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September 2011

Private Family Foundations - Charities or Tax Evasion?

By Bob Barney:

      Almost everyone wants to help those in need, and I am no exception. Part of the "tithe" I give to God is in the money that I give to charities and food banks. Jesus said that when you help the poor and hungery, you are actually helping him!  It is our duty to give to the needy. God expects it. However, there is also a warning that I want to shout from the rooftop! Is it really a charity you are supporting, or is it just a tax evasion scheme, devised by clever lawyers to keep rich people RICH!  When the Federal Government is $14 trillion in debt, you should be paying extra attention to those so-called charities that are actually robbing from you in tax dollars and giving to the owner of the charity and not to those needy people you think you are helping.

The Plain Truth, and our sister site RaceRap.Com has helped raise over $150,000 in the past 10 years for charities which we have checked out throughly. We asked the tough questions, and frankly have found many charities that we have refused to help. There are guidelines that one should follow when donating or supporting a charity.

Does the charity???

  • devote at least 75% of its budget to program??  (I would actually look for over 85%)
  • Have a mission statement on the organization’s Web site to see that the group has clear goals and the ability to execute them?
  • Have published finanicials?
  • Have results? To know this, you will need to know what the mission statement is and if it has clear goals. For instance, if it is a program to help abused children, see how many children or childrens' facilities have been assisted in a given amount of time.

Just because a celebrity puts their name on a charity doesn't make it worth anything!

Madonna wants to sue the director of her foundation, Raising Malawi, to recover $3.8 million in squandered donations meant to build a school in the impoverished African country. Staffers of Raising Malawi are suing Madonna for lost wages.  (Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2011/03/29/beware-celebrity-charities-madonna-malawi-chairty-fiasco-shows-risks-unproven/#ixzz1KM9wupqD)

Consumers should try to vet any charity, celebrity run or otherwise, that they donate money to. But Art Taylor, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, says that celebrity charities deserve an extra dose of skepticism and donors should be careful about being wooed by a famous face.

“Celebrity in itself shouldn’t ever be the sole indicator of a charity’s reliability.  Look for information about the charity, not the celebrity,” Taylor advises. “Be wary of newly established charities with as yet little to offer beyond the celebrity connection.  A good organization may be in the making, but only a track record can give assurance.”


The Charitable Family Trust: Just who gets the charity money?
         Are you aware why many celebritities and millionaires set up charities, known as family trusts?  The shocking answer may make you mad! Are you aware that they government doesn't require much of the charity's money to be spent on the charity! JUST 5%!!!!!   Look at this example:

Let's suppose you leave (or raise from others) $2,000,000 for your Private Family Foundation. The IRS says you must distribute at least $100,000 (or 5%) to recognized charities in order for the Foundation to qualify for its special tax advantages. Of course, you can select a higher payout if you choose. But five percent is the absolute minimum.

The annual payout is established when you first sit down with a qualified estate attorney who has experience working with large estates. And the difference between what the assets earn (e.g. 6% per year) and the mandatory payout can be put back into the Foundation.

What advantages does this millionaire get?

  • Special Tax Advantages:    Private Family Foundations have special tax advantages, because they are considered "charitable organizations" themselves. Because of this classification, any earnings on Foundation assets are tax-exempt, and can be distribute to the charities you choose.  If established properly, a private family foundation can often avoid capital gains taxes on highly-appreciated assets. In addition, interest and investment earnings that are not slapped with an income tax can instead be used to help the charities or causes you support.
  • Immediate Tax Benefits: If you have highly-appreciated assets that you're holding to avoid steep capital gains taxes, a Private Family Foundation could help. Any appreciated assets that you transfer to a Private Family Foundation can be sold by the Foundation with no capital gains taxes. This is because of the Foundation's charitable status.   Second, you can get an immediate tax deduction for any money or property to grant to the Foundation. This deduction can equal up to 30% of your adjusted gross income (20% for appreciated property). Any income tax deduction not used in your contribution year may be carried forward over the next five years.  The valuation of these deductions depends on a number of things, including original cost and the type of property being transferred.  
  •  Estate Tax Benefits:  Every dollar that you contribute to your Private Family Foundation means one less dollar that is included in your estate. Gifts that are regularly made to charities can instead be used to fund your PFF. And if you are in a higher tax bracket, that could ultimately save up to 46% in estate taxes.   Best of all, you can make such contributions to a Private Family Foundation without affecting the $12,000 annual gift tax exclusion or the current $1 million Gift Tax Credit . 
  • Employment for the Family:   You may arrange for your heirs and descendants to receive salaries as "employees" of your Foundation. Simply name family members as replacement trustees to succeed you after death or resignation.  Many Foundations pay their directors using the difference between their required distributions and their annual income. If your Foundation is earning 10% annually on its assets, but only paying 5% annually to charities, the difference can be distribute for legitimate expenses, including salaries for the directors of the Foundation. 

Private Family Foundations can also be combined with Charitable Remainder and Charitable Lead Trusts. By doing so, you may able to draw a significant income for your lifetimes and earn significant tax savings, while still maintaining a large degree of control of your assets. (SOURCE: http://www.savewealth.com/planning/estate/foundations/)

So friends, beware of supporting charities without research, especially those with celebrity names attached to them. RICH PEOPLE DID NOT GET RICH GIVING THEIR MONEY AWAY!!!! Buyer (or giver) BEWARE!

 

Read our other expose's on Charities:

Why are billionaires giving away fortunes?

Gates Foundation Acknowledges Flaws in Report

Gates Foundation Invests $10 Million in Vaccines Developer

ANOTHER TRUST THAT SUPPORTS ABORTION

Bob Barney's Reasearch on Charities for WND.com



The Mystery of the Resurrections Mentioned in the Bible

Does the resurrection from the dead seem like a mystery to you?

The Mystery of the Resurrections Mentioned in the Bible
Source: Photos.com

Paul brings clarity to this often-overlooked biblical truth while acknowledging human mortality: "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order. Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming" (1 Corinthians:15:22-23[22]For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.[23]But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.).

Paul describes an order of resurrections commencing with "those who are Christ's at His coming," which Revelation:20:5 refers to as "the first resurrection." An order of resurrections commencing with one called "the first" means there are subsequent and sequential resurrections—and indeed these are described more fully elsewhere in the Bible.

A first resurrection for those who are Christ's   MORE>>>>>>>


The Great White Throne Judgment: A Biblical Mystery Explained

 

The book of Revelation describes a resurrection in which billions will be judged. How will Jesus Christ judge them? Will He consign them to an ever-burning hellfire or instead give them their first real opportunity for salvation?

The Great White Throne Judgment: A Biblical Mystery Explained
Jesus Christ described a resurrection in which people who lived and died centuries apart will rise from the grave together.Source: Photos.com

A wise man said many times, "The Bible is like a jigsaw puzzle." One has to piece together God's Word properly. Each passage has its proper role in enabling us to correctly understand biblical doctrine. The apostle Paul aptly described our part in this process as "rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy:2:15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth., emphasis added throughout). More modern translations usually render the phrase "correctly handling."

Another way of understanding this important principle is reflected by the biblical saying, "Here a little, there a little" (Isaiah:28:10For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:, 13). Clearly one scriptural passage of and by itself usually does not fully convey the complete truth about any specific biblical teaching. Normally, it should be carefully compared with other passages dealing with the same topic.

Neglected, misunderstood and misinterpreted

Continue reading "The Great White Throne Judgment: A Biblical Mystery Explained" »


Williams: NASCAR Drivers Remember 9/11

RICHMOND, Va. – A decade ago on Sunday the terrorist attack known today simply as 9/11 broke America’s heart while unifying a nation and ripping away its innocence.

During that horrifying morning, time stood still for everyone and everything, including NASCAR. The New Hampshire race was postponed until Thanksgiving weekend, private aircraft was grounded and various members of the NASCAR community were stranded far from home.

Jason Leffler, Bobby Labonte, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Johnny Benson, Brett Bodine, Dave Blaney and Joe Nemechek were testing at Kansas Speedway. Rusty Wallace was stranded in Los Angeles and team owner Rick Hendrick in Detroit.

Team owner Richard Childress was out of the country on a hunting trip. Jack Roush was stranded in Reno, Nev., while Matt Kenseth was in Wisconsin. Jimmy Spencer was in Houston when air travel stopped. Joe Gibbs Racing’s head engine builder Mark Cronquist was in England.   MORE>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


Chaldeans

O HEAR A 2 MIN. JUST THE FACTS AUDIO 
SEGMENT RELATING TO THIS  SUBJECT:
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Download Times:      Streaming RealAudio File  12 seconds

The first six chapters of the book deal directly with sun worship as it can be traced historically throughout the centuries. From Ancient times sun worship has been the apostate form of religion which Satan has chosen to oppose the true worship of the Creator. Through every known civilization sun worship influenced the thoughts and actions of mankind.

The Chaldeans worshipped the sun god. So did the Assyrians. The Babylonians - The Medo-Persians -The Grecians - and the Romans were sun worshippers. And even today, by way of the mystery of iniquity, the sun worship of previous centuries is disguised to the extent that it is now accepted by the majority as that of Biblical Christianity.

Continue reading "Chaldeans" »


George Washington's Expense Account

By Bob Barney

 A must read to all those history buffs out there that think they know all about George Washington..

 

I must admit that I get a little frustrated with Glenn Beck's view on history. Although I am in favor of his mission (too many of us just don't know our history) I just have a problem with some of his facts and conclusions. For the most part, Beck has done an honorable and admirable job with his mission. I think more people today, especially those who refer to themselves as members of the "Tea Party" are much more informed than we all were ten years ago.  I do notice however, that this tendency to portray our Founding Fathers as people greater than the rest of us.  There were devious people at the time of the Exodus, whom God Almighty killed off during 40 years of wandering, and there were devious and dishonest people around during the time of Christ. They were mainly the Pharisees and Sadducees.  Even among our founding fathers, we had decent men, and not so decent men.  We cannot gloss over some of the facts about these men when we are honestly discussing our history. It would be a disservice to our children, and many of our leaders today that just may measure up to some of those guys that helped formed this nation. Ben Franklin was a philanderer, a man who wasn't all that devout and may have truly been the father of many- literally! That's another story. Today I want to focus on George Washington. The man "who couldn't tell a lie."  Yes, he was a patriot- a great man of honor and very devout in his Christian beliefs. He was a great leader and a great man. However, he was human too! Do you know about his expense account? Not too many people do. Here is an article from "Put it on the Tab," that we may find worth reading:

It was June 16, 1775, and American statesman George Washington was feeling magnanimous. Or, at least, that's what he wanted everyone to think. Washington had just been appointed general of the Continental Army over the soaring hopes of John Hancock,[1] and, in order to not look too pleased with himself, America's future first president declined fiscal remuneration for his services. Well, almost. He said:

Sir, I beg leave to assure the Congress that as no pecuniary consideration could have tempted me to have accepted this arduous employment, I do not wish to make any profit from it. I will keep an exact account of my expenses. Those I doubt not they will discharge, and that is all I desire.

"Expenses", eh? Latter-day patriots, infused with nationalistic fervor, might assume this meant Washington would only take the barest hint of sustenance for his labors. As Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, Washington might expect a comfortable salary. For a little perspective, the very day Washington accepted his commission, Congress drew up the pay for officers and privates. A private made $6 2/3 a month, a captain $20, and a major general $166. Seems to us Washington was giving up a decent sum in exchange for this promise of discharging these expenses. He was well-regarded for stonily taking this economic hit for the team.

By contrast, George easily followed that maxim because he wasn't funny at all. The man was so spectacularly unfunny that when P.M. Zall tried to write a book called George Washington Laughing in an effort to prove otherwise, he had to stop after only 52 pages. As if that weren't bad enough, most of these episodes describe jokes being told in Washington's presence rather than being uttered by the man himself. The President appears to have enjoyed pratfalls and seeing the hats of clergymen get blown into lakes, but rare was the day a witticism passed his lips. Surely, such a stoic, servile man would be content with meager rations. So Congress must have thought when it approved his expense account. Fortunately for posterity, a complete record of Washington's account exists. You can even look at scans of it, in entirety, online.[2] The father of the United States, it seems, was magnificent at padding his accounts.

Take, for example, the entry on June 22, 1775:

To cash paid for Sadlery, a Letter Case, Maps, Glasses, &c &c &c. for the use of my Command... $831.45

Eight hundred dollars? Ten times what a private made for saddles? That must have been some pretty damn nice tackwork - about $81, went to the letter case, which was made of Russian leather. We're sure it kept his letters very dry. As for those "&c"s, they were probably worth a couple hundred each. Washington was a great fan of "&c" and "Ditto". There are innumerable "ditto"s in the account, most of which cost at least a hundred dollars. Other bits of finery are equally outlandish:

To sundry Exp.'s paid by myself at different times and places... on the Retreat of the Army thro' the Jerseys into Pennsylvania & while there... $3,776.

Yes, George Washington charged thousands of dollars to retreat from the enemy. He also gave loans to his friends that were never repaid, he bought limes by the crateload (400 at one point), and he treated himself to every "sundry" good available. From July 21-22 1775, he bought a pig, an unreadable number of ducks, "1 dozen pigeons, veal, 1 dozen squash, 2 dozen eggs, hurtleberries, biscuit and a cork cask."[3] The Washington family diet for the month of August included chickens, oysters, whortleberries, pears, cucumbers, veal, mutton, bread, and milk. In October, they bought nearly 32 dozen eggs. Washington's taste for Madeira wine shows up with mindnumbing regularity: from September 1775 to March 1776, Washington spent over six thousand dollars on booze.[4]] He was careful enough to note a change in his wine supplier no less than three times.   SOURCE

 

Another book,  "George Washington's Expense Account", first published in 1970, contains a faithful copy of General George Washington’s hand-written expenses from June 1775 to June 1783 as published by the Treasury Department in 1833.I remember reading this book in college and was amazed at the picture we get of Washington, at his own hand- or should I say ledger?  On a website that promotes tea, this exerpt has yet another good example of some of the history that we failed to disclose :

This book also contains a wonderfully humorous tongue-in-cheek look at how expenses were presented to Congress by the man the author Marvin Kitman calls not only The Father of Our Country, but also The Father of the Modern Expense Account.

According to Kitman, General Washington only used 42 of the 43 principles of modern expense account writing. For example, low cost items should include details, but expensive items should be vague:

    Describe in some depth the purchase of a ball of twine, but casually throw in the line, ‘Dinner for one army.’"

Washington’s purchases included the finest personal carriages and the costs of entertaining friends. He also charged for enemy reconnaissance and his own army’s retreat.

He loved the best gourmet green tea, and continued to buy the highest quality tea throughout the war and blockade of English ships carrying tea (Dutch ships carrying tea and supplies were allowed in).   SOURCE: 

 

The moral my dear Plain Truth readers is this. Don't place your hope in men, but in God, especially the God that is known as THE LORD, or Yahweh. You know Him as Jesus Christ. Now here is someone that will never let us down, cheat on his taxes, or just be human!  Respect those leaders like Washington, Jefferson, and Ronald Regan, who tried to make this nation a better place, but let's remember that we are a special people because we belong to the real God and not because of our Constitution, that was written by men.  I believe that it is a great document, and should be respected and followed, but I bet that every signer of the document reading my little blurb here, would agree with me!

 

Oh by the way: So, in the end, how much did Washington spend over his eight years of service?

$449,261.51, in 1780 dollars.

Taking into account 220 years of inflation that'd be worth over $4,250,000.00 today.[5]Four million dollars' worth of "expenses", and, after going over the account with a fine-toothed comb (at one point he was corrected for undercounting 89/90 of a dollar), Congress approved the lot of it.

 

In George's own handwritting!