Showing posts with label Charities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Charities. Show all posts

August 13, 2016

Clinton Releases Tax Returns Paid $3.6 Mill and $9.8 Mil to Charity

 They speak about her speaking fees but don’t tell you where it goes: Charity. Just part of the old way to highlight the questionable and make the good stay silent or make look bad. You need a thick skin to survive that and want to keep serving but she do and does.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, earned adjusted gross income of $10.6 million in 2015 and paid $3.6 million in federal income taxes, according to a tax return her campaign released Friday as it sought to draw a contrast with her Republican rival, Donald Trump.

Their income would place the Clintons well within the top 0.1 percent of earners, based on data for the 2014 tax year analyzed by a leading economist on income inequality.

The couple paid an effective tax rate of 34.2 percent in 2015 and donated 9.8 percent of their adjusted gross income to charity -- including a $1 million gift to the Clinton Family Foundation -- according to the return. The family foundation, which is separate from the better-known Clinton Foundation, listed Hillary and Bill Clinton as its only donors on its 2014 tax filing.

Friday’s release adds to eight years of returns that Hillary Clinton’s campaign made public last year. “All told, the Clintons have made their tax returns public for every year dating back to 1977,” according to a campaign news release.

In releasing the return — along with 10 years of tax information for her running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine -- Clinton’s campaign once again tried to create a contrast between her and Trump over transparency in their personal finances.

Trump’s Audit

Departing from 40 years of tradition for presidential candidates, Trump has so far refused to release any of his tax returns for public inspection. Trump has said that he’s under an audit by the Internal Revenue Service and won’t release his returns until that audit is concluded -- which may not happen before the Nov. 8 election. IRS officials have said there’s no law preventing taxpayers from releasing their returns to the public, even if they’re under audit.
Yet the Clintons’ eight-figure income, which included almost $6 million from speaking fees and consulting fees for Bill Clinton and more than $4 million in speaking fees and income from book sales for Hillary Clinton, may complicate her attempts to appeal to lower- and middle-income voters. Their income appears to place them well within the top 0.1 percent of earners, based on data gathered by economist Emmanuel Saez of the University of California at Berkeley. Taxpayers in that group had average income of just over $6 million in 2014, according to Saez’s data.
Prior Years

The Clintons’ prior tax returns showed that from 2007 through 2014, the couple made $139.1 million -- much of it from paid speeches. The Clintons paid $43.9 million in federal taxes over those years — an average tax rate that works out to 31.6 percent.

In 2015, their return shows, they overpaid their federal taxes by more than $1 million and asked that the excess be applied to their 2016 tax bill.

Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, paid an effective federal tax rate of 20.3 percent in 2015 on $313,441 in adjusted gross income, according to a copy of their return for the year. Over the past 10 years, the couple have donated 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income to charity, according to the campaign’s news release.


Hillary Clinton released her tax returns on Friday, which show that she and her husband Bill Clinton earned $10.75 million in total income and paid an effective federal tax rate of 34.2 percent.

November 30, 2015

Results Are in of Who is The Most Charitable Nation on Earth (US is not it but close)


And the winner for most charitable nation in the world is ... Myanmar. Coming in second: the United States.  (I remember Posting in 2011 about the US being no.1)

If you're scratching your head, one reason may be that the ranking confounds the common perception "that generosity and wealth are connected to one another," says Adam Pickering. He's the international policy manager of the London-based Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), which publishes the annual World Giving Index, now in its sixth year. Only five of the G20 countries appear in the top 20, he points out. So “even though you might think it would,” wealth does not necessarily translate into greater generosity. 

Another reason is that it's not the total amount of money given that the index is measuring. It's the act of giving itself, in the form of three specific charitable behaviors. The Gallup World Poll asked people from 145 countries: In the last month, have you donated money to a charity; volunteered time to an organization; helped a stranger or someone you didn't know who needed help? When the results to all three questions were averaged, Myanmar came out on top.

Still, why Myanmar? The answer lies in the strong influence of the particular form of Buddhism (called Theravada) practiced there, according to Paul Fuller, lecturer in Buddhist Studies at the University of Cardiff. Throughout the country, he explained in an email, "The notion of 'generating merit' is very pervasive." The belief is that whatever you do here, in this life, will have consequences for your next life, he explains. Thus, the more merit you acquire now, the more you increase your chances of your next life being a good one.

Acquiring merit in different ways — such as meditation or ethical acts — is important in all forms of Buddhism. But in Myanmar, special emphasis is placed on acts of giving. And the most common manifestation is making daily offerings of alms or food to monks — so much so that they have become what Fuller calls "an essential religious practice."

May Oo Lwin, who is originally from Myanmar and visits there frequently with her husband, Paul Fuller, says, "'There's a strong culture of giving, not necessarily an obligation but more like giving what one can possibly contribute to those in need. It doesn't have to be big but something meaningful and something you could do to help a bit. In that way, you are doing a good deed, [you] generate some merit as a family and making [the recipients] happy brings happiness to you as well."
Myanmar Is Also Known As Burma, But We Won't Keep Repeating That
For example, when Lwin and Fuller visited Myanmar in April, they made a point of going to an orphanage that cared for children who had lost their mothers to AIDS and made an offering of several hundred dollars. "I wanted to do something nice and meaningful as a family as we have never done it before," Lwin wrote in an email. "I thought of our children who are so lucky compared to those children who are being deprived of so many things."

This tradition of giving can be traced through the country's art, says Catherine Raymond, associate professor, Southeast Asian Art and Director, Center for Burma Studies at Northern Illinois University. "Religion and culture are intertwined there," she says — evident in the inscriptions of donations recorded at the entrances to temples dating back to the 11th century. "In Buddhism, there is the notion of dana, which means giving." It means you "give rice to the monks who come to your door every morning. Or you bring some food to the monastery, or you sponsor a young kid who will come to the monastery, or you build a religious structure or you donate a painting” to it. 

As impressive as this tradition is, in more recent decades, Myanmar has become associated with the repressive military rule that ended only in 2011. And yet this strife may also have served, in a counterintuitive way, to solidify the culture of giving. According to Jenna Capeci, who has worked on projects in Myanmar as director of Civil and Political Rights at American Jewish World Service, the turmoil "has done more to reinforce this culture of charity and resilience because the people could not count on the military junta or local authorities to provide anything for the community."

Billie Goodman, who has also worked on Myanmar projects for AJWS, notes that "generations have grown up in the last decades seeing a government that does not provide services or take care of them." As a result, "what emerged is an incredible resilience and an incredible need to take care of each other."

Her examples are myriad. "If you need a road in a rural area, the government is not going to provide it. But you can get together with your neighbors to build it. Education is another example where in a lot of rural areas and ethnic minority areas the schools that exist have been built by community members, who have contributed money to pay for the teachers salaries, they have themselves built the structures, and they are the ones who are doing this. It has been necessary for people to survive, really."

It’s an example of solidarity in crisis — and in giving.

November 14, 2013

Barcelona Sport Jocks Strip for HIV

To fight homophobia in sport and raise funds for a local HIV organization experiencing budget cuts, Barcelona’s Panthers don their speedos for the world to enjoy
 Barcelona's gay swim team has shot a swimsuit calendar for charity.
Photo by: Juan Pablo Santamaria.
A Spanish gay sport group got creative to fight homophobia in sport and raise money for a local HIV charity.
Barcelona’s gay swim team the Panthers decided to shoot a 2014 swimsuit calendar to help raise funds for BCN Checkpoint Centre, a local HIV testing, treatment and prevention center.
Group coordinator Mano Ventura told Gay Star Travel: ‘Checkpoint Centre does some great work with Barcelona’s gay community with regards to HIV treatment and prevention.
‘So many health services are experiencing budget cuts, we decided this year to help raise money for a local institution.’
The 60 swimmers are part of the larger Panthers group, which includes other LGBT sport groups including basketball, soccer and tennis.
‘The Panthers are dedicated to combatting homophobia in sport, so we’re not just gay and lesbian athletes, and we don’t only participate in gay-specific sporting events. We play with teams across the country and the world to show there’s no need fror hate among athletes.’
Photographer Juan Pablo Santamaria took over 2000 photos of the swimmers on the rooftop pool at Barcelona’s hetero-friendly Axel hotel.
The calendar costs €10 ($13) and is available for purchase online. Visit Gay Star Travel for stories, photos and tips on Barcelona and beyond.

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