“Freeloading” billionaires attracted a lot of ire at this week’s Democratic presidential debate in Atlanta.
Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren railed against the culprits, promising to extract more money from them, which they can then use for their pet projects.
Which prompts the Wall Street Journal editors to ask:
With her proposed “wealth tax,” Ms. Warren raises a pertinent question: Would one rather have the wealth of Mr. Gates, Warren Buffett or Mike Bloomberg disappear for distribution into federal bureaucracies, or let these billionaires choose where their money can do the most good? Ask the doctors trying to kill polio.
That last is a reference to the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has given the Global Polio Eradication Initiative $1.08 billion.
While Warren was in Atlanta railing against billionaires, it seems that Mr. Gates was in Abu Dhabi, exploring ways to end the scourge of polio in the developing world.
Reportedly, about a third of the polio initiative's $16 billion in contributions since 1985 have come from private donors such as the Gates Foundation?
And remember it is government programs that have given us that oft-invoked and utterly untamable trinity “waste, fraud and abuse.” Private donors such as Gates can reverse course if something is not working; government doesn't have that capacity.
Government programs are more likely to chalk up excessive expenses and such programs refuse to die if they aren't effective.
Now, that's freeloading.