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November 08, 2007

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Britney Spears is young, silly and, as a mother, recently has had to retain the services of a parenting consultant. Might it be too much to think someone like her would see the value in giving to charitable organizations? Probably.

OK, I want to start by sayin that I'm not a crazy Britney fan or anything of the like -- she used to be quite attractive, and I like some of her music, but that's about it. But I read your comments on this piece, and I somehow felt compelled to add my 2 cents.

Firstly. How can you measure the value of a charitable donation in the context of the giver, rather than the receiver? Do you think that homeless kids care that you make 1 million bucks? No, they don't. What matters to them is that they got $500 that they didn't have before. And that's a lot.

Secondly. Last time I checked, giving to charity was one's personal choice. Nothing compels her to. If she wants to blow all 700 grand on crack and hoes, that's her right (well... except for the crack... and maybe the hoes part... but my point remains). Now if your argument was, well, she only spends $500 ON HER KIDS, now THAT'S different. But again, charity is 100% optional, and if I don't feel like giving any money away at all, then why should I?

Thirdly and finally. I strongly doubt that young kids look up to her for her charitable givings. If you said that, it's sad that kids look up to her because she parties without underwear, I'd say you're right. If you said that, it's sad that kids look up to her because she drives without a valid license, then I'd say sure. If you said that, it's sad that kids look up to her because she's allegedly a bad mother, then I'd say most def. But to say that it's sad that kids look up to her because she only gives 0.07% of her income to charity? Give me a break.

In the end, your comments seemed to be very personal and directed at attacking the person, rather than tackling the actual issue at hand.

Thanks.

who are you to say how generous another person needs to be??

get off your high horse.

if generosity is OBLIGATORY then it no longer counts. if generosity is COMMANDED then it's theft.

what you're talking about is moralised taxation.

it's $500 more a month than she's legally obliged to pay.

it's HER money. she can spend it how she likes.

Wow....Brintney Freakin' Spears supporters? Who knew.

I am honestly shaking my noggin' at Dick and Brent right now...What a world we live in...

When you make $750,000 a month and you give $500 to charity, it looks bad. Real bad. It looks worse when you aren't saving for you or your two kids that are being taken away from you by the state.

DO it right or don't do it at all. Spears is a turd, but possibly not near as bad as Spears' sympathizers...

I agree about the comments about charity, it's up to her to decide how much to give and not up to us to judge.

What shocks me is Federline, he made 1/2 a million before taxes but only declared an income of $7K after business expenses? While I paid $100k in taxes? Now this is unbelievable. Too bad I can deduct luxury items off my personal income.

-Big Cheese

Cheesy...

Don't judge Federline. He just has better tax advisers than you.


See how much fun this could be when nothing can be discussed and there is no moral high ground?

Zook,

But- can Federline survive an audit?

Yes - this is jolly good fun.

i dont think she spends it all. from the article she spends around 200K. What she does with the other 500K l dont know?

Kids:
The issue that FMF is raising here is an interesting one and is quite relevant to a financial site:
1) Our we morally obligated to give away a portion of our wealth when we have more than we need?
2) If yes, what is the proper proportion of that wealth?

Note that this philosophical discussion should be outside of whatever obligations your chosen religion places on you - I think you'd come to the same conclusion whether you discuss within the context of a religion or without.

3) Bonus Question: If yes, how do we decide to whom to give the wealth? Our most needy relative? The most needy in our local community? nation? the poorest in the world? Here, religion probably needs to come back into the discussion since your religion will likely "guide" you on this question.

We know what Richard thinks: you must give wealth to your children, but screw the rest of humanity.
We know what Brent thinks: if you are morally obligated, then it's a tax (I'd like to understand the logic there! - maybe Brent doesn't understand what a tax is.)

My first impression is that BS (what an appropriate set of initials!) giving $500 is morally worse than giving nothing. It's like leaving a 1 cent tip. BS acknowledges that giving some portion of her wealth is within her grasp of concepts, but then chooses to give away the money her maid found in the seat cushions.

Phil --

Thanks for the comments. I think you hit the spirit of what I was saying exactly.

Zook - I can't believe I'm about to do this either, I'm certainly no fan, in fact I feel very sorry for her, but...from a FOXNews article, April 16, 2007:

"In total, Britney gave away $590,000 in 2005, including $350,000 to relief programs related to Hurricane Katrina. Spears donated $175,000 alone to Habitat for Humanity.

On the other hand — and just by comparison for a celebrity of her generation and income — actor Leonardo DiCaprio only gave away $48,025 in 2005 to a handful of groups from his own registered tax-exempt foundation.

DiCaprio commands between $12 million and $15 million per film, at least, and famously made $10 million from "Titanic" in 1997.

Spears, on other hand, hasn’t worked in a long time and is certainly cash-depleted, thanks to the Federline situation.

Spears is also the target of the worst publicity in the world. But thanks to Nina Biggar, who runs the Britney Spears Foundation from her home in Cambridge, Mass., the pop star can count her charitable giving as a bright spot in her sketchy world.

The foundation also donated $25,000 to Spears’ summer camp; $50,000 each to Gilda’s Club and City of Hope; and $6,000 to the American Cancer Society."

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,266264,00.html

Perhaps the contributions have fallen off recently as her life has fallen apart, or perhaps court records don't reflect her foundation work. But, at least at one time, she was very generous, using her resources and her name to help others.

That's all swell Joey. Really, good for her. However, if every other year from 2005 you make another $10,000,000 and are only giving $6,000/yr., prepare for some questioning. I mean she isn't above questioning like Dick and Bryan want to lead on.

You go out to eat and drop $200 on dinner for you family at a nice restaurant. You leave a $75 tip. Then the next time you go out and drop $200 at a nice restaurant, you leave a nickel. And you want me to keep remembering the $75 tip and not as BS move leaving a nickel?

Yes, she has done some nice things in the past, but is she exempt from future good deeds?

Also let us keep in mind that this is during an alimony hearing. Her lawyers are trying to make her life appear more expensive than it is (and also make her income look less than it is) so she can avoid paying her ex husband more money. Most of her luxury items can be counted as career necessities, giving charity to strangers cannot be used as a legitimate excuse to NOT share that same money with the father of your children. I don't like Britney, she actually makes Kevin look like a saint, but all in all these numbers are cooked to serve Kevin as small a portion as possible.

Also let us keep in mind that this is during an alimony hearing. Her lawyers are trying to make her life appear more expensive than it is (and also make her income look less than it is) so she can avoid paying her ex husband more money. Most of her luxury items can be counted as career necessities, giving charity to strangers cannot be used as a legitimate excuse to NOT share that same money with the father of your children. I don't like Britney, she actually makes Kevin look like a saint, but all in all these numbers are cooked to serve Kevin as small a portion as possible.

fmf, i think it's sad that you have evoked the great ghost on internet link bait. maybe you should write copy for tmz?

The worst part is that she assumes she will always be making that much money. In the near future (if not already) her music career will tank and then she will not have any income. If she doesn't start saving some money, she will never make it post-music career. Note: her fading looks will probably not have as much of a negative affect on her career as her poor singing and dancing abilities. Okay, so maybe I am biased.

I hate to say this, but I think I agree with some of the first commenters. Giving to charity is, and should be, entirely optional, and based on the goodness in your heart, and not what other people think of you. Frankly, I think this Britney Spears article even matters because our American culture is so obsessed over celebrities. What did Britney wear today? What was her latest argument with Mr. Federline? What are all the little gory details of her private life? I DON'T CARE. There are thousands of parents in this country who don't care for their children; there are thousands of people who do drugs, rather than spending their money on more "productive" things in life.

But guess what? It doesn't matter to me what Britney Spears did or didn't give to charity. It matters to me how much *I* give to charity, and how much I care for those in need. And probably, nobody except for the IRS will ever know how much I gave or didn't give, because (Matthew 6) I do my acts of righteousness to be seen by God, not by man.

Rick,

I liked how you put it.

I'm not surprised...she's got a lot of issues. If you're in the position where you can't keep sober under 1) total scrutiny of the public eye and 2) for your children -- your babies-- well...you're probably not going to be balancing your $$ any more than you're taking care of your personal life.

I mean...think about it: she's losing custody of her children to someone who wasn't there for his older kids, her career is off the rails, and she's probably addicted to drugs, or in some totally crazy emotional state. As an individual, with all the resources at her disposal, she -still- isn't taking care of herself, she's a threat to her kids -- it shouldn't be a shock that she's dropped her previous generous habits.

If nothing else, it should be a object lesson about drug/alcohol abuse and what it can do.

So we let her off the hook? Mrs. Spears represents this growing Hollywood-ish elite that are hypocrites at every turn. So frustration might not be all on her, but this entire region of "celebrities" that pull stunts like this.

I'm sorry, you guys can candy coat this all day long, this looks BAD and selfish and like a few others have said, among many reasons she is losing her kids.

Give to charity or don't. It's free choice and I hope I didn't make it any other way, if I did I didn't mean it that way.

I will stand by this...Giving $500/mo as reported makes her look like a bigger idiot if she simply didn't give at all.

It's like giving a nickel tip on a $100 meal at a nice restaurant.

Do it right or don't do it at all. We expect that of our kids and we should expect that of everyone else. Standards must get better, not laxed or in 30-years Mrs. Spears will look like an angel.

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