FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
With the U.S. drowning in a monstrous $13 trillion national debt, it's clear we need to consider any and all options to stem the tide.
This may be an idea worth taking a look at... then again, maybe not.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/17/art.gates.jpg caption="Bill Gates"]
A group of 51 German millionaires and billionaires is volunteering to give up 10 percent of their income for 10 years to help with that country's finances.
CNBC reports that these uber-wealthy Germans founded a "Club of the Wealthy"... and proposed the so-called "rich tax" to Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Germany, like much of Europe, is in the midst of tightening its fiscal belt... as the country debates an upcoming $80 billion Euro austerity package.
It's a noble gesture, but so far there are only 50 German millionaires on board... out of an estimated 800,000.
The total number of millionaires represents about one percent of Germany's population; similar to the ratio of millionaires here in the U.S. Makes you wonder how many American millionaires would be willing to do the same.
Speaking of America's very rich - two of the wealthiest are calling on their fellow billionaires to give away half of their wealth for charity during their lifetimes or after they die.
As first reported in Fortune Magazine, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates want the 400 richest people in the U.S. to give $600 billion to philanthropy and charity.
Their goal is to create an expectation that the rich should give away a big part of their wealth to better society.
Here’s my question to you: Would a voluntary millionaire's tax work in the U.S.?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Michael in Alexandria, Virginia writes:
No. Neither does cutting taxes and expecting millionaires to give their tax savings to charity (rather than buying companies). If volunteerism worked as touted, the coffers of every charity helping the poor would be bursting, given that tax rates are at their lowest in more than half a century.
T. in Memphis, Tennessee writes:
Jack, Instead of figuring out how to get more money from its citizens, the government should figure out how to effectively spend the money it already has. In other words, if you or I spent money without some sort of balanced budget, sooner or later no one would loan us any more...our credit score would be so low it wouldn't tip the scale. A large portion of the deficit is the interest on loans from foreign countries. This is insane.
The wealthy already pay more than their fair share in taxes. If we would adopt a flat tax system, then this idea would at least have legs.
Chandra in Las Vegas writes:
No and nor should it. I wouldn't trust the government to use the money responsibly and it still wouldn't be enough for them, it never will. The entitlement programs currently on the books have gotten so out of control that many people become dependent on them and are on them for life. When you pay someone to do nothing, that's what they'll do.
Mike in Anaheim, California writes:
Probably not, Jack. Most millionaires got to that lofty place in life because they had the good fortune to afford a truckload of tax accountants to help them avoid paying their fair share in taxes. Why would any of them now volunteer to pay more?
Considering 90% of the wealth is with 1% of the population, yes – tax them. They should be grateful we're not tarring and feathering them, the bunch of exploitative unscrupulous thieves.