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Clinton, Buffett Denounce Income Gap
Townhall.com ^ | Dec. 11, 2007 | SCOTT LINDLAW

Posted on 12/11/2007 6:24:18 PM PST by digger48

Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday made a strong case for keeping the inheritance tax in place, saying it is a key to ensuring the United States remains a meritocracy.

At a joint appearance with billionaire investor Warren Buffet, Clinton said the inheritance tax, due to be temporarily repealed in 2010, was a symbol of "what kind of society we are."

"The estate tax has been historically part of our very fundamental belief that we should have a meritocracy, that we do not want a system _ where we expect people to make it on their own _ to be, over time, dominated by inherited wealth," she said. "That we do believe that people should have to get out there and make their way, to a great extent."

Buffet, one of America's wealthiest men, told the Senate Finance Committee last month that the inheritance tax should remain in place.

Estates worth up to $2 million this year and next will be exempt from the federal estate tax. Portions of estates above that threshold will be taxed at 45 percent. In 2009, the exemption level rises to $3.5 million, and by 2010 the estate tax will be repealed _ but only for a year.

Unless Congress changes the law, the tax returns in 2011 with an exemption threshold of only $1 million and a top tax rate of 55 percent.

Democrats argue that a repeal would amount to a huge windfall for the wealthiest families.

Buffet said Republicans, who have led the effort to repeal the tax, "are going to keep the farmers out in front of the argument" as a public-relations ploy. Proponents of repeal often argue that it will mean families will lose control of farms and small companies.

But, Buffet said, only six-tenths of 1 percent of taxable estates in 2007 were farms.

"It's not as though people will be destitute," Clinton said.

In a subsequent appearance on the Fox Business Network, Clinton repeated her support for keeping the tax.

Asked whether she would let cuts in capital gains taxes expire, Clinton said: "I am more focused on preventing the repeal of the estate tax and returning to what I think are fairer, more effective tax rates for the wealthiest."

"While people like my husband and I have enjoyed a great series of gifts from the Bush administration, that is not what has happened to the vast majority of Americans," she said.

Her remarks drew a rebuke from California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring.

"If Hillary Clinton wants to talk about stacking the deck, she needs to look no further than her flawed economic policies that would raise taxes on the back of hardworking American families," Nehring said.

The Clinton-Buffet appearance was their second this year, following on a similar session in June in New York.

Like that appearance, Tuesday's question-and-answer session was a fundraiser that brought in $1 million for the campaign of Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner. From San Francisco, she headed to Sacramento to pick up another $300,000.

In San Francisco, the biggest campaign donors got special treatment from Clinton and Buffet, including an extended picture-taking session that caused their "conversation on the economy" to begin later than scheduled.

Clinton played moderator and questioned the man known as the Oracle of Omaha about the economy. Some of the inquiries came from the audience of 1,500.

Buffet and Clinton warned of the dangers of a growing gap between rich and poor, and a tax system that disproportionately helps people Buffet called "these super-rich" _ himself included.

"A fire hose has been showered on me, and nothing has trickled beneath," Buffett said.

Buffett indirectly blamed the Bush administration for a tax code he said is out of whack.

"In the last seven-eight years what has happened is that the super-rich have gotten a huge break," said Buffett, one of the world's richest people with a net worth of $52 billion, according to Forbes magazine. He is chairman and CEO of Omaha, Neb.-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc., an investment company he founded.

Both Buffett and Clinton warned of political and economic instability that could come from the income and trade gaps, and from expanding foreign ownership of American assets and property.

"There's a growing sense that it's not working for the average American," the New York senator said. "If people feel that for whatever reason the deck is stacked against them, then that does feed the instability."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: billionaires; buffet; buffett; hillary; millionaires
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"It's not as though people will be destitute," Clinton said.
1 posted on 12/11/2007 6:24:20 PM PST by digger48
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To: digger48

Buffett needs to donate his money to the poor.


2 posted on 12/11/2007 6:25:20 PM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: digger48

marxist in the flesh, in your face


3 posted on 12/11/2007 6:25:38 PM PST by advertising guy (If computer skills named us, I'd be back-space delete.)
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To: digger48

got to sell that estate life insurance, right mr. buffet.


4 posted on 12/11/2007 6:26:29 PM PST by JohnLongIsland
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To: digger48

Mrs. “We should be a meritocracy” Clinton doesn’t see the irony that if her name was Mrs. Jones she might now be running for assistant deputy dogcatcher?


5 posted on 12/11/2007 6:27:34 PM PST by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
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To: digger48
"The estate tax has been historically part of our very fundamental belief that we should have a meritocracy, that we do not want a system - where we expect people to make it on their own - to be, over time, dominated by inherited wealth," she said. "That we do believe that people should have to get out there and make their way, to a great extent."

There are so many loopholes in the tax codes that wealth can be passed from generation to generation amongst such families as the Rockefellers.

Of course, ordinary Americans get socked in taxes. The family of a friend of mine inherited some money when a family member died and had to cough up most of it to the government.

6 posted on 12/11/2007 6:28:01 PM PST by rabscuttle385 (This tagline intentionally left blank.)
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To: digger48

Someone should ask her how the Kennedys have managed to hold on to their wealth from Joe, Sr.


7 posted on 12/11/2007 6:28:12 PM PST by quikdrw (Life is tough....it's even tougher if you are stupid.)
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To: digger48
"In the last seven-eight years what has happened is that the super-rich have gotten a huge break," said Buffett, one of the world's richest people.

In the last seven-eight years, Warren, what has happened is that people who are very bright and are willing to work maniacally hard have been freed to indulge their creativity and earn money. This is called "capitalism," Warren. Are you familiar with the concept, Warren? If it bothers you so much, give your money back. Just distribute it to the people. That's what socialism dictates, Warren. But as for the rest of us who are not multi-billionaires, we would like to keep the money we earned and if possible pass it on to our children. You can go ahead and impoverish your children if you want but leave us out of it.

8 posted on 12/11/2007 6:28:12 PM PST by Fairview (Taxes? I paid those -last- year!)
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To: AppyPappy

The Goverment needs to lower taxes...
I dream of a day that we have a Fed sales tax instead of the Withholding tax. But it will never happen.


9 posted on 12/11/2007 6:28:43 PM PST by Yorlik803 ( Please dont drag your filth into my swamp...........)
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To: digger48

I love these guys that have it made and pass their wealth down to avoid the estate taxes want the poor guys to give up even the small amounts they have accumulated because they can’t afford the high priced attorneys to keep it from the IRS. I know why the high flyers like high taxes. It kills off any competition emerging from the 200,000/year class. They know in order to emerge to challenge them you have to accumulate capital. High taxes makes it impossible.


10 posted on 12/11/2007 6:29:18 PM PST by Goreknowshowtocheat
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To: digger48

Buffet decrying income inequality? That is rich, as they say.


11 posted on 12/11/2007 6:30:24 PM PST by 9YearLurker (Fred just keeps looking better and better)
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To: AppyPappy

That’s a big 10-4. Notice how liberals are always generous with other people’s money.


12 posted on 12/11/2007 6:31:05 PM PST by donaldo
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To: digger48

So why doesn’t this hypocritical scumbag Buffett start writing some big checks to the government? Say, all but $2 million?


13 posted on 12/11/2007 6:31:21 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: digger48
For all the responsible parents who have worked their entire lives to prepare for a self-created future, and to assure a good start for their children to have a sense of each generation providing a better life for their offspring, she is prepared to shove it up your ass.

You will have the fruits of all YOUR labor doled out to those who feed at the Gubmint trough, and handed to them for their votes.


14 posted on 12/11/2007 6:31:41 PM PST by traditional1 (Thompson/Hunter '08 OR Hunter/Thompson '08)
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To: digger48

Proactively give your inheritance to the United States Government - the IRS has a special /donations/ account which you can send your contributions, Mr. Buffet and Ms. Clinton. OOoooh, right, I keep forgetting, can’t actually practice what you preach.

Sorry, grabbers of the left, I do not believe my money is on loan to me for my lifetime, only to become the state’s when I die.


15 posted on 12/11/2007 6:32:07 PM PST by kingu (No, I don't use sarcasm tags - it confuses people.)
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To: digger48

“saying it is a key to ensuring the United States remains a meritocracy”

HA and you became a millionaire on merit.

And if this is your goal, please ensure that Chelsea earn her way by getting a job based upon her merit and not her parents, and also make sure that you give away all your money before you die. She should have to earn everything she has.


16 posted on 12/11/2007 6:32:15 PM PST by keepitreal
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To: digger48

Well, any time Hillary and Warren want to send me some of their money to erase the income gap, I’ll cash their checks. I just don’t want them to take money from all of us tax turnips so they can buy votes with it while re-distributing it. That’s what the Dems mean by “equality.”


17 posted on 12/11/2007 6:32:27 PM PST by kittymyrib
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To: digger48

Well we’ve complained about the gap between Bills (and Jimmy’s) ears for more than a decade. It got us nowhere.


18 posted on 12/11/2007 6:34:54 PM PST by DoughtyOne (California, where the death penalty is reserved for wholesome values. SB 777)
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To: digger48

What has Hillary done to close the income gap between the poor and her own estate.

They didn’t own a house when they first came to Washington.

Today Hillary alone is worth more than $50 million.

I would like someone to graph the income gap between the poor and Hillary Clinton over the last 20 years.


19 posted on 12/11/2007 6:36:49 PM PST by Mr. Brightside
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To: digger48

They’re right. Send me some damn money, Hillary!


20 posted on 12/11/2007 6:38:18 PM PST by Nachoman (My guns and my ammo, they comfort me.)
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To: digger48
"It's not as though people will be destitute," Clinton said.

That's the exact same phrase that I copied and pasted, lol. Clinton is such a stupid beatch. American families with businesses, farms, etc. she wants to tax the hell out of, international, top tier corporations; however, now that's a different story.

So, judging from the article, some families whose patriarchs kick the bucket in 2010 will win the financial lottery?? Beyond absurd.
21 posted on 12/11/2007 6:38:40 PM PST by khnyny (Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed. Winston Churchill)
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To: 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten

Meritocracy...Yeh...That’s what Welfare and freebies for illegals is all about, right?


22 posted on 12/11/2007 6:39:21 PM PST by Sacajaweau ("The Cracker" will be renamed "The Crapper")
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To: digger48
Her Thighness needs to talk to that famous Supply Sider, Whoopi Goldberg.
23 posted on 12/11/2007 6:39:27 PM PST by sono (Hillary's Campaign Theme Song? Donovan, "Season of The Witch")
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To: AppyPappy

exactly. no one is stopping him or bill from paying more in taxes or donating their money to equalize things.


24 posted on 12/11/2007 6:40:34 PM PST by enough_idiocy (www.daypo.net/test-iraq-war.html)
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To: digger48

When Hillary and Warren’s annual incomes equal the National average, I may reconsider their outrage.


25 posted on 12/11/2007 6:40:35 PM PST by G Larry (HILLARY CARE = DYING IN LINE!)
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To: advertising guy

Sit this election out and Hillary will pick your pocket while you lie in your casket.


26 posted on 12/11/2007 6:42:09 PM PST by CaptainK (...please make it stop. Shake a can of pennies at it.)
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To: digger48
It doesn’t matter to the politicians how hard and long I have worked to provide and secure a better future for my child.

What matters to them is how much of a cut they can take for themselves.
Most people aren’t in Bill Gates position.
Bill Gates probably wouldn’t be in his current position, had he acted as he now preaches, and “shared the wealth with the work” as it was being accumulated.

But how very nice of him to mouth socialistic catchphrases!
Shouldn’t he be the poster child of all socialists?
He got his, let the rest of us eat cake!

27 posted on 12/11/2007 6:42:31 PM PST by sarasmom (Not so much)
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To: digger48

How unvelievably disingenuous, even for two people who specialize in being disingenuous! There’s much more here than meets the eye. Let’s see, why would Warren Buffett care about keeping the inheritance tax? Seems to make no sense until you find that much of Buffett’s wealth has come from acquiring distressed companies for pennies on the dollar; not so coincidentally, companies that in many cases had to be sold to pay inheritance taxes!

So of course Warren Buffett wants to maintain, and if possible, increase the inheritance tax. It’s good for business (his) because it supplies him with a constant stream of cheap buyout targets who are desperate to sell.


28 posted on 12/11/2007 6:42:40 PM PST by noiseman (The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.)
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To: noiseman

Now that’s a smart post.


29 posted on 12/11/2007 6:46:23 PM PST by khnyny (Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed. Winston Churchill)
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To: digger48
"A fire hose has been showered on me, and nothing has trickled beneath," Buffett said.

Pee on me, Warren.

Insurance (which provided you the money to invest) is necessary, but it is still, in the long run, mercenary. If you feel that you and Hillary have cheated the United States government of tax dollars - well, there is nothing that says you and Hillary and Bill can't just write a check to the government! What an idea! Don't ask ME to write the check. You write the check yourself.

Hillary: put your money where your mouth is. No trust fund for Chelsea.

30 posted on 12/11/2007 6:47:52 PM PST by Free State Four
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To: noiseman

Yep...the Seattle Times is one of those companies that actually supported a NO STATE inheritance taxes measure (we lost, stupid people of Washington State voted IN an inheritance tax) because the Times is one of those companies that probably will have to be sold to pay the taxes.


31 posted on 12/11/2007 6:48:16 PM PST by goodnesswins (Being Challenged Builds Character! Being Coddled Destroys Character!)
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To: digger48
Image hosted by Photobucket.com Atlas Puked!!!
32 posted on 12/11/2007 6:49:06 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist)
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To: goodnesswins

“Times is one of those companies that probably will have to be sold to pay the taxes.”

I’m telling you, this is the key to understanding this dangerous little traveling circus. Buffett is trying to leverage the gullibility and envy of a large portion of the populace to add a few more billion to his wallet.


33 posted on 12/11/2007 6:54:36 PM PST by noiseman (The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.)
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To: Fairview
But as for the rest of us who are not multi-billionaires, we would like to keep the money we earned and if possible pass it on to our children. You can go ahead and impoverish your children if you want but leave us out of it.

Well said. This message needs to be packaged to sell. Everyone wants to leave something to their kids.

34 posted on 12/11/2007 6:58:51 PM PST by outofstyle (My Ride's Here)
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To: digger48
Mr Buffett....put your money where your mouth is (literally).Make a check out for a sum that's equal to your net worth minus 10 million dollars that's payable to the "United States Treasury" and send it to Washington,DC.

That way,you'll still be worth more than 99.8% of individuals in the US and 99.9% of the world's individuals.And you will have all but neutralized any charges of hypocrisy that can be made against you.

And for the record,Mr Buffett,I left you $10 million rather than $250K because I'd hate to see you commit suicide or anything.

35 posted on 12/11/2007 7:01:00 PM PST by Gay State Conservative (Wanna see how bad it can get? Elect Hillary and find out.)
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To: digger48

Warren could start sharing with some of the poor folks in his own backyard.

From the Omaha World-Herald, April 15, 2007 (ironically, tax day!)

http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=2798&u_sid=2365496

“Among America’s 100 largest metro areas, Omaha has the third-highest black poverty rate.”

“Worse yet, its percentage of black children in poverty ranks No. 1 in the nation, with nearly six of 10 black kids living below the poverty line.”


36 posted on 12/11/2007 7:08:17 PM PST by LibFreeOrDie (L'Chaim!)
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To: digger48

“that people should get out there and make it on their own...”

why is public wealth transfer any different from private wealth transfer?


37 posted on 12/11/2007 7:08:44 PM PST by ripley
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To: noiseman
There’s much more here than meets the eye.

You are very correct here. Without Inheritance tax:

1) Large fees will not be paid to lawyers

2) Money will not go into foundations to be used for liberal causes.

3) Tax revenue will increase as heirs will have to pay income tax when they sell because the basis of inherited property will remain the purchase price. Property will not get a tax free stepped up basis from an inheritance tax.

4) Heirs will not be able to depreciate inherited property if they do not sell it. Some farm buildings in Iowa have been depreciated 3 times or more.

38 posted on 12/11/2007 7:10:30 PM PST by PeterPrinciple ( Seeking the truth here folks.)
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To: digger48

“ensuring the United States remains a meritocracy”

Hmmm—then why does she insist, that if we work hard and earn a good income that she still gets to decide how much we can earn before we must bear the burden of those who choose not to earn? Where is their “merit” in life?


39 posted on 12/11/2007 7:10:31 PM PST by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like what you say))
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To: AppyPappy
Buffett will gather the guilt ridden liberals in droves. And hillary gets the VagVote. How quaint.
40 posted on 12/11/2007 7:12:18 PM PST by gathersnomoss (General George Patton had it right.)
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To: digger48

One of my sisters used to work for one of Warren Buffet’s companies. The guy he put in charge turned out to be a crook, and went to jail for embezzlement. Let’s just say Warren may be good at picking stocks, but judging character is not something you can count on him getting right. Maybe associating with crooks is part of his wealth management plan?


41 posted on 12/11/2007 7:13:10 PM PST by HisKingdomWillAbolishSinDeath (Christ's Kingdom on Earth is the answer. What is your question?)
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To: digger48

And just how much did the Clinton’s give to charity last year? What percentage of their millions did they part with for the common good?


42 posted on 12/11/2007 7:14:07 PM PST by mort56
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To: Mr. Brightside
Hypocrite Hillary.

No one chases after money as much as she and her cheating husband.

I have no words to describe how sick I am of the Clinton's.

If Hillary becomes president in 2009 I will never ever vote again.

43 posted on 12/11/2007 7:16:09 PM PST by BARLF
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To: digger48
inheritance tax

Just let the Kids have all their parents money, It's gonna end up in Drugs and Rehab Therapy anyway.
As many people on the rich side, said: Giving a 21 year old a large trust fund, is the biggest De-motivator and ends up in their demise. Unfortunately some of them are leading the country.


44 posted on 12/11/2007 7:23:47 PM PST by modican
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To: digger48
It’s Hillary’s and the rest of the commie-crats’ intention to put as much downward forcing on labor paychecks as possible by flooding the labor market with cheap immigrant labor while also raising the government mandated minimum wage. The idea is to put as many workers as possible on the “one wage” and this is a great strategy for achieving this.

When Jeff Sessions brought the economic experts to his hearing this year, during the amnesty attempt, the liberal economic professors amongst them admitted that this is the goal. They admitted that importing cheap labor drives down ALL workers’ wages and said that this should be counterbalanced by minimum wage increases.

It should be any easy issue for Republicans to beat the Democrats over the head with but unfortunately the Republicans, at least the ones with the power, like the idea of driving down workers wages but without the counterbalance. A politician who is in favor of draining the labor pool by evicting the illegals, thereby making all citizen labor much more valuable, would be in a great position to win the votes of the working and middle class.

45 posted on 12/11/2007 7:26:19 PM PST by Perchant
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To: CaptainK

I don’t sit............I’m working for Fred Dalton Thompson


46 posted on 12/11/2007 7:27:01 PM PST by advertising guy (If computer skills named us, I'd be back-space delete.)
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To: Sacajaweau

meritocracy....

Come on now is that a real word??? Hey I’m just coversating here. meritocracy....crap.


47 posted on 12/11/2007 7:28:30 PM PST by JohnD9207 (Lead...follow...or get the HELL out of the way!)
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To: digger48

But neither see fit to do anything personally. Telling!


48 posted on 12/11/2007 7:33:16 PM PST by dbacks (Taglines for sale or rent.)
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To: quikdrw
Someone should ask her how the Kennedys have managed to hold on to their wealth from Joe, Sr.

Cattle futures.

49 posted on 12/11/2007 7:43:38 PM PST by Last Dakotan (All my tools are hammers, except screwdrivers which are chisels and punches.)
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To: digger48
Buffett conveniently circumvented the prospect of paying estate tax when he dies, by donating his money to the Gates Foundation. A nice gesture on his part, but very telling. As much as he preaches about the government needing more of our money to re-distribute, he knows that a private foundation will do a much better job of managing and distributing the money than the government.

Still, there is something ironic about Buffett giving his money to the only guy in the country who actually has more than he does.

50 posted on 12/11/2007 7:44:46 PM PST by American Infidel (It's pronounced 'ASK' not 'AXE'. It's a 3 letter word. How difficult can it be?)
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