June 28, 2006
Everybody seems to be talking about the charitable merger between two multi-billionaires – Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Buffet will donate much of his fortune to the Bill and Melinda gates foundation to help underwrite charitable projects, mostly in the third world. The gates’ want to cure the world’s top twenty diseases, among other goals.
What I find admirable about them is that they have taken the time to study and understand these diseases and seem to know the people who are doing the best work. This isn’t throwing money at people and projects to make donors feel better about themselves. This is intelligent philanthropy, based on knowledge and destined for results.
The federal government could use an objective and strategy like this. Too often it wastes our tax dollars, not only on pork projects, but on programs, like education, where money is not the answer. It will be fascinating to watch how these billionaires spend their money and the results that come from it. They could serve as a model, not only for charitable giving, but for projects that actually work.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.