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View Diary: Warren Buffett's latest op-ed will bring mutters of 'class traitor.' But he doesn't go far enough (117 comments)

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  •  How much should someone inherit just for being (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jmcb132oprn, tofumagoo

    born to rich parents? Why should they inherit anything? Heck, their parents already probably provide them with a great education, cultural enrichment, connections, etc.

    I'd start with 100% of everything over $1 million and then, perhaps, bargain down to:

    Over $1M = 50%
    Over $5M = 60%
    Over $20M = 70%
    Over $50M = 80%
    Over $100M = 90%

    •  Why should they inherit anything? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tofumagoo

      We have assumed for may centuries (in Western culture) that there is some right to inherit.  But where would that right come from?  There are certainly some good reasons to allow some wealth to pass on.  The welfare of a surviving spouse or disabled child; the continuity of businesses which provide needed services, products and economic activity, are arguably good reasons.  Would $5 million in allowable inheritance cover all those concerns?  Perhaps there is another schema.  But at some point, there is no good reason to protect the larger inheritances.  Once we decide an amount to be protected, the rest should be taxed at 100%.    

      BTW the estate tax and the gift tax, as they currently exist, are a tax imposed on the transfer of property without consideration.  They are not a death tax or an inheritance tax.  

      •  Good points (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tofumagoo

        But note:

        On firm continuity: the people who work for the firm should inherit the firm, not the idiot son or the crazy niece of the owner.

        On surviving spouse: estate taxes usually don't apply until both spouses have died.

        Disabled child: why should the disabled children of rich parents be treated better than the disabled children of the poor?

        On the other hand, being able to help your children does motivate people to work hard, so passing on some wealth has some valid social benefit. But I think $1 million should be a pretty good incentive.

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