Skip to comments.To Hell With Charity? (Part 1 of 2)
Posted on 12/17/2012 9:28:13 PM PST by Kaslin
(Post-publishing note: My wife, Gena, and I join the rest of the nation in mourning with and praying for the families and friends of the 20 children and six adults who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. We are so incredibly sorry for your loss, and want you to know it is for you and in honor of the precious souls of your loved ones that we continue to fight for a more peaceful, safe and charitable America.)
There are two weeks remaining for Washington to take action before the George W. Bush tax cuts expire and $1.2 trillion in spending cuts are triggered. And President Obama is in his normal duck-'n'-blame mode: "If Congress fails to act before the end of the year, middle class families' taxes will skyrocket $2,000."
What the White House is telling you is how it wants to raise taxes on high-income earners to raise revenue to run Washington. What the White House isn't telling you is how it's going to slash charitable tax deductions, which, in turn, will trickle down to cripple charities, the middle class and even the poor.
Part of Obama's prescription to raise $600 billion in new revenue is to overhaul the tax code by closing loopholes and capping deductions, including tax deductions for charitable giving. The latter would add $239 billion between 2013 and 2017 to federal revenue, according to the White House budget.
Reducing tax deductions for charitable giving was set in motion the very month Obama took office. Way back in February 2009, then-Director of the Office of Management and Budget Peter Orszag told exactly how the taxes would be used: "The money raised from the limits on itemized deductions would be used as part of the historic $634 billion reserve fund to fund health care reform."
Orszag confessed: "Some nonprofits have argued that the administration's plan to limit the amount that high-income families (those with income of more than a quarter million dollars a year) can deduct from their taxes for charitable contributions will hurt these organizations -- and do so at a time when these organizations' resources are stretched because of the recession we inherited."
And just two weeks ago, on Dec. 4, Obama himself conceded, "If you eliminated charitable deductions, that means every hospital and university and not-for-profit agency across the country would suddenly find themselves on the verge of collapse."
In order to get his way, Obama is overgeneralizing and twisting some Republicans' opinions to use scare tactics and bully charities into accepting his higher tax plan for the wealthy. The president is saying that charities will face total charitable deduction elimination under the Republicans' budget plans, unlike his plan to merely "reduce" them.
The truth is: Despite that both major political parties are being lobbied extensively by charitable organizations not to limit these deductions, some Republicans in Washington are in fact caving in to this fiscal strategy and folly. Many Republicans have offered to increase tax revenue by eliminating some deductions and loopholes. But fewer are serious about capping the total that taxpayers could write off for any reason, including charitable gifts, as a way to raise revenue without increasing tax rates, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
(Reducing Washington's spending and going after tax evaders among the 46 percent who, according to Politifact and the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, paid no federal income tax at all in 2011 would be a far, far greater budget alternative than to penalize American givers and their charities.)
No version of limiting (reducing, capping or abolishing) charitable tax deductions is the way out or remedy for Washington's fiscal fiasco -- its out-of-control spending and its skyrocketing national debt and deficits. As the Alliance for Charitable Reform retorted: "We should not be forced to choose between two bad options. Charities and those who give to charity should not be forced to enter this political wrangling."
This December, wise men need to ask themselves two primary questions: Is Washington's action to reduce charitable tax deductions going to bleed over, trickle down and hurt charities, the middle class, the poor and even the economy? And does the White House's action to reduce the charitable deductions rates have a greater motive?
Next week, I will answer the first question. But let me briefly tackle the second question about motive by simply pointing to the Obama administration's playbook and their coach, Saul Alinsky, who advocated this narcissistic, dog-eat-dog dogma: "To hell with charity. The only thing you get is what you're strong enough to get -- so you had better organize."
Are reductions of charitable tax deductions for upper-end earners not, in the end, just another step in the slippery slope of socialism and its breakdown of classes and economic barriers, and redistribution of wealth for the purpose of gaining a more "equal" society and empowering government?
Let us never forget: In socialism, government welfare is the only real charity. And socialistic leaders are fighting like hell right now to get you to accept that.
Will you let them?
Call or write the White House today at 202-456-1111 or email at www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments, then call or write your representatives, and tell them all to stop penalizing givers and charities to appease their political whims and wild spending. As founders, chairman and executive chairman, my wife Gena and I have a nonprofit foundation for kids (KickStartKids.org) that is dependent upon the generous gifts of others. I speak for thousands of charities when I say, "Thank you!"
(Next week, in Part 2, I will reveal exactly why scholars and tax experts are saying Obama's reductions of charitable tax deductions will adversely affect the middle class and the poor, too.)
We’re basically dealing with commie scumbags that despise the independent citizen, and his personal contributions to the Country, the community, and the needy. The commies can go rot in Hell.
Exactly right. The socialist hates the idea that people can actually provide for the poor, the sick, the needy, the arts, education without the government being involved. If the GOP lets this go, it’s truly over — get ready for totalitarian socialism sooner than you think.
Most if not almost everyone of these charitable organizations is run by Obama supporters anyway.
Unfortunately, the tax laws supporting these charities have effectively silenced them when it comes to fighting for those social values that are being twisted to our ruin.
Worse, the number of tax-exempt "charities" which are funding everything from green groups to the various "health and safety" causes that are instead focused upon institution regulations favorable to their parent corporations are legion. Rockefeller, Ford, Carnegie, Pew, Jones, Hewlett, Packard, DuPont, Gates, MacAllister... these heirs of industrial giants are today witless thugs hiding behind "charity" to shelter their spending money, their employees' work dedicated to destroying this nation for fun and profit.
Until you can tell me how you are going distinguish true charity from tax-exempt racketeering in the law, I think it time for the charitable deduction to go. True charity will return when we limit government spending and retain the cash with which to do that work.
Is their a fund to HURT Sandy victims? I would give a couple bucks to that.
> By far the largest share of charitable giving goes to religious institutions.
Who redistribute it to the needy. It’s not for profit.
I thought 0 said he was going to give HOPE to the American people. Isn’t helping them outing times of need giving them “hope”? You take away incentives to help those in need and you will dash the needies hope into oblivion.
Donating cash to some of these pop-up charities enables fools and their money to go their separate ways without them feeling like fools.
What better way is there to "limit government spending and retain the cash with which to do that work" than denying that money to the government on the condition that it will "do that work" of charity? Yes, there are certainly many charities that do work that you and I might disagree with, just as there are many charities that do work that progressives disagree with (nearly all religious institutions, most private schools, most religious-based social services, etc.). I would certainly welcome a discussion about whether the tax laws are overly restrictive with respect to the ability of charities to fight for "social values", or whether they should be more restrictive with respect to any lobbying that they might engage in that could benefit their parent corporations. But no I don't agree at all with getting rid of the deduction. One of the main reasons that I believe so strongly in the free market system is the inherent superiority of voluntary interactions between free people (business and charity), as opposed to government-enforced coercion (taxes and entitlements). If you take the charity part out of the equation, you will see people just demanding even more taxes and entitlements to address the worsened social problems.
Giving to charity should be from the heart and not for a tax deduction. The Bible says you should donate quietly and not announce it.
Well, I really don't think you understand the cost of these "charities." Most studies hold that the cost of regulation is over a trillion a year. I think it's more.
Got it now?
Hmm . . . don't take it that I'm not interested in your argument. I am. I'm pretty sure that all regulations have to be implemented via some sort of governmental entity, so again, giving even more $$ to government wouldn't seem to be the answer to the problem of too much regulation. OK, charitable organizations do sometimes lobby for additional regulations, but they are required under the terms of their tax exemption to stay completely out of political campaigns, and to keep their lobbying activities very limited. Sure, some violate those rules, but no matter how you cut it, the number of dollars involved pales in comparison to non-charitable political giving, which was over a billion in just the last election cycle. Third, which "regulations" you are talking about? I'm sure that everyone at Free Republic agrees that there is too much regulation, but I'm not sure that all of us would favor allowing someone to open a medical waste incinerator next door to a preschool just because they own the property.
"Regulations" yes, regulation, no. Consider this. I wrote it.
That’s very interesting. I would love to buy that book when it’s reprinted.
As background to understand the depth of the problem we face, I suggest you read three articles, originally published here on FR. You will now find them here. If you then read Chapter 1 of Natural Process and still want a copy, let me know by FR mail and I'll see what I can do.
Wow, I’m going to read everything that you have written that’s available on line, and I’ll try to PM you for other stuff. Hopefully, we’ll continue this conversation offline, because I actually know a fair amount from personal and professional experience about the details of the topics that you’re addressing, and I am very interested in the results of your studies.