Politicians from the centre-left Social Democrats and environmentalist Greens have pointed to the announcement spearheaded by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett as an example Germany's financial elite could follow.
Green chairwoman Claudia Roth described the gesture as setting a “good example.”
“Those who can afford it, should do it,” she told the Passauer Neue Presse.
SPD deputy parliamentary leader Joachim Poß described the US announcement as a “good idea.”
“One can follow that approach further here,” he told the paper.
Carsten Schneider, budget spokesman for the SPD's parliamentary group, said the US announcement was “a very commendable demonstration that the rich are not exempt from social responsibility” – adding that such a trend was not to be observed in Germany.
But charitable donations were a good way “to give something back to the community,” he said, though donations could “not replace sensible taxation on wealth.”