Warren Buffett, whose worth is estimated at 46.7 billion and George Soros, who is worth 21.6 billion, have suggested that the estate tax be raised. In a joint statement Tuesday, Buffett, Soros and more than 20 other wealthy individuals asked Congress to lower the estate tax’s per-person exemption to $2 million from $5.12 million and raise the top rate to more than 45 percent from 35 percent.
This would affect only the top 1% of Americans. But it faces opposition from both sides of the aisle.
President Obama wants the rate to return to 2009 levels. The deduction level would be at 3.5 million, and the top rate at 45%. Mr. Obama claims revenue would increase by 119 billion over the next ten years.
Mr. Buffet testified before the Senate Finance Committee in 2007, and said that these estate taxes are needed to “prevent our democracy from becoming a dynastic plutocracy.” He has allocated the majority of his wealth to charities started by his three children, as well as to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has urged other billionaires to do the same. (Bill Gates is the second richest person in the world, worth 62.7 billion dollars).