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Voice: Shame on the wealthy who oppose repeal of estate tax

February 20, 2001

Wealthy icons such as Bill Gates Sr., Warren Buffet, George Soros and a few Rockefellers are opposing the repeal of the estate tax.

Well, that's all very nice that these few super rich don't mind paying the death tax. But there are hundreds of thousands of individuals and small business owners who would prefer to leave their wealth and businesses to their families. This is not an issue to be decided by the ultra-rich and legislators should not be swayed by their "altruistic" arguments. What is most telling about their attitude is that they claim the estate tax encourages them to leave more of their wealth to charitable foundations. And we thought they were leaving all this money out of the goodness and generosity of their hearts. We now find out the truth — the reason they give to charity at all is to avoid a big tax bill! Shame on you Gates, Soros, Buffet, Rockefeller et al. Shame on you indeed!

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Even socialist Canada repealed their estate tax years ago, to everyone's delight in a country plagued by a burdensome tax code. Since the money belongs to the person who earned it (not the

government), he/she should have the final say on whether to leave it to their family or favorite charity. Repealing the estate tax is the right thing to do for all families. The choice should be the

individual's, not the government's.

MARY SZTERPAKIEWICZ

San Diego

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