|Both Warren Buffett and Bill Gates Senior believe the estate tax is a reasonable payment for the privilege of making money. Because of the quality of our government (and I use the word quality advisedly because it appears to be deteriorating, particularly at state and local levels), we have more opportunities to make money than people in most other nations. Furthermore, our total tax load is not high when compared with that in many other industrialized countries.|
The estate tax does not affect 97 percent of the population, and those whose fortunes meet the threshold for the tax, as you note, have already found ways of giving their money away to charities, grandchildren trusts, etc., to avoid the tax.
By the way, there are actually TWO estate taxes, one on the total value of the assets above a certain amount (I believe it's currently around 3 or 4 milllion), and the other on estate income. Do you think estate INCOME should also be untaxed?
Government has two essential roles – to provide essential services, including defense, infrastructure, and social needs, and to raise revenue sufficient to fund those services. And it has been shown time after time that the delivery of many of those services, especially defense, health, and education, is more efficient in the public than in the private sector. You disagree? Think about all the contract services being done by the private sector in Iraq. Think about the administrative costs for veterans health care, which are far lower than for civilians receiving the same quality of care. You don't like subsidies? Neither do I. But as long as subsidies support interests such as oil and gas and farming, the government is also compelled to compensate those affected accordingly, and they do.
Relating all this to QCOM, isn't it interesting that TV stations get their spectrum free, but firms like QCOM have to pay for spectrum used for . . . TV transmissions? And yes, if we didn't have all those special interest subsidies, we could pay for the government with a flat tax with probably a maximum rate of 25%. But it would never see the light of day in Congress. Campaign finance reform, anyone?