Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, May 19, 2019

Billionaire Robert F. Smith, who received an honorary doctorate at Morehouse College's Sunday morning graduation exercises, had already announced a $1.5 million gift to the school. But during his remarks in front of the nearly 400 graduating seniors, the billionaire technology investor and philanthropist surprised some by announcing that his family was providing a grant to eliminate the student debt of the entire Class of 2019. ... The gift has been estimated at $40 million.

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Although it pays off debt, taxes must be paid for the gift.

It would be great to know you paid for it before graduation.

#1 | Posted by Petrous at 2019-05-19 02:49 PM | Reply

"Although it pays off debt, taxes must be paid for the gift."

Not true: Anything paid directly to the school is not subject to gift taxes at all. Beyond that, anything over $15K in a year would trigger gift taxes, but to the giver, not the recipient.

The gift recipient is only liable if the giver cannot be assessed... not likely in this case.

#2 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-05-19 03:01 PM | Reply

Is the money paying the school or the student debt. Isnt paying the school done first by borrowing? So, the gift is to pay the loans. The school doesnt owe the money.

True the giver pays the tax.

Twitter is fun, reminds me of the lady mad of the guy that was paying for other people's food.

#3 | Posted by Petrous at 2019-05-19 03:19 PM | Reply

It's an amazing gift that will start a few hundred families off in the right direction. What an amazing man.

#4 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2019-05-19 03:29 PM | Reply

Top that Pence.

#5 | Posted by Tor at 2019-05-19 03:35 PM | Reply

There are about 5,000 colleges in America.

So all we need is 5,000 more billionaires to step up and do the right thing. Annually.

This is what Republicans envision hapoening when they say charity, not government, should help people.

#6 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-05-19 03:36 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

--Top that Pence.

Does Pence have a net worth of 4 billion?

#7 | Posted by nullifidian at 2019-05-19 03:38 PM | Reply

Pence has a Hoover for a sphincter.

But, much like BillJohnson, he's put a cork in it.

#8 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-05-19 03:42 PM | Reply

#8

Hey! I resemble that remark!

www.youtube.com

Good for Mr Smith.... we need more like him.

#9 | Posted by Corky at 2019-05-19 04:07 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

What about the students who paid their own tuition?

What about the parents who used life savings to put their children thru college?

I think this could have been better done with a generous gift to the college to reduce the tuition of all students.

#10 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2019-05-19 04:14 PM | Reply

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Is the money paying the school or the student debt.

As you said, the debt is owed to banks, not Morehouse.

Hell of a gesture. I hope those students make the most of it and give back more than $40 million to the classes that come after them.

#11 | Posted by rcade at 2019-05-19 04:15 PM | Reply

What about the students who paid their own tuition?

What about the parents who used life savings to put their children thru college?

I think this could have been better done with a generous gift to the college to reduce the tuition of all students.

#10 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2019-05-19 04:14 PM

Instead of recognizing the amazing action just demonstrated, you gotta grouse. You are exactly what is wrong with this nation.

#12 | Posted by SunTzuMeow at 2019-05-19 04:19 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

What about the students who used their GI Bill to go to college?

Or how about students who nearly graduated this year but got held back due to some unfortunate life problem.

Was this really handled in a fair minded way for all the students at that college?

I can see all sorts of political in-house problems coming from this.

It is an unfortunate part of life but time and again I've seen no good deed goes unpunished.

#13 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2019-05-19 04:24 PM | Reply

Sun,

Apparently you live in some fairy tale world and are in denial about the realities of life.

Unless there is a backstory to this where these issues have been addressed, this could be a problem for the college.

The article doesn't say but I wonder if they were even aware this was going to happen.

#14 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2019-05-19 04:29 PM | Reply

#14

Gift horse/mouth.

#15 | Posted by Corky at 2019-05-19 04:31 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Wow. BillJohnson is such a bitter spiteful human being.

He sees a man helping others and he had nothing but criticism.

This world will be a better place when he's dead.

#16 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-05-19 04:31 PM | Reply

Mr. Smith should've defrauded all of those students like the bloated, child-raping schittstain did at Trump U.

#17 | Posted by reinheitsgebot at 2019-05-19 04:32 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

Mr. Smith should've defrauded all of those students like the bloated, child-raping schittstain did at Trump U.

Yea. But Mr Smith is a decent human being and Trump is a bloated, child-raping schittstain.

#18 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-05-19 04:34 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

What would ever cause a rightie tightie like Bill to think that life is or should be fair? Life has never been fair, in spite of all the complaints filed by children who are universally sensitive to this issue. Conservatives, as a general rule, aim to keep it that way.

#19 | Posted by bayviking at 2019-05-19 04:38 PM | Reply

Bill Johnson has some questions that need addressed...but let Morehouse worry about it.

At least this is a gift that goes directly to students to help them. It doesn't have to pass through an endowment fund with a board and god only knows how many bureaucratic obstacles and expenses....

Good for him. Good for the class of 2019.

#20 | Posted by eberly at 2019-05-19 04:40 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Too bad this wasn't Charles Koch giving it to a private university...this thread would be fun.

#21 | Posted by eberly at 2019-05-19 04:42 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

"Instead of recognizing the amazing action just demonstrated, you gotta grouse. "

Reminds me of The Parable of The Workers in the Fields.

#22 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-05-19 04:43 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 4

Too bad this wasn't Charles Koch giving it to a private university...this thread would be fun.
#21 | POSTED BY EBERLY

Giving to a university, or paying off student debt?

Because.

Those are completely different subjects.

#23 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-05-19 04:46 PM | Reply

23

whatever this guy is doing....same thing.

#24 | Posted by eberly at 2019-05-19 04:47 PM | Reply

Bill Johnson has some questions that need addressed...

Like, what about parents who used their life savings to send their kids through college?

They did it wrong. There are student loans and grants. Community colleges are cheap and a good way to do the first two years because most people are still figuring out life and the GEs can get covered while you learn more about who you are and what there is for you to do.

Perhaps there was something else amongst all his inane questions and gripes that you believe needed to be addressed.

But, that's not the way I'd start my sentence.

#25 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-05-19 04:52 PM | Reply

whatever this guy is doing....same thing.
#24 | POSTED BY EBERLY

If the Koch "family was providing a grant to eliminate the student debt of the entire Class of 2019."

I'd be impressed.

Here's the thing. I doubt they ever could. It's not in their nature to give.

You can see it it everything they've ever done. It's all for self gain. Even at the detriment of others.

#26 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-05-19 05:02 PM | Reply

Eb,

I could see the Koch family giving to a university in exchange for something. Curriculum renovation, staff selection, school conduct.

Especially if it's, as you said, a private school. They could literally run the joint. I'd be surprised if they don't have some Private Universities under their thumbs.

#27 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-05-19 05:06 PM | Reply

Clown,

Frankly...I don't care about that college.

However, when I read the story I immediately saw a big problem.

Money doesn't really impress me because I work with it for a living and I see just what it does to people.

For someone who loves his college, he sure has opened Pandora's Box.

It's great and all that him giving this money unless you're one of the students who go there and didn't get a dime.

You can sure they won't be feeling quite so altruist.

#28 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2019-05-19 05:07 PM | Reply

#28 Bill.

Welcome to the real world.

There are grants and scholarships and awards and not everyone qualifies for them or gets them.

This man gave these students a gift in the form of a grant to the school.

I'm sure they'll figure out the details.

Take your wet blanket and go home.

#29 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-05-19 05:13 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Instead of ya but...Why not say Thank you Mr. Smith?!

#30 | Posted by phesterOBoyle at 2019-05-19 05:29 PM | Reply

-I'd be surprised if they don't have some Private Universities under their thumbs.

They are pretty influential at Florida state.

#31 | Posted by eberly at 2019-05-19 05:43 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Net worth of 4.4 billion. What does that make him? .0001 percenter? Or worse? Thought the DR left hated those people.

#32 | Posted by nullifidian at 2019-05-19 05:51 PM | Reply

Clown,

"There are grants and scholarships and awards and not everyone qualifies for them or gets them."

Yes...but there is criteria.

You're missing the point.

It's not me that is upset.

It's going to be the other students who got left out.

If you can't see the inevitable jealousy that would occur if this is simply he paid off these students loans and made no provisions that help other students at that college, you're stupider than that thought.

#33 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2019-05-19 05:55 PM | Reply

Clown,

If this grant isn't handled well, it could be a big problem for the college.

Just that simple.

There is potential for a lot a hard feelings with the college being caught in the middle.

#34 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2019-05-19 06:06 PM | Reply

Net worth of 4.4 billion. What does that make him? .0001 percenter? Or worse? Thought the DR left hated those people.

#32 | POSTED BY NULLIFIDIAN AT 2019-05-19 05:51 PM | REPLY | FLAG

You didn't really think that. In reality you know that there are legitimate concerns raised by people who see the obscene discrepancy between the wealthy and the poor -- a gap that has only grown in recent years -- and would like to alleviate it. The truth is, you know that "the left" thinks it's pretty damn cool that somebody who made a bunch of money is making a grand gesture toward a serious issue for 400 young people and their families.

I know you know we believe in the starfish story.

You just said that because you're a grumpy old man with kids on your lawn, and the stool softener you took this morning isn't working.

#35 | Posted by cbob at 2019-05-19 06:17 PM | Reply

If you can't see the inevitable jealousy that would occur if this is simply he paid off these students loans and made no provisions that help other students at that college, you're stupider than that thought.

#33 | POSTED BY BILLJOHNSON AT 2019-05-19 05:55 PM | REPLY |

Right wingers always say let charity and individual contribution take care of things. Should we close the homeless shelters since we can only help a few each night and have to turn away many? Should we close food pantries since they run out of food before everyone is fed?

This is why we need to take school funding off of the students shoulders. It would only cost $40 Billion a year assuming EVERY high school graduate went to a 4 year college. We are spending that much every year maintaining nuclear warheads that will never be used

#36 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2019-05-19 06:19 PM | Reply

Hat,

"This is why we need to take school funding off of the students shoulders."

I'm inclined to think you might be right.

In this day and age, it's very difficult to increase your income without a college education.

With the increased use of student loans, colleges and universities slowly raised their tuition to levels that require people borrow absurd amounts of money.

The government funding a basic college education may be more important than health care for raising the standard of living of more people.

I went through 10th grade, joined the military, got a GED and went to college via GI Bill.

Without my GI Bill I don't know how I would have done it.

#37 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2019-05-19 06:45 PM | Reply

Hat,

However, one criteria would be you must be a bonafide US citizen.

#38 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2019-05-19 06:52 PM | Reply

--In this day and age, it's very difficult to increase your income without a college education.

There are a lot of good jobs available without a 4-year degree. But middle class parents want to brag that their kid is a doctor or a lawyer, not a "lowly" electrician, carpenter, welder, etc.

High-Paying Trade Jobs Sit Empty, While High School Grads Line Up For University

www.npr.org

#39 | Posted by nullifidian at 2019-05-19 06:58 PM | Reply

Null,

You are correct but not all people are suited for those kinds of jobs and it has nothing to do with parents bragging rights.

The truth be told, the future looks pretty bleak there being enough available jobs anyway regardless how smart you are or what degree you hold.

However, I believe in people getting an undergraduate education for a great many reasons not necessarily tied to making money.

#40 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2019-05-19 07:10 PM | Reply

Null,

Nothing wrong with trade schools.

That's a good idea too.

#41 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2019-05-19 07:16 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Damn right. Nothing wrong with trade schools.

#42 | Posted by cbob at 2019-05-19 07:49 PM | Reply

-I believe in people getting an undergraduate education for a great many reasons not necessarily tied to making money.

That might have been a good idea in the past, before they turned into loony bins run by leftists. We don't need to waste taxpayer money on something-studies majors offering stupid courses.

University of Illinois

ENGL 277 -- Gender in Gaming Examines the history of gender in video games, focusing on how movements like #GamerGate, #RaceFail09, internet bullying, doxing and trolling emerged as the coordinated effort to consolidate and maintain video games and geek culture as the domain of masculinity and whiteness. We also consider how the embodied elements of play as well as the spatial logics of games function to promote and resist representation, and we will end by looking at how games designed by women and people of color are transforming how and why we play games.

#43 | Posted by nullifidian at 2019-05-19 08:10 PM | Reply

Net worth of 4.4 billion. What does that make him? .0001 percenter? Or worse? Thought the DR left hated those people.

#32 | POSTED BY NULLIFIDIAN AT 2019-05-19 05:51 PM | REPLY |

As usual you thought wrong. We hate people who got rich by screwing other people and taking credit for other peoples work. That is a subset of rich people.

#44 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2019-05-19 10:11 PM | Reply

This is what millionaires are supposed to do.

#45 | Posted by lee_the_agent at 2019-05-19 11:02 PM | Reply

Thought the DR left hated those people.

Not when they use their tax cuts to help people.

#46 | Posted by lee_the_agent at 2019-05-19 11:08 PM | Reply

CNN Breaking: An inspired Barack Obama announced today that he would pay off the entire four-year tuition for Malia and Sasha Obama.

#47 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2019-05-19 11:39 PM | Reply

CNN Breaking: An inspired Barack Obama announced today that he would pay off the entire four-year tuition for Malia and Sasha Obama.

#47 | POSTED BY SHEEPLESCHISM AT 2019-05-19 11:39 PM | REPLY

Meanwhile Sheeple is holding his breath in anticipation of the NRA paying off his student loans any day now

#48 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2019-05-20 12:55 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

Bottom line, he earned it, he has the right to do what he wants to with it.
NUNYO

#49 | Posted by sunuvavitch at 2019-05-20 07:50 AM | Reply

And from today's Morning Brew,
'The race to get Smith for next year's commencement is on'.
LOL

#50 | Posted by sunuvavitch at 2019-05-20 08:06 AM | Reply

This is the thread where people who usually argue that private voluntary charitable donations are best suited to address the problems of the world criticize somebody for making a private voluntary charitable donation to address problems.

#51 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2019-05-20 08:11 AM | Reply

The fact that in the most prosperous nation in the world, talented kids go into debt for 30 years to get an education or worse do not attend college at all is the crime here. Not that a billionaire helped 400 kids with their future.

#52 | Posted by Nixon at 2019-05-20 08:56 AM | Reply

"The fact that in the most prosperous nation in the world, talented kids go into debt for 30 years to get an education or worse do not attend college at all is the crime here."

My wife graduated from med school in 99. We're finally going to be paying off her student loans this year. Unfortunately for us she chose a field that earns on the low end of the profession. But at least her conscience is clean. We could have paid them off sooner but decided to invest in retirement, investments, and college fund for our daughter instead.

#53 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2019-05-20 09:25 AM | Reply

This is what rich people are supposed to do. If they did this more often, there wouldn't be so much disdain for them. The government isn't supposed to pay everyone's way. So they don't. But they get all the grief because the people who should be doing it (if you are Socratic) don't step up. I hate that I have paid off 2/3 of my loan and have never made a late payment, and these kids won't have to worry about that...but if it sets a precedent then it would be fantastic.

#54 | Posted by humtake at 2019-05-20 12:17 PM | Reply

This is extremely generous. Props to this guy.

#55 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-05-20 12:55 PM | Reply

Or as whitefolks would say, something for nothing.

#56 | Posted by fresno500 at 2019-05-21 06:50 AM | Reply

It is a nice and generous gesture, but that's not a solution to the runaway costs of higher education. We should be talking about how to address the root causes of the problem, namely what has been causing the tuition levels to skyrocket, at both public and private colleges, and how to reverse this trend.

#57 | Posted by berto42 at 2019-05-21 09:52 AM | Reply

Sun,

Apparently you live in some fairy tale world and are in denial about the realities of life.

#14 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2019-05-19 04:29 PM

You literally know nothing about my background. Be careful to not sprain anything with all that jumping to conclusions.

#58 | Posted by SunTzuMeow at 2019-05-21 11:36 AM | Reply

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