Why tax them? they are humanitarians after all!

edit: the original article is here

The NYT had a nice and shiny article telling us about how many butterflies circle around the rich with their humanitarian contributions. There was a moment where i thought the tone of the article would change…

Officials in New York and Newark say the money from private sources will not replace existing public programs

But then the rest of the sentence had to follow

but will instead allow rapid experimentation with new approaches to old and seemingly intractable problems,

Yes of course these Billionaires are the new innovators and help us out a lot. But wait they get tax benefits… actually…do you know who was complaining when Obama was trying to end Bush era tax cuts? take a wild guess…no? Charities! Because they know that these billionaires aren’t doing these contributions out of the goodness of their hearts, and it would signify that less money would be donated.

Additionally contributing to charity in public and loud ways creates media attention, and if every person had a balance sheet, that would increase the “intangible assets”. Its not unilateral the benefits they obtain are substantial, heck i bet companies would pay(if they haven’t already and i am not aware of it) Zuckerberg millions to be in their adverts in the hope that his good name will rub off on them.

Here’s the piece de resistance of that sentence!

at no cost to taxpayers.

It might be true that these billionaires might discover more efficient ways of using the money, but if they are really worried about efficiency I imagine that people with their statures can easily advise government on effective uses, but the approach they are taking is one that attacks democracy, as few non-elect people decide how to best help the many. You don’t buy it? Well here’s another interesting thing i read here

Depending on the relevant tax rate, the dollars contributed to philanthropies by the wealthy could lead to losses of government revenue of as much as 50 percent of the money contributed.

It does harm democratic governance… if then the government is getting less significant sums of money from these loopholes, then who can make up the difference? that’s right the Taxpayer.


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