This Christmas season everyone should be upset that the president and Congress may cap charitable deductions.
Charities are very concerned and sent 250 representatives to Washington
earlier this month to talk members of Congress out of one of the worst
ideas to help avert the fiscal cliff.
Giving is not a loophole like accelerated depreciation of corporate jets.
For starters, the ability to deduct gifts to charity has been around for
almost 100 years. The fact that it was included in the tax code just a few
years after the federal income tax was established points to the fact that
it was a respected American practice and not added so that friends of
those in power could escape government obligations like in this
lobbyist-fueled government era.
Individuals would be better off financially by keeping their money and
paying taxes on it than giving it away and getting a partial write off on
Besides, it is a terrible idea to discourage Americans from giving back to
the community at a time when government of all types is increasingly
replacing the work civil organizations used to provide and when so many
need a job and are struggling.
And a cap means that charities that depend on government for their
existence will have more of an edge fundraising if private giving goes
down as a result of tax changes.
But it's revealing that we have reached a point in our culture where a
deduction for giving to charity is considered a "loophole" just like
accounting that can allow oil companies, for example, to buy crude at a
range of prices but pay taxes on their profits from selling it as if every
barrel was bought at the latest, most expensive price.