Comments about ‘Obama, Congress consider cutting deductions for donations to charities, churches’

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Published: Tuesday, Oct. 18 2011 9:00 a.m. MDT

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Vernal, UT

The first of the article says that congress is under pressure to cut costs - so what do they do instead? Increase taxes!! Making people pay more taxes has nothing to do with cutting costs.

Layton, UT

Cutting deductibles for charity is the best way I know of to get people and companies to stop donating money to worthy causes. Obama is wrong. I would say more, but I refuse to be uncivil.

Stansbury Park, Ut

Everyone wants tax cuts, no one wants to pay for the government services they use. The leadership is vilified if they propose changes to the tax structure. I agree with one comment in this story, that most with money will not donate to charity if they don't get a tax benefit.

I believe that we should have a simplified tax code based on net cash available rather than income taxes or sales taxes. It would be counter-productive to reduce or eliminate the mortgage, education, and charity deductions. These three are of the most benefit to the middle class. But there could be changes, with no mortgage deduction for second homes or after a set amount of home value for primary residences. Charity deductions should be carefully monitored for legitimacy. Minor tweaks would make the system better.

Sneaky Jimmy
Bay Area, CA

The government knows how to spend your money better than you do.

Bountiful, Utah

Cut out all deductions to charitable organizations, including churches. I completely support this concept. The government needs to get out of the business of favoring certain organizations. If Americans stop giving, then let us pray the price. But don't hold a carrot in front of us to get us to give.

Salt Lake City, UT

Cut the tax credit for children. Having children is a personal choice. One doesn't need a reward for procreation.

Hayden, ID

This will only create more dependancy on the government, which as we all know, is inefficient, wasteful, corrupted and misguided. Let's eliminate Obama in 2012 instead of limiting charitable deductions! Much better idea!

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

One more example of Obama missing the point and doing the completely incorrect thing. This would end most charitable giving in the US and would have terrible results. Think of all the food pantries, the goodwill stores, the medical aid groups, all would go without and the poor, the truly needy, would be hurt yet again. Obama has no idea what he's doing and is merely grasping at straws at this point. How very disappointing.

Cedar Hills, UT


Hey Kami, do you trust the Federal govt to redistribute your money to the right places? How about Obama funneling huge amounts of money to BIG UNIONS and so-called green energy companies that are now bankrupt? Yes let's not provide any incentives to give to charities - let those darn charities dry up for all we care ... right? Let's let Obama and his cronies funnel our money to corrupt unions and other "needy" organizations. Kami, you would love Cuba and Venezuela - their BIG BROTHER government gets to decide where your money goes and not you. Geez, education yourself Kami!!!

Two Cents
Springville, Utah

"Others argue, though, that the money might be better spent in the hands of the government."

This is laughable. I would rather give my money to ANY non-profit (a church, Red Cross, United Way, etc.) than to the federal govt. who I KNOW will squander it.

Obama is killing our economy, and this is one more step in that direction. You can't force people to be charitable (Occupy Wall Street, etc.), and now they want to make it harder for us to give. Stupid!

Salt Lake City, UT


What do you believe the purpose of government is, if not to encourage the behavior that is seen by the majority of its citizens as beneficial to society? Can I assume that if you're against the government encouraging people to act charitably, you are similarly against the government encouraging people and companies to act responsibly towards the planet with its EPA regulations or encouraging Wall Street investors to act responsibly with regulations?

Paul in MD
Montgomery Village, MD

There is a great deal of discussion about this, but one thing I'd like to see explored is the relative overhead cost as a percentage of the "donated" amount, including Federal welfare services.

I seem to remember seeing a chart addressing this a long time ago, that showed what percentage of donated funds actually went to the people served by the charity. Some good ones actually use 90% or better directly in assistance, with less than 10% going to overhead costs. I'd like to see how much overhead there is associated with Federal programs supporting the needy.

Another item I'd like to address is the economist's comment (Uwe Reinhardt) on page 3. He says $4500 of a $10,000 donation is actually government money. He's essentially saying that the only money that is yours is the amount the government decides to let you keep. I'm sorry, but that is backwards. The money I earn is all mine. I pay a certain amount in taxes, and it is only the government's money after I pay it.

Washington needs to learn this little fact.

West Haven, Utah

Does it really make sense for the government to cut charitable donation deductions? Let's think about this for a few minutes.

The article said that the amount of tax revenue lost over a 5 year period of time was 187.5 Billion dollars. Although the tax deduction for anyone donating to charity will range from 0% to 35%, and although the most wealthy donate a larger percentage of their income to charity, let's say that the deduction received amounts to an average of 30%. That means that the $187.5 Billion lost to the government because of tax deduction was the result of $625 Billion in donations over that same period of time. This is very conservative, as a 25% average deduction would show $750 Billion in donations. Let's say half of this 625 Billion went to help the poor (again conservative. It was actually a much higher percentage). That means that the poor among us received $312.5 Billion in benefit from charitable organizations over 5 years, which cost the Government just $187.5 Billion in taxes. What President would be dumb enough to mess with that? He's received an extra $125 Billion to help the poor!

West Jordan, UT

To put this in simple terms. We cannot decide what charities we donate to. We should pay the money to the government instead so that they can use our money to help those they want to help.

The money that is given to legitimate charities to help those in need goes so much further than any money given to the government. We should be encouraged to give more money freely to charities, thus taking the burden away from government. In my opinion, Obama could not be more wrong.

MC Ute
Midvale, UT

Moderate, I could not agree more. I get so frustrated in this state when people start to complain about the lack of money for schools. People need to realize that income tax is the major money source for education in this state, yet those who are using the system pay nothing into it. I always hope every election year that one candidate will run on this platform, however I do not think there is anybody out there willing to sacrifice their political career to say what needs to be said or do what needs to be done. If we would limit the amount of deductions to 2 on every return, then you would see fair taxation. Anybody with school age children who receives a tax refund check from the state is robbing their childs ability for a better education, they need to put their money where their mouths are and return that money to the schools.

Bountiful, Utah

screenname | 10:44 a.m. Oct. 18, 2011
Salt Lake City, UT

"What do you believe the purpose of government is, if not to encourage the behavior that is seen by the majority of its citizens as beneficial to society? "

screenmame: the purpose of government should never be to favor certain organizations. The purpose of government should never be to indirectly force its citizenry to support certain organizations, which is exactly what it is doing by giving a tax donation for charitable giving. Every dollar that I would get back if I deducted chariable giving (I don't take the deduction) is a dollar that the rest of the country is paying. Now do you think it is fair that your neighbor should have to give to the gov't pot to support YOUR charities?

Bountiful, Utah

@ patriot, I feel sorry for you if your charitable giving is conditioned on receiving a tax deduction.

Informed Voter
South Jordan, UT

The best course is to eliminate Obama via the 2012 election. His policies are designed to transform America. It is not that he does not understand; he is doing this on purpose. People who think he is naive and misinformed need to wake up and pay attention. He knows what he is doing, and it is not good for the country.

Farmington, UT

Yet another example of "change we can believe in" I suppose.

Hyrum, Ut

This is rich! During the campaign, Sen. Obama encouraged people to give more. Now, Pres. Obama is encouraging people to give less. ?????

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