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Billionaire Robert F. Smith is paying off the student loans of every 2019 Morehouse grad..



  • KaseyKasey Posts: 25,670 mod

    Now that we got that squared away...

    this is a good story I hope to see replicated

  • Raiderbeater1Raiderbeater1 Posts: 3,820 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited May 2019

    And Fox News probably had an Obama lie counter as well.

    And if she was president there would be a “lie count” for her as well.

    and on and on and on......

    Every aspect of today’s “truth” is partisan. Either way.

  • JRT812JRT812 Posts: 4,697 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Excellent and really cool.

  • DGDinNYCDGDinNYC Posts: 748 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I hope the young men who were blessed to receive this gift do their part and are as charitable giving back to the school as he was giving to them. Good to see a man as financially secure as Mr. Smith put his money where his mouth is in the service of others.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 17,293 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    DGDinNYC. I doubt any of this year's grads will be billionaires, but they should do what they can within reason.

  • FirePlugDawgFirePlugDawg Posts: 5,480 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited May 2019

    Here is Forbes coverage of the gifting:

    The article says this about how it will be done, "When Smith told the class about the gift, he stated that "my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans." In other words, it sounds as though the funds are payable as a grant through the college which likely mitigates any gift tax consequences." This refers to gift tax on the giver, as the article makes clear that the giftee does not have a tax obligation.

    If the author is correct, then the school benefits too (I suppose). But unless the school made the loans, I have no idea how channeling the money through the school benefits the school. I suppose that is why he is a billionaire, and I need to redouble my efforts.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 17,293 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    The school has apparatus already in place to carry out the payoffs, which seems to make more sense than The Smith Family having to organize, validate and implement the payments from scratch. That would seem the most efficient way to handle it.

  • GrayDawgGrayDawg Posts: 1,907 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    1. The cost of education has exploded to astronomical levels. Too much access to student loans exacerbates, and arguably is the cause of, that problem. Eliminating the pain of having to pay off the loans removes one of the biggest reservations for taking out loans in the first place. It's the bail-out mentality.

    2. If you are truly trying to help people, why not help people not in a position to help themselves? Graduates of an American university are some of the best positioned people in the entire world to take care of themselves.

    3. This is clearly a play for popularity. He chose to help people who are in a political spotlight knowing it will maximize the exposure of his gift.

    4. We know he worked it to also get a charitable donation deduction on his tax return and avoid having to file a gift tax return. I question the source of his motivation.

    5. I don't trust billionaires. He can throw a few breadcrumbs out to make folks feel good but that doesn't appease me.

  • JRT812JRT812 Posts: 4,697 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    @GrayDawg there could be truth to all those points you made. I guess the way I view it is it wasn’t wasted because it’s going to help a ton of young men and women no matter his reasons. The world could stand for more acts of kindness

  • GrayDawgGrayDawg Posts: 1,907 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Forgive me if I feel my jaded opinions of billionaires are justified. Especially, when politics and money are involved.

    Was this a "bad" use of his money? Certainly not. Could it have been used to do more good? Absolutely.

    Where does it go from here? If this becomes the popular thing to do, will the political pressure then lead to government bail out of student loans for all? Are you supportive of that?

  • donmdonm Posts: 10,241 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Time till tell if this is a "good" or "bad" use of money. If one of those grads makes an amazing discovery, it may be, in part, because he was "free" to do so w/o the problems of repaying a loan. If the billionaire gets a tax break from it, good for him. He's helped a good # of people with this.

  • GrayDawgGrayDawg Posts: 1,907 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Hypotheticals go both ways, but fair enough. It's obvious I'm the odd bird on this one. To each their own (which is the best part of America, btw).

  • TNDawg71TNDawg71 Posts: 2,209 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    This thread proves that someone will complain about just about anything. It was a good deed. He asked for it to be paid forward. Hopefully those kids will live their lives a little better because of the act. They didn't ask for it to be done.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 17,293 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    None of these grads has to do anything extraordinary for this to be a value to society. Being able to start working life debt free will allow them to get ahead quicker and that will benefit society.

    Just be productive citizens and make a contribution to the lives of others.

  • RedBlackDawgRedBlackDawg Posts: 354 ✭✭✭ Junior

    Not trying to be Debbie Downer or anything.....BUT, won’t the IRS consider this income? Meaning if one of these grads gets his/her $100K debt paid off, won’t he need to come up with about $33K cash by April 15, 2020. What if said student has a degree in art history? Might be hard to come up with that. Also what if you’re a member of the class of 2018 or 2020? What if your were supposed to graduate in 2019 but fell a few credits short cuz you had to work a semester to pay for school? Just luck of the draw?? What if one of these kids recklessly took out $200K loans for a degree like animal psychology and his debt is magically erased? What kind of life lessons learned here? I guess the devil is in the details.

    Personally, if I were a billionaire that could afford to do this, I’d do it anonymously with safeguards to deal with all of the above. That would make it clear that it was all about the grads and not about the “giver”. And who will volunteer to give the commencement address in 2020? 😂

  • ghostofuga1ghostofuga1 Posts: 8,734 mod

    @clemtiger Again I ask you about your multiple accounts you have used. Just want a simple explanation. Nothing more. However the leash is getting short....

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 17,293 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    RedBlackDawg. There is value in making a presentation of a charitable gift, at least sometimes there is. When Ted Turner gave a huge amount of his wealth to charity he challenged other super-wealthy people to do likewise. It had a big affect, soon Bill Gates and others opened the purse to various causes.

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