On June 11, 2010, the New York Times published What an Estate Looks Like to the Taxman, by David Kocieniewski.
Kocieniewski reports on the divide over estate tax reform, and provides a balanced summary of the positions for and against the estate tax.
Kocieniewski asks interesting questions:
The estate tax is one of those hyper-combustible issues where emotion, and shrewd lobbying, can loose an outsize uproar. . . .
What is the dividing line between wealthy and upper middle class? Or between someone who owns an estate and someone lucky enough to have bought a home decades ago and watched its value grow to seven figures? . . .
Mr. Buffett warned Congress in 2007 that without an estate tax, the United States runs the risk of becoming a “dynastic plutocracy.”
But where does that dynastic plutocracy begin? There is an astronomical gap between Mr. Buffett’s fortune, which Forbes estimated at $47 billion, and two retirees in Marin County, California, whose life’s work might have allowed them to leave their heirs $3.5 million in assets, mostly in the value of a house.