The Giving Pledge

The giving pledge was started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

From Wikipedia:

Description of pledge

The official website states that it “is an effort to invite the wealthiest individuals and families in the United States to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.” As of April 28, 69 billionaires in the US have joined this campaign and pledged to give 50% or more of their wealth to charity.[1] A minimum total of at least $125 billion has been promised from the first 40 donors based on their aggregate wealth as of August 2010.[2]

This is great, I truly believe the Gates foundation and other charities will do great things with this money. It brings up an interesting point though. With all this wealth being given to charity, where does the government fit in? Many on the list are big democrats such as Buffet and Ted Turner. Buffet has called for higher taxes on the rich including the “Buffet” rule which would force the wealthy to pay at least 30% as a minimum. I must point out to Mr. Buffet that the tax rate is only a suggested minimum- he is free to write a check to the treasury for any amount he wishes. He has yet to do so and he and his businesses maximize the tax code to pay less. Why? Clearly Buffet thinks private charities like the Gates Foundation will do a much better job with his money. While he is living he thinks his money is better spent investing in companies to grow even larger. I agree with Buffet, his money is much better in the free market now and in smart well managed charities like the Gates Foundation later. Billionaires and millionaires have been very generous with their endowments, just walk around New York City and you will see Carnegie and Rockfellers’ name everywhere. Here in Los Angeles we have institutions set up by Getty and Annenberg. These captains of industry valued their money too much to turn most of it over to the government via estate taxation or voluntarily. Government is a poor stewart of money and the men & women who understand money and business the best know it; despite what they might say politically.


The following are signatories to the Giving Pledge as of April 2011:[9]


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