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Take a tax cut giving pledge

January 6, 2011

Andy Ho over at Asian American Giving has some ideas on taking Warren Buffet and Bill Gates’ “giving pledge” idea – perhaps the biggest philanthropy story of the year, covered here by Venu and Nancy – and expanding it to include, well, those of us who are not billionaires – especially wealthy Asian Americans.  Andy notes:

For readers in the U.S., in 2011 the payroll tax will be reduced from 6.2% to 4.2%.  This means for every $1,000 you earn, you’ll now pay $20 less in taxes.  So why not make a pledge to donate to charity at least half of what you will be getting back in the tax reduction?

As Andy himself notes, he’s actually taking an idea even further that three professors recently proposed.  The NYT Freakonomics blog covered their idea, which is directed more at rich folks who benefit from the extension of the Bush tax cuts:

The most fortunate citizens can convert their inefficient and unfair tax cuts into good fiscal policy.  Rather than saving their new-found after-tax income, citizens who can afford it should donate their tax cuts to charities that promote the kinds of stimulative programs that better government policy would provide.

We’ve built a website to help achieve this —, [which] enables citizens to calculate their approximate tax cuts and, acting in concert, give them back to appropriate charities.

All this sounds like a great idea to me – even though I’m not living in America right now…  For those of you American readers out there, does this sound like a good idea to you?  Did you try the calculator at “Give It Back For Jobs”?


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