Investor Warren Buffett, who is ranked as the third richest person in the world, is donating most of his wealth to the Gates Foundation. Buffett, who pledged to give away more than 99 percent of his $47 billion fortune, was the main driver of the initiative, which has the support of a couple dozen billionaires, Stonesifer said. Buffett was inspired not by the rich but by the generosity of ordinary people who sacrifice more to contribute hard earned dollars to churches, schools and other organizations. The idea came out of a series of private dinners the Gateses and Buffett held in New York and the San Francisco Bay Area over the past year. They will invite people who take the pledge to meet at an annual event to share ideas. The potential for philanthropy is huge -- the United States alone has at least 400 billionaires with a net worth Forbes estimates at $1.2 trillion. If those billionaires gave the minimum pledge of half of their fortunes to charity, that would triple the current amount of charitable giving in the U.S. ... In his pledge letter today, Buffett describes how having too much wealth is a burden. "Too often, a vast collection of possessions ends up possessing its owner," he wrote. "Were we to use more than 1% of my claim checks on ourselves, neither our happiness nor our well-being would be enhanced." ... Washington state is home to six billionaires: Bill Gates, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, Amazon.com Chief Executive Jeffrey Bezos, wireless entrepreneur Craig McCaw and Oakley sun glasses creator James Jannard, who lists his residence in the San Juan Islands. ...* The father is reported as Sr., the son as III. It seems there is a missing generation. Or is the father really Jr.?
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Bill Gates, Sr. vs. Bill Gates, III on taxes
Bill Gates, the younger, says to donate your wealth which minimizes the taxes you pay. Bill Gates, the elder, says to pay more taxes. Pay less taxes vs. pay more taxes. Bill Gates, Sr. * has an initiative to reduce property taxes, I mean, to create a state income tax for you. But note that it has changed its number from I-1077 to I-1098. Sign it if you want to pay higher taxes. It won't hit you this year, but it will creep down and down until it does. After all, Christine Gregoire just can't cut spending one more dime. Gates, Sr., says the income tax won't hit people with income of less than $400,000 per couple or $200,000 per single without a vote of the people. But he knows that is not true, even if his initiative requires it. After two years the Legislature can change an initiative. But he says they wouldn't do a thing like that. Was he was conveniently asleep when they gutted I-960 this year? Meanwhile, Bill the younger encourages tax avoidance. It's funny he, Melinda and Buffett only talk about philanthropy, not taxes. Seattle Times