Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Grouch's Billionaire Challenge

Warren Buffett has made a great deal of noise lately not only selling his Billionaire Challenge but also in bemoaning the fact he doesn't pay enough taxes. A brilliant idea hit me last night... instead of avoiding taxes through the massive write-offs gained by contributing to charities why not donate directly to the US Government. After all, the US Government is the largest charitable organization in the world and its finances are in shambles. In order to continue its charitable giving, what could be better than a large cash infusion from the world's greediest people trying to assuage their guilt over having so much more than the average Joe?

The Grouch's Billionaire Challenge is simply this--- I challenge all Billionaires throughout the country to donate at least half of their fortunes to the government so that wealth may be redistributed to the citizens as the politicians see fit... a gift with no strings attached, no stipulations. This will undoubtedly have an immediate impact on the lives of the poor, making the country and the world a much better place since governments are very efficient allocators of capital, and operate with significantly less overhead than private charitable organizations. This will also help address the problem of undertaxing the rich that the President and Congress are grappling with right now without requiring them to expend their own political capital.

For those patriotic Billionaires who decide to take on this challenge, I and all my fellow citizens thank you. Your non-tax-deductible contribution can be sent to the address below:

Gifts to the United States
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Credit Accounting Branch
3700 East-West Highway, Room 622D
Hyattsville, MD 20782

And once again, in the words of the Honorable Joe Biden, thank you for doing your patriotic duty, and helping America remain exceptional.


  1. I think I lost my comment, so hopefully this isn't a repeat.

    Even if the billionaires donated, none of that money would go to you or I. More ridiculous packages would be implemented to help people who are irresponsible with their money.

  2. Are you saying the government actually subsidizes irresponsibility? I can hardly believe it! :-)

  3. Your post made me smile. :-) Oh well... if I donate to the government, can I write it off. I need a deduction!

  4. What's half a billion between friends? Didn't Ted "Captain Courageous" Turner pledge a bundle (a 100 million?) to the UN, and then renege on his promise? "Oh wait, that was with my other money..."

  5. This is hilarious!!!! Why stop at billionaires. Let's include every decamillionaire on up!

  6. Hahaha. Of course, if the billionaires really did this, the money would basically just be destroyed...

  7. Of course, this is an absurd suggestion. No one would ever do it.

    I'm surprise no one challenged me on the assertion that the government engages in a lot of charitable activities with taxpayer money.

  8. Grouch: Well, if government employees, defense firms, agribusiness, etc... are in need of charity, then I suppose you can say that the government engages in a lot of "charitable activities". ;)

    For me personally, the statement is false by definition, since you cannot be charitable with money taken by force, which is what taxation is. The only possible consent is the "love it or leave it" type of consent. Charity has a vastly different quality, as it comes from voluntary giving, so it is a mutual trade.

    At the most direct and noble level I can steal a loaf of bread to feed someone, but I certainly wouldn't call that charity. Whoever had their bread taken is still entitled to recompense, and... the government is far less selfless and noble than a bread stealer.

    It's the free market that has lifted people out of poverty; government is a power structure, and power structures by nature benefit those with their hands on the levers. These people are usually not the poor or disenfranchised. (some governments like how the US was intended to operate try to spread the power around, but if one looks at the recent trends, the reality is somewhat different than the intention)

  9. The government is both Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham rolled into one dysfunctional, conflicted organization. But I would consider a lot of their wealth redistribution programs to be charity work, forced giving to be sure.