June 17th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Would a voluntary millionaire's tax work in the U.S.?

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.
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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?


Filed under: Bill Gates • Taxes
June 27th, 2008
02:50 PM ET

How would you retire if you were Bill Gates?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Bill Gates is walking off into the sunset... well, kind of.

Today marks his last day as a full-time worker at Microsoft, the software giant he co-founded more than 30 years ago. At 52, Gates isn't totally retiring. He'll still put in one day a week at the company and will remain Microsoft's chairman and its largest shareholder.

But, Gates plans to spend more time working on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It's the richest philanthropy in the world and is focused on global health and education.

Not too shabby for the Harvard dropout, who was the richest person in the world for years. Gates was worth more than $100 billion in 1999, although he's "only" worth about half of that now because of the drop in Microsoft's shares along with donations to his foundation.

Gates leaves behind an amazing legacy – he's been known as the company's genius programmer, its technology guru, its primary decision maker and its ruthless leader. He figured out how to turn software into a moneymaking industry, and in the process it's safe to say he has changed the world forever.

Consider this: there are more than 1 billion copies of Microsoft Windows operating on PCs around the world.

It's probably safe to say you won't find Bill Gates living a run-of-the-mill retirement at some old-age home in Florida, playing shuffle board and dining on early bird specials.

Here’s my question to you: If you were Bill Gates, how would you spend your retirement?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Bill Gates