Paying their fair share

In a tour of Northeastern University over the weekend I was quickly reminded of the many millionaires and billionaires who pay their fair share of taxes – and then some.

I have not been to the NU campus in many years and I stood amazed at how wonderfully it has changed.  Large swaths of open space with grass and trees and winding walkways adorned with art.  The campus is truly lovely.  

In my walk with my daughter, who wishes to attend NU in the fall, we came upon the Maureen and Richard Egan Engineering and Science Research Center.  I learned later that Richard Egan had been a graduate of Northeastern, later he founded the EMC Corporation where he made his fortune.  The Egan Center is one of the largest private donations ever received by the University.  Egan’s partner at EMC was a gentleman named Roger Marino, who also has a complex named for him at Northeastern due to his large donation to the school.  The campus newspaper: News @ Northeastern stated this upon Richard Egan’s untimely passing:

“Dick Egan epitomized the entrepreneurial spirit of Northeastern,” said President Joseph Aoun. “A trailblazing innovator, he took his Northeastern education and built a business that has become an engine of tremendous economic growth. This same entrepreneurial spirit motivated Dick to give back to Northeastern, which has helped generations of students to achieve their dreams.”

Mr Richard Egan was not FORCED to give back to the school he graduated from. but he did so out of his generous nature and voluntary will.

I thought, ‘How can Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren not see how generous our business leaders are?  How can they make a ridiculous claim that the jobs they created and the fortunes made for their workers is not enough, even in light of the tremendous contributions they further make to Universities around the world?.  Maybe Harvard University is different and no alumni contribute to that school?  Of course that is wrong – they do contribute..

A quick Google search finds these headlines:

Financier Glenn Hutchins donates $30 million to Harvard.

Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer donate $20 million to Harvard for computers.

In fact, the Widener Library at Harvard was named after a graduate killed on the Titanic.  His mother donated the $3.5 million in the early 1900’s to build the library in his memory.

Just this year the O’Donnell family (Joseph and Katherine) donated $30 million to the University.  Kathy O’Donnell made this comment with the donation:

“We’re truly excited about this gift,” said Kathy O’Donnell. “Over the years, we’ve witnessed remarkable accomplishments by Harvard alumni, in many different fields, and we’re delighted that we can help Harvard continue to develop young leaders who will contribute to society as a whole.”

So many of Harvard’s buildings were erected only by the generous donations of so many great men and women that came before and offered the fruits of their hard work, labor and industrious nature.  Elizabeth Warren and Barack Obama are completely blind to this generosity.  Ironically, they are two of the people that have benefited most from the contributions made to that school over the years.  

Even at Babson College, where I visited on Thursday evening to coach students in leadership and teamwork, there are many new buildings popping up as a result of large donations from appreciative millionaires and billionaires.

So why is it that Elizabeth Warren and Barack Obama can’t see all this generous giving?  These two law Professors/Instructors have spent years working on campuses in buildings named after great men and women.  Or is it that they see it and want more?  Giving tens of millions of dollars to schools is even not enough for these two people.  

Perhaps more importantly, if Elizabeth Warren and Barack get into office will these generous people continue to make these donations?  Or will the millions given now be redirected to Washington to end up in the hands of bureaucrats that give jobs to friends and those whose vote can be bought?

Many of us hope to send our kids off to good colleges one day.  Generally, what makes a college good has been the industrious graduates that came before and given back to those who follow.  They aren’t forced to do this – they do it because they are kind and generous.  For Obama and Warren to imply that it is not enough and they should be forced to give more is utter nonsense.  So many young people have been allowed to attend these major Universities only because of the generous endowments left behind by business leaders of years past.  

Of course, on the other side of the coin, Elizabeth Warren herself has used funds donated to Harvard to allow herself a $350,000 salary for teaching one single course.  The millionaires and billionaires donate vast fortunes to the schools and people like Elizabeth Warren use it for themselves and then complain that it is not enough.  

Don’t be fooled by the talk of the left.  We know who really gives their fair share….

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