Buffett says that philanthropy can be a powerful tax shield, if donors want it to be. Buffett’s donations, he said yesterday, resulted in only 40 cents in tax savings per $1,000 given. The reason his tax bill is so low, he said, was because he earns relatively little in wages, amassing most of his wealth from his holdings of Berkshire Hathaway stock, which isn’t taxed until it’s sold.
Buffett has criticized “huge dynastic wealth,” and his arguments for higher taxes on the wealthy led to the so-called Buffett Rule, a proposed minimum tax on millionaires and billionaires. Yesterday, he reiterated his support for overhauling the tax code. “It is fitting that Congress periodically revisits the tax policy for charitable contributions, particularly in respect to donors who get ‘imaginative,’” he said.
What do you think? Should the tax treatment of philanthropy change? If so, how? Let us know: [email protected]. Include your name and location, and we may feature your response in a future newsletter.
HERE’S WHAT’S HAPPENING
House lawmakers advance sweeping bills to curtail Big Tech’s power. After hours of sometimes contentious debate, the House Judiciary Committee approved efforts to rein in Silicon Valley’s giants. One would block the biggest tech companies from buying rivals; another, which would make it easier to break them up, is still under consideration.
A potential compromise emerges on infrastructure spending. President Biden is set to be briefed today on a $600 billion package for investing in areas like roads and broadband, brokered last night by White House officials and a bipartisan group of lawmakers. It would essentially serve as the first step in the president’s $4 trillion infrastructure ambitions.
John McAfee dies in a Spanish prison. The antivirus software pioneer, 75, died after a Spanish court said he could be extradited to the U.S. on tax-evasion charges. After severing ties to the McAfee company in 1994, he led a globe-trotting life full of controversy, including accusations of drug-dealing, drunken driving, illegally entering Guatemala … and running for president.
JPMorgan Chase weighs mandatory vaccinations for workers. The bank, which plans to bring its employees back to the office next month, may become the latest Wall Street giant to require some level of inoculation of its work force, according to a memo sent to staff.