Washington Post: “Know Who Benefits From Charitable Giving? Only The Rich”

Fred Hiatt, the editorial page editor of the Washington Post, goes on a bit of a rant

Paying for charitable giving

…At first blush, it seems to make policy sense, too. The rich fabric of America’s civic life, from Boy Scouts to community orchestras to soup kitchens, is the envy of the world. Its diversity reflects in part how much it depends on private givers with diverse interests and motives, and not just on the government. Their giving is encouraged by the charitable deduction, enacted in 1917, just four years after the income tax itself. The deduction lets people feel they are beating the system even as they practice virtue.

But there’s a question of fairness that complicates the issue. Overwhelmingly, the deduction benefits the wealthy — and the rest of the country has to make up the gap.

In other words, private citizens and entities are “giving back” instead of giving the money to the Central Government and allowing the Central Planning Office distribute the money as it sees fit.

Say a grateful California billionaire gives $10 million to a Los Angeles hospital where his wife received good care. If he is paying income tax at the highest rate (not a sure thing, as we know from the presidential campaign), he can reduce his income tax bill by 35 percent of the worth of the donation. He pays $3.5 million less in federal taxes than he otherwise would have had to pay.

Um, let me get this straight: the billionaire just gave $10 million to charity, and paid $3.5 million less in tax, meaning said billionaire actually gave up $6.5 million more than he could have, and now the hospital’s balance sheet is looking pretty good, and the hospital can now help quite a few more people, can make renovations, purchase needed supplies, etc, and this is somehow a bad thing? Only in Liberal World.

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8 Comments

Comment by john
2012-12-03 09:49:13

Only 12% of Americans do not want to raise the taxes on the uber wealthy. They WILL have to resume paying more. Say Teach how about those deficits since they got those tax breaks??? Their tax breaks didn’t seem to benefit our economy did they?

 
Comment by William Teach
2012-12-03 10:16:56

How about that out of control spending? How about almost a trillion wasted on Obama’s “stimulus”?

 
Comment by david7134
2012-12-03 13:00:09

AS to charity giving, I have quit. I tell the requesting organization to get it from Obama. I know many who are doing the same.

Now, john, yes, let’s tax the rich. Those who own businesses will pass the tax own down to their customers. But lets do it anyhow as that is what is dividing the country and I feel that only secession is going to solve our problems.

 
Comment by Gumball_Brains Subscribed to comments via email
2012-12-03 15:43:48

Don’t know why the troll is complaining. Am sure he voted for Obama so am sure he is happy to pay more. Am sure that his mother’s employer will lay her off because he is forced to pay more in taxes and has less to pay her salary with. Or, she will lose her health insurance because her employer (assuming she has a job and isn’t living high off of welfare like the troll here) can’t afford the fines and extra taxes that come along with offering non-federally approved insurance plans.

Teach, what stands out to me is this part:

But there’s a question of fairness that complicates the issue. Overwhelmingly, the deduction benefits the wealthy — and the rest of the country has to make up the gap.

This again highlights the difference between socialists and Americans. socialists believe the government controls the money and controls who gets what when and how much. It is the government that pays employees checks and assures everyone should get their fair share (like NY McD’s workers getting $15.00/hour).

They see any person doing what they can to reduce their tax liability as ROBBING the government of its duly entitled and legally obligated monies it is DEEMED to have.

Same illogical thought process has always been the stumbling block for tax cuts too.

 
Comment by William Teach
2012-12-03 21:35:20

Good points. And what he means is that those deductions benefit private sector charities instead of the money going to the government, therefore, the government has to take money from others (instead of reducing expenditures)

 
Comment by Gumball_Brains Subscribed to comments via email
2012-12-03 21:40:48

hey teach.. what do you want to bet that this deduction is one of those that the socialists want to take away?

 
Comment by Gumball_Brains Subscribed to comments via email
2012-12-03 21:41:44

oh.. and this deduction is also taken of great use by corporations and small businesses. Guess how your local pizza place supports the local t-ball club. charity. tax deduction.

 
Comment by jaybird
2012-12-04 15:40:48

Taxes on “the rich” are proposed to overcome deficits. “The Rich” like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet create jobs, and donate billions for important social functions and services.

On the other hand, government spending on universities is generally wasted. Over 50% of STEM graduate students at US universities are foreign students who typically return home to compete against US industry. Why should we tax “The Rich” or anyone else to directly or indirectly fund foreign graduate student research? (unless we have a suicide wish) US foreign graduate student increase correlates historically with US job and industry loss. Even worse, universities demand to immediately publish all US taxpayer-funded research work, so that foreign industry can immediately use it to better take US jobs and industry. Government-funded research at universities is actually very harmful to US jobs and industry.

Many universities are as rich or richer than “The Rich” who make more than $250K (from US News):
Harvard University
$32,012,729,000
Yale University
$19,174,387,000
Princeton University
$17,162,603,000
Stanford University
$16,502,606,000
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
$9,712,628,000
Columbia University
$7,789,578,000
University of Michigan—Ann Arbor
$7,725,307,000
University of Pennsylvania
$6,582,030,000
University of Notre Dame
$6,383,344,000
Duke University
$5,747,377,000

If “Rich University” research is important enough, they are well able to fund it themselves for years, while the deficit is healed.

What is sauce for “The Rich” hard-workers and job-creators is sauce for “The Rich University” ganders.

To cut waste, and so the “rich Universities” can pay their fair share, Government research and other funding to universities should be limited to only those universities which:

-Have less than $250 million endowment.

-Which apply the government research funding only to US students (to avoid “amnesty” politics, US students are US citizens or those who have resided in the US for at least 5 years).

-Which agree to delay publication of research results for 1 year while such results are first available without charge to all US Industry under standard confidentiality agreement.

-which agree to give Professors and students all intellectual property rights to their own inventions relating to proposals and funding which they obtain from the government (so we can rekindle the job-creation which created Silicon Valley without university “toll boothing” and destruction of commercialization and entrepreneurship)

This way, we can stop unnecessary payments to “The Rich” universities to heal the deficit. There is no reason to spend money we don’t have, and tax anyone, to give “Rich” universities any federal money whatsoever.

 

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