 PM PST by subterfuge (HILLARY IS: She who must NOT be Dismayed)
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To: Phantom Lord
I then asked her where these two teenagers would come up with the nearly $700,000 in death taxes the estate would be liable for.

Until that moment she never realized she was one of the evil rich and would actually be subject to the death tax.

It didn't change her mind.

Interesting story. If the kids were present it would have been funny to ask them how they felt too.

30 posted on 12/10/2007 12:52:50 PM PST by subterfuge (HILLARY IS: She who must NOT be Dismayed)
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To: Phantom Lord
I can see why. As an added bonus, those kids would then have to work for their "corporate overlords" after losing their wealth to the death tax. I have gotten some money myself through family and if it wasn't for the death tax, I would not be in the corporate rat race that I am in today but instead, I would be getting an investors visa for New Zealand or Australia. The ironic thing, my grandparents on both sides had some businesses at one time where I could have made some income off of or gone even to work at.

One place I worked at, the program manager. Some background first. She moved to Colorado from Maryland. She started in IBM - lived, breathed, worshiped it. When taxes got chopped, she was upset and she mentioned that we owe Society and she mentioned to show our gratitude to Society was to pay high taxes. I also remembered that she was for California in keeping the Governor Gray Davis and was very much against Arnold. I remembered her making some snide comments on Arnold in one meeting and then berated anyone who favored him. She found out that I invested in stocks and the made some snide comment that stocks were meant for those paid their dues to Society for a long time and not for younger people. Talk about an elitist b****. BTW, she indirectly threatened to have my pickup truck towed one time because I parked in front of her office window.

On Warren's Berkshire Hathaway Fund, kind of ironic that it has never split over the years of its existence. That is guaranteed to keep ordinary people out and keep it as a exclusive club for elitist. Funny, these libs say they favor the common people but their fruit indicates their contempt towards them.

Here is why. The ultra wealthy and exceptionally powerful corporate titans view the death tax as a vehicle to purchase businesses and assets at greatly reduced prices. When the business owner dies, the family has to pay a huge sum, and often to raise it they have to sell that which brought them wealth to begin with.

Thats how Warren Buffett has become so wealthy. Snapping up businesses at discounted prices because of forced sales.

31 posted on 12/10/2007 1:17:19 PM PST by CORedneck
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To: Dane

If Whoopi ‘gets it’ why is she a tax and spend liberal?

She doesn’t ‘get it’ at all.

the only thing relearned here is she’s an idiot politically.


32 posted on 12/10/2007 1:18:43 PM PST by Badeye (Free Willie!)
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To: subterfuge; Phantom Lord
>it would have been funny to ask them how they felt too.

As the book read, you can never win an argument or change anyone’s mind. So don’t bother. - just remind them of one fact.
The same one that I use to annoy my liberal relatives in Pa. to no end.

taxes don’t hurt the rich - they keep you from becoming rich

33 posted on 12/10/2007 1:56:27 PM PST by bill1952 (The right to buy weapons is the right to be free)
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To: goldstategop

If the politicians really support the estate tax, they should get rid of all exemptions, outlaw trust funds and all the loopholes to avoid paying the tax.


34 posted on 12/10/2007 2:07:38 PM PST by art_rocks
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To: Phantom Lord

“Here is why. The ultra wealthy and exceptionally powerful corporate titans view the death tax as a vehicle to purchase businesses and assets at greatly reduced prices. When the busines owner dies, the family has to pay a huge sum, and often to raise it they have to sell that which brought them wealth to begin with.

Thats how Warren Buffett has become so wealthy. Snapping up businesses at discounted prices because of forced sales.”

I thought Buffet offered this option to business owners before they die. Buy the business, but let the family still run it.


35 posted on 12/10/2007 2:11:44 PM PST by art_rocks
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To: Dane

A lot of this nonsense could be avoided if parents would just give with a warm hand.


36 posted on 12/10/2007 3:46:16 PM PST by pray4liberty (Watch and pray.)
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To: Dane
"I just don't think it's right," she continued. "If I give something to my kid, I already paid the tax. Why should I have to pay it again because I died?"

The idea that the estate tax forces a person to "pay twice" is based on the questionable assumption that only income should be taxed. It can be argued that income should be taxed to help pay for those government institutions which make it possible for people to earn incomes. However, many of those institutions likewise help people to maintain wealth. For example, in a country with no police, an wealthy individual would likely need to hire their own security force. Hence, there is a valid argument for some sort of tax on wealth.

Property taxes are an existing tax on a certain type of wealth. Taxing all other wealth on a yearly basis, however, would require some additional mechanism to calculate and report that wealth. Taxing wealth just at the end of a person's life, on the other hand, is much more efficient. There needs to be an accounting of the estate anyhow, at least if there are multiple beneficiaries. Hence, the current estate tax may be the most efficient way to tax general wealth. However, it could arguably be improved by turning it into a "levy on inheritance" as suggested in an Economist article titled The case for death duties.

On the topic of Buffett, I suspect that he would have contributed to the exact same charities even if there were no deduction for charity. The only difference is that he may have lessened the amount of the charity by the amount that needed to be paid in taxes. In fact, I have wondered before if it might be better if, instead of allowing a deduction for charity, the government simply matched a portion of people's reported contributions. The matching could be set such that charities receive the same total contributions. However, there would likely be much less cheating under such a system. In any case, you can't blame Buffett for using the laws as they are currently written to maximize his charitable contributions. If people don't like the deduction for charities, they would do better to push for its abolishment than to criticize all those you use it.

37 posted on 12/12/2007 1:27:46 AM PST by remember
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