By now, surely you've heard the story of the poor 68-year-old bullied bus monitor in upstate New York whose story went viral in a matter of hours and tugged at the heartstrings of people from around the world. Karen Klein's tale is reaching the 14 minute mark with over $600,000 in donations piling up and jerks from all over giving their opinion on what she should do with the money. Gawker's Adrian Chen suggested last week that she donate it to a worthy cause but I say let the poor old broad have the money people wanted her to have; if those who donated to her wanted to buy goats for starving kids in Africa, they would have done so. What she does with the money is no one's business.
7,624 signatures were collected on the petition started to tell President Obama not to force the old woman to pay income tax on her donations until it finally dawned on the guy who started the petition that A) the President does not actually have control over things like that and B) under gift tax rules, you don't actually pay taxes on gifts received (anyone who has taken REG recently can tell you as much). "As one CPA wrote me," the guy said on the now closed petition, "As long as no single individual exceeds the yearly gift amount (around $12,000), there are no taxes. And even then, the donor pays the taxes, not Karen." Derp.
Also, I'd be curious which CPA gave him that advice. The gift tax has kicked in at $13,000 since 2009, I'd be concerned taking financial advice from a CPA who lives 3 years in the past if that were me. Oh well, splitting hairs, what's $1000 when you're talking a cool half a million dollars?
Anyway, we all know opinions are like assholes and there are assholes everywhere (especially on the Internet) giving their 2¢ on what she should do with her money, what President Obama should do with her money, what the parents of these little potty mouthed brats should do with the lady's lawn and what society should do about "bullies" in general. Frankly, it's no one's business. In fact, I hope bullied bus lady takes the money, has an armored truck back up to her house with sacks of $20s, goes Scrooge McDuck on the cash butt ass naked and sends pictures of it to every jerk who said she should give it back. But that's just what I'd do if I were her – again, she's welcome to do whatever she likes.
I do find it a little disturbing that a woman paid to keep order on the bus couldn't even stop a bunch of brats from causing mayhem but hey, again, not my place.
So, bullied bus lady, whatever you decide to do, I hope you're ignoring all these armchair financial advisors on the Internet and securing real financial counsel for the future. Yes I realize that is technically advice but please don't take it as me telling you to do something, go do whatever the hell you want. Swimming naked in your money is still on the table, just leave me off the mailing list please.