Just what is up with the section of the Obama administration’s budget which plans to ‘phase-out’ tax deductions for charitable giving? Frankly this is a little unnerving to someone who works for a nonprofit organization like I do, I have heard similar sentiments among those from all parts of the political spectrum. To this news, there are those who would say: it only affects those “rich” folks making over $200K/year. To which I say: So what? Furthermore, the ‘rich’ are responsible for a good deal of charity (more research here)–why reduce their capacity even further than increased income taxes and a slow economy will already? Others will argue that Obama’s continuation and expansion of Bush administration policy giving taxpayer money to faith-based programs justifies and cushions any reductions groups may experience under the proposed phase out. To which I say: They should not be getting taxpayer money in the first place.
I am generally against speculating on people’s motives when it comes to policy, I would rataher point out how said policy is not good. However, one cannot help but figure that with this in place it will be much more difficult for non-profit organizations who do not take government money to operate effectively. What if that is the whole point? What if the reduction or outright elimination of privately-funded and privately run charitable groups is exactly the intent here? I will not go that far, yet. But I wouldn’t be surprised.