What manner of insanity has crept into our President’s mind? What sense outside of a Machiavellian power grab does President Obama’s consideration of cutting tax deductions for charitable donations make in a time of economic difficulty?
In effect, Obama is saying that people need help…but not from you! Those in need must depend on Obama.
I understand that Obama has never had much use for charities in his personal life as he and his wife gave only $10,772 of the $1.2 million they earned from 2000 through 2004 to charities. That’s less than 1 percent of his income.
But it’s one thing to be stingy with your own money but to actually penalize others for doing so borders on Scrooge-ish.
And of course, the sane people who rationally describe that this move will curtail charitable giving are mocked. Marc Ambinder of the Atlantic rhetorically asked, “If tax reform down the line were to gut all deductions, would charitable contributions totally dry up?”
And then you get the dry humor. “If wealthy people want to give money, then they should give, regardless of tax benefits.”
So they’re in effect saying that the wealthy should give. But should and will are very different considerations. And since when is it ok for the government to moralize about what people shoulddo?
The utter hypocrisy is priceless in that these liberals are the same people who demonize the wealthy for not caring about the “working class” but are now saying that the wealthy shouldact like an army of Mother Teresas and continue giving despite getting punished for it by the same people who are moralizing to them.
Lowering the charitable deduction essentially acts as a government tax on charitable giving. And when you tax something you get less of it. When the federal government attempted to stop people from smoking they taxed it. It’s how the government incentivizes and de-incentivizes things. So the question arises – Why does Barack Obama want to punish charitable giving?
I fear we all know the answer. It is being done as a tool to redefine the political playing field, move the political center radically to the left and make the federal government not only the center of people’s lives but the wellspring of all munificence.
All roads, like Rome of old, must lead to Obama. Or they won’t get paved.
February 27, 2009 at 5:31 pm
He’s slowly creating a classless society. Someone should tell the NSA.
February 27, 2009 at 5:47 pm
What the new enviro-marxists are after is total control and enslavement. Nothing else. And for that the end WILL justify the means.
May God have mercy on us,
February 27, 2009 at 6:08 pm
With some perspective here, this would only apply to households of $250,000 or more gross adjusted income.
February 27, 2009 at 6:35 pm
Since everything is now in the realm of politics, is it possible that the punishing of charitable contributions by our most generous givers is simply a diversion to allow our governors to do some other trick without us seeing how it is done? Just a thought.
February 27, 2009 at 6:56 pm
The wealthy, of course, have the most to give so it’s stupid to punish them.
And the other thing is that it’s only for those making over $250,000…for now.
February 27, 2009 at 6:59 pm
Don’t everyone act as if we didn’t know what kind of person we elected. And yes, I say “we”, because while I am confident that no regular CMR reader voted for Obama, obviously we collectively failed to do enough to stop him.
February 27, 2009 at 7:12 pm
I suppose it’s worth asking, too, if there are plans to revisit and rethink the tax-exempt status of non-profit charitable organizations.
February 27, 2009 at 7:33 pm
The point is that they are taking money out of the private sector where it can provide jobs or direct and efficient charitable aid and redirecting it into the grossly inefficient organ known as government
February 27, 2009 at 7:37 pm
Exactly, Fr. Erik. Which is precisely why we can look forward to nationalized healthcare, as well. Nothing stifles true innovation more than government intervention and regulation.
February 27, 2009 at 8:09 pm
This won’t do what Obama wants to do which is, I think, force “the rich” to carry a larger share of the tax burden than they have been carrying. This cut only punishes charities and those of us in the middle class who, statistics show, give a much larger percentage of their earnings to charity than the wealthy do. Welcome to the Welfare States of America.
February 27, 2009 at 9:45 pm
I no longer dream of becoming a millionaire; it’s down to a two-hundred-forty-nine-thousandaire.
February 27, 2009 at 11:40 pm
Excellent points. Obama is skilled at giving away other people’s money, but of course real charity is when you open your own wallet. He is stingy as can be with his own funds. How dare he present himself as someone who has real compassion?
February 27, 2009 at 11:48 pm
Don’t be decieved, this administration wants to impoverish the church, and weaken it in it’s mission.
Jesus it the WAY, TRUTH, and LIFE
Obama and his lying, thieving, murderous cronies are:
Anti-LIFE, Anti-TRUTH, Anti-WAY
They are therefore ANTI-CHRIST.
March 1, 2009 at 8:59 am
Did anybody else think of this line from his inauguration address?
“The success of our economy has always depended … on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart– not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.”
This guy’s got it in for ‘charity.’
With that ridiculous $800 billion “stimulus,” the government’s going to “reach” into everyone’s pockets for generations, and woe betide those without a “willing heart” to pay up, because the government’s not about “charity,” it’s forming a commune. And that’s ‘economic success’ to some of these pols.
March 5, 2009 at 9:30 pm
There probably are reasons to retain an unlimited charitable deductions, but the punishment argument is a non-starter,
Not getting a tax deduction is not the same as being punished. Giving $100 and actually being out the $100 instead of getting a $30 kickback is not being punished. Being punished is getting smacked, paying a fine (So that you’re out $125, for example) or going to jail.
People below about $50K in income never get to deduct their charitable giving (even though they are some of the most generous by percentage of income) because their deductible expenses never exceed the standard deduction. No one suggests that they are being “punished” for giving. Sometimes we give to people or organizations in cash or in other ways that don’t allow them to be deducted. No one suggests that we are being punished.
As the Cajuns say, “Talk about an entitlement mentality.”