Warren Buffett’s salary is $524,000. That would put him squarely in the 35% tax bracket; however he chooses not to pay it. Instead he peals off some of his Berkshire Hathaway stock and gives it to his Buffet Foundation. The market value of the shares qualifies as a charitable contribution which he can deduct from his taxable income.
The maximum deduction he can take in any one year is 30% but that’s not 30% of his salary; it’s 30% of his adjusted gross income. We don’t know what that is because he won’t release his tax returns. So we don’t know how much of his income he protects from being taxed by the money he gives to his foundation.
What he is doing may not be all that bad but we wish he would be up front about it. By giving directly to charitable causes through his foundation, Buffet is avoiding the middle man, the U.S government. There is much abuse in the foundation world but there is no indication of it in the Buffett Foundation. He, not the government, decides where the money goes, what to support and what not to support. The bureaucratic slippage is less and, presumably, none of the money is lost to corruption.
By the way, Mr. Buffett did not say he paid less tax than his secretary, as we often see quoted. What he said was he pays at a lower rate. His secretary could pay at a lower rate too, if she gave 30% of her income to charity.
The Palestinian cause
Israel gives Palestinians a voice in the Israeli government.
Not one single Arab nation gives one single Jew a voice in their government.
Thousands of suicide bombers have killed thousands of Jews. They blow people to bits in public markets, schools and on buses. In some cases they target children intentionally.
Have you ever heard of as much as one Jewish suicide bomber killing one Palestinian?
If the Arabs laid down their arms, there would be peace.
If Israel laid down its arms, there would be no Israel.
Palestinians teach their children that mass murder, even of non Jews, is an honorable act provided that some Jews are included in the intended death toll.
It is hard to conceive how an honorable person can lend support to such atrocities, regardless of the cause. And please don’t tell me you support the cause but not the tactics. That’s not possible. Lending support to the cause while theses tactics are being employed encourages continuation of the tactics.
Palestinian supporters, you have blood on your hands.
Good for you Megan. I’m just not sure everyone thinks that way. At one time there was something called “the Rockefeller rule ” that allowed a 90% deduction provided you gave 90% of your income to charity.
Thanks for your comment.
Charity as a tax write off should be limited to the amount that can be written off, or taken away altogether. By allowing charity as a write off, people can donate their money to causes that they support and would probably donate to ANYWAY, but allows them to give less in taxes than what should. It’s a loophole that doesn’t make any sense. A company can “donate” to something (and in return get “free” advertising from the corporation who donated – think:this program is sponsored by….) and get a double-reward by getting the tax write off. It doesn’t make sense. I donate to several charities, and I would not donate any less to any of them, if this loophole were to be closed.