10:29 AM: Eugene Sukup, Chairman of the Board of Sukup Manufacturing Company in Sheffield, Iowa begins his statement. Says he has a strong business based on a single idea he had years ago. Strength of company comes from its employees.
10:30 AM: Sukup says he believes in giving back to the community and his family has a foundation that makes charitable contributions.
10:32 AM: Sukup says one of greatest threat to his business is the estate tax. If he and his wife were to die now, his sons would have no choice but to sell the business to pay the estate taxes. Changing exemptions make it hard to plan.
10:33 AM: Senator Baucus asks Buffett how Finance Committee should go about restructuring nation's tax code.
10:35 AM: Buffett: "My druthers": a very aggressive progressive consumption tax. That makes the most sense. "But I don't know how you get there from here."
10:36 AM: Buffett: Family businesses have tough problems, but no tougher than having a $20,000/year income and having a big chunk taken out in income and payroll taxes.
10:38 AM: Buffett: "In the tradition of America to have freedom of opportunity. The resources of America should not be passed along in a dynasty of wealth."
10:39 AM: Buffett: Need to do more for the nation's poor and take more out of the "hide of people like me."
10:40 AM: Grassley asks Sukup question about having to sell the business due to estate taxes despite taking advantage of available estate planning tools. Sukup says might have to be a fire sale and that a big competitor, like Buffett, might buy it.
10:43 AM: After Grassley implied Buffett might shut down or move the Sukup business should he buy it in a fire sale, Buffett points out that he hasn't changed the operations at all at the competitor to Sikup's he bought a few years ago.
10:45 AM: Buffett: Looked at spending of 30 largest foundations, 27 of them spend exactly 5%, due to the way the tax code is written. He calls that "absurd."
10:49 AM: Buffett says he does not favor a flat tax. Points out that payroll tax is in effect a flat tax after income reaches a certain level.
10:53 AM: Video clip of excerpt from Buffett's opening testimony is now in and available for viewing. (Below)