50 billionaires in California agreed to a pledge. They promise to donate 50% of their wealth to charity upon their demise. A nobel pledge. It is great that they will be able to determine where their hard earned wealth goes, and anyone should applaud them. They are following in the footsteps of great philanthropists like Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller, and Marshall Field. Anti-capitalists define them as “robber barons”, but they gave millions back to society. Virtually every museum in Chicago, and the University of Chicago was established due to their generosity.
I am sure all of these guys have trusts, estate planners and other legal entities set up to protect their wealth from a confiscatory government.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the federal and state governments let regular Americans follow suit? Currently, no matter what your estate is, they tax it away. Of course, if you die in the next 4.5 months, you owe no estate tax. However, when the clock strikes midnight on December 31, 2010, you will owe 55%.
Being able to determine what you do with your money is a core principle of freedom. Our money already has been taxed at least once, and many times two or three times, by the time we have an estate to relinquish to the next generation. What is the harm in allowing people self determination?
Big government doesn’t want it.