This morning on the Today Show, there was a story highlighting a new philanthropic effort by some of America's wealthiest individuals, called The Giving Pledge. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are challenging 80 top billionaires to give half of their fortunes away to charity, instead of to their kids. Very impressive, but here is the statistic that caught my attention-
NBC noted the 2009 net worth of the Forbes 400 to be around $1.2 trillion. So if those 400 were to give 50% of that net worth away during their lifetimes, that would be $600 billion.
Half of the total wealth of the 400 richest individuals in America is still 1/3 less than the amount of money we blew on the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
$862,000,000,000 is how much money our children and grandchildren will have to pay back to the government for one of the biggest boondoggles in US history, about $2400 per person.
On a seperate note, liberals have to be terribly conflicted on this charitable challenge. Not only does large philanthropic giving undermine the argument that only the government can handle large social issues, but if Gates and Buffet succeeded in getting all of the Fortune 400 club in giving away over 600 billion dollars to charity, that is $600,000,000,000 not available to be taxed via the death tax, which will be resurected.
If paying taxes is patriotic, than giving your money away before it can be taxed is clearly un-American!