September 4, 2009
Support Warren's Law!By Gene Schwimmer
While most of us have been watching, awestruck, as The Messiah parts the waters and walks upon the unparted portions, a tragedy has been unfolding in America. A tragedy so heinous as not even to have a name. A tragedy that far surpasses Islamic terrorism, trillion-dollar deficits and Barbara Boxer inability to reason above the level of a five-year-old, combined. A tragedy so profound that none of those afflicted with it has dared publicly to speak its nameless name.
Not, that is, until one courageous man clenched his jaw, rose above his shame and spoke out.
To spare this courageous, but unfortunate man any more (but no less) embarrassment and ridicule than satirically necessary, I will refer to him only by his first name: Warren.
"Warren," you see, is a multibillionaire -- and he has a problem. He doesn't pay enough taxes.
Go ahead and laugh. Turn away if you will. But before you do, put yourself in "Warren's" shoes that cost more than you make in a week and imagine how you would feel if you were cursed with $27 billion. Imagine if you were forced to decide how, where and on what to spend that much money all by yourself. Like when "Warren" decided to donate 85% of his wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Now I can understand how a cynic might conclude that "Warren" gave his money to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation because he thought that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation would spend that money more wisely than the United States Government would.
But you (and I) would be wrong.
Clearly, "Warren" wanted to give every penny of 85% of his fortune to the federal government. He just didn't know how.
Clearly, we need a law. A law to help "Warren" and 101 suffering billionaires just like him.
Clearly, the time has come for I call Warren's Law.
As laws go, especially those hatched in Congress, Warren's Law is simplicity itself, having just two easily implementable elements: an 800 number and a Web site. But beneath this simplicity lies great power, for by calling the 800 number or visiting the Web site, any billionaire who finds his tax burden too low (which, I guess, by definition, makes it really not a burden) can contribute his imagined shortfall directly to the federal government. No questions asked!
Now to be honest, Warren's Law, if implemented, may or may not add significantly to our projected $1.7 trillion deficit, depending on how many conscientious dedicated civil servants the government hires to operate one phone line and a Web site consisting of most likely a single Web page, to service at most, by current count, 102 billionaires. (And my instincts tell me that the actual number of billionaires choosing to contribute could be less -- perhaps even significantly less.)
And even if Warren's Law does balloon the deficit, any cost, however high, will be more than offset by the phone number and Web site's most beneficial feature: the ability for participating billionaires to donate the excess wealth that the federal government thoughtlessly allowed them to keep, in complete anonymity. Once Warren's Law becomes operational, no billionaire will ever have ever suffer the public shame and humiliation that "Warren" did.
All it takes is compassion, compassion for the poor, in spirit if not in money, billionaires among us, who have accumulated vast wealth through their own genius, creativity and hard work and just can't stand it.
All it takes is compassion -- and a letter and/or an email and/or a phone call to your senator and/or representative and/or the president.
You, yes, you -- you with your selfish, petty concerns about paying mortgages, raising kids that don't grow up to be mass murderers and keeping that clunker that the cash-for-clunkers somehow missed running for another year, open your eyes! There are billionaires out there, 102 of ‘em, and they need your help. They need you to care.
Support Warren's Law!