The federal government allows people to give money to non-profit organizations and then deduct the money they give from their taxable income. If you donate to a hospital, a homeless shelter, the Salvation Army or an educational foundation, you don’t have to pay federal income tax on that money.
But President Barack Obama wants to change that longstanding provision, at least for higher income taxpayers — you know those newly suspicious folks who make $250,000 or more a year. These “wealthy people” wouldn’t get to fully deduct their charitable contributions.
Obama insists this won’t matter to donors or to the charities they support. Regarding the hurt this might put on charities, who have already been hit by the economic downturn — and I quote — “It’s not going to cripple them.”
Gee, thanks for not absolutely “crippling” charities.
Studies suggest charitable donations could fall by 5 percent, however. That’s almost $4 billion that won’t go to feed the poor, help the sick, educate people or provide legal defense for citizens fighting for their rights.
As times get tough, now seems a bizarre time to undercut charitable giving. Instead of removing some tax-deductibility from wealthier Americans, we ought to give extra deductibility to everyone.
Isn’t the goal to maximize help for those in need?
Don’t tell me it’s to maximize government’s role, to the exclusion of private charity.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.