Wednesday, July 22, 2015

July, 2015, Part 4, By The Numbers: A Hopeful Set Of Numbers Vs. Politician Induced Numbers

On a semi-regular basis, and for the past three days, we have revisited the theme "by the numbers" just to check in on the state of the country and political class using actual realities and their underlying numbers, not the spin or lies from our politicians. You see, politicians usually have nothing to gain by looking at reality and the numbers since they are more than likely to have screwed up reality and our lives in the first place.

That is why they would rather lie and deceive than tell the truth. But that approach can be destroyed by looking at the hard numbers behind the mess they have created. I once worked for a boss whose favorite saying was: "There is nothing more devastating to an opinion than the right number.” And that is what we try to do with this theme, devastate politicians’ opinions by looking at the right numbers.

So for the past three days we have taken a look at the numbers that have recently cropped up and again prove that the political class in America continues to be one of the worst set of people to ever hold office, given the state of the country, the many ways they screw up our wealth and government functions, and their inability or non-desire to step up and tell the truth.

Today, we will take a slightly different look with a set of good numbers that show good things and good numbers can happen when the government and the American political class are NOT involved in our lives. But before we do that, let’s look at just a very small set of examples of financial mismanagement of the American political class that we have previously discussed in this blog and why the less money given to politicians, the more good society reaps:

  • Through mismanagement and outright criminal fraud, the Federal government wastes or is cheated out of about $200 billion a year via the Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid programs.
  • The IRS sent over 600 bogus tax refunds to the same mailing Ireland.
  • The U.S. Navy spent about $300 million to build two Navy ships almost to completion and then spent another $10 billion of taxpayer money to dismantle the ships before they were ever used.
  • The Clinton State Department spent $40 million to build a U.S. consulate in the hinterlands of Afghanistan and then abandoned the project when they realized it could not be defended against a terrorist attack.
  • The Obama Care process was recently shown to be giving out billions of dollars in tax subsidies that were not deserved. 
We could go on for a very long time with other examples of mismanagement by the political class and the government functions they operate but you get the idea. For other examples of such nonsense, just review any of our political class insanity posts that start off each month or enter the search phrase, “why no American” should pay another penny in taxes in the search box above.

Okay, we go through that set up to review a recent Forbes article that listed out which 24 people/married couples had given the most to charities in 2014. The article was based on a list compiled by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Bill and Melinda Gates donated the most to charity in 2014, in excess of $1.5 billion. While worth $78.7 billion, according to Forbes‘ calculations, the Gates and Warren Buffett formed the Giving Pledge in 2010, inviting other philanthropists to join them in promising to give away more than half of their fortunes during their lifetimes. So far, 128 people have joined the pledge. I would assume that some of those 128 people are also included on this 2014 Forbes list:

1. Bill Gates, At least $1.5 billion, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust

2. Ralph C. Wilson Jr. (deceased), $1 billion (bequest), Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation

3. Ted Stanley, $652.4 million, Broad Institute and other groups

4. Jan Koum, $556 million, Silicon Valley Community Foundation

5. Sean Parker, $550 million, Sean N. Parker Foundation and Sean Parker Foundation Donor Advised Fund at Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund

6. Nicholas and Jill Woodman, $500 million, Silicon Valley Community Foundation

7. Michael Bloomberg, $462 million, Arts, education, environment, and public-health groups, and programs aimed at improving city governments around the world

8. Rachel Lambert (Bunny) Mellon (deceased), $411.3 million (bequest), Gerard B. Lambert Foundation and other groups

9. Sergey Brin, $382.8 million, Brin Wojcicki Foundation

10. Paul Allen, $298 million, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation; Allen Institute for Cell Science

11. John and Laura Arnold, $218.4 million, Laura and John Arnold Foundation and other groups

12. Pam and Pierre Omidyar, $180 million, Omidyar Network, Humanity United, Ulupono Initiative, HopeLab, and other groups

13. Larry Page, $177.3 million, Carl Victor Page Memorial Foundation

14. Marc and Lynne Benioff, $154 million, University of California at San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital and other groups

15.T. Denny Sanford, $150.5 million, Sanford Health Foundation, South Dakota Community Foundation and other groups

16. Kenneth Griffin, $150 million, Harvard University

17. Ernest and Evelyn Rady, $121 million, Rady Children’s Hospital of San Diego, University of California at San Diego, Rady School of Management

18. Sidney and Caroline Kimmel, $115.5 million, Sidney Kimmel Foundation

19. Connie and Steve Ballmer, $110 million, Harvard University, University of Oregon

20. Fred Eshelman, $103 million, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy

21. Gert Boyle (tie), $102 million, Oregon Health & Science University Foundation

21. John P. and Tashia Morgridge (tie), $102 million, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Wisconsin Technology Initiative and other groups

23. Irwin and Joan Jacobs, $101.6 million, Joan and Irwin Jacobs Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, University of California at San Diego Jacobs Medical Center, High Tech High Foundation and other groups

24. Herb Kohl (tie), $100 million, Greater Milwaukee Foundation

24. Dennis and Carol Troesh (tie), $100 million, Loma Linda University Health

Just these 24 top donors gave out over $8 billion to charities, universities, and worthy humanity causes in a single year. Now, ask yourself: would you rather tax these people more and have those additional taxes get into the hands of Washington politicians who have proven that they cannot run efficient social programs, that they build unnecessary Navy ships and consulate buildings, that they fraudulently send taxpayer wealth to Ireland and who knows what other locations around the world, and waste our wealth and tax dollars in thousands of other ways or would you rather keep tax rates the same, or lower, so that Americans can contribute more and directly to the humanity causes they want to support? 

The numbers make this choice a no brainer. Direct contributions directly to needy causes as we see above are far more effective than general tax contributions to the Federal government bureaucracy that shows no ability to spend efficiently or effectively.

That will do it for this month’s “by the numbers” update. Hopefully, the good numbers of today offset the depressing set of numbers from the previous three days.

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