Foundation Friday: The public interest in private foundations

Here’s an eloquent and thoughtful response to the argument that Leona Helmsley’s private foundation for dogs is a private matter, appropriately shielded from public critique under the rubric Chacun a son gout.

As long as private foundations enable people to avoid taxes, it will always be appropriate for taxpayers to ask what those foundations are doing with what otherwise would be public money.

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One Response to “Foundation Friday: The public interest in private foundations”

  1. Anita Bernstein Says:

    Quibble: In her Times op-ed Ray Madoff didn’t have much of a problem with the dogs, or the Chacun a son gout concept. Instead she advocated spending-down rules for charitable institutions (even if they threaten perpetual existence) and limits on the prerogative of rich people to exclude their income from tax by sticking it in their foundations. But your last sentence covers Madoff’s point perfectly.

    (Hope my HTML italics tags worked–no preview here on WordPress!)

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