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

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Published: Tuesday, Oct. 18 2011 9:47 a.m. MDT

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Max
Charlotte, NC

Poor Barack. He is one desperate politician who knows the hour glass is almost empty. His presidency should put the lid on the ultra liberal approach to solving economic problems.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "L Kaiser | 3:43 a.m." actually it isn't about not getting the tax deduction. The problem is that before I could donate $10000 to charity, and lower my taxes by $2000. Now, I have to pay that $2000 in taxes, which leaves only $8000 to give to charity. This idea of removing the charitible deduction, you will cut into the abilty of charities to serve the people they were designed to help. If charities can't help people, who is left to look to for help?

Moderate Thinking
Bogota, Colombia, AA

As an employee of the Federal Government, and moreover as one whose work often involves making decisions on how to distribute federal funds to non-profit and non-governmental organizations, I have a few things to say on this matter.

I disagree with many of the posters who claim that all government money is squandered. Often, it goes into the hands of those same types of organizations which are the most capable to make social changes. While there is no doubt that much is wasted, we need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Neverthless, we need to be even more careful that we don't diminish the capacity of non-profit organizations to serve needy populations. While it is the sad truth that there are many non-profit organizations which are woefully unorganized and inadequate, there are many which do function well and which, if properly supported, make our job (in the federal government) a whole lot easier.

Don't cut incentives for charitable giving. I have supported many of the president's policies in the past, but I disagree with this approach. The non-governmental sector must not be weakened.

GZE
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

I am so sick of people who want to find ways for other people to pay more taxes so that they can pay less. Then they selfishly oppose everything that might impact them. Everybody is screaming for the Feds to balance the budget.

I am not wealthy. I give as I can. I have never once considered whether the donation would help reduce my tax bills. Are all of you saying you donate for the tax benefits? That without them, you would refuse to give? That's not really charitable giving now, is it?

L Kaiser
REDMOND, WA

Redshirt,

So you donate 10k a year in charity, but also expect the government to reimburse you for 2k of it. The charities still recieve the 10k you donated, they arent taxed, it isnt taken from them. the only thing that changes is you dont get 20% of it back. Again, it seems like your trying to justify donating less the next year because your not getting part of your "charity" reimbursed from the previous year. You dont want the big government spending your money, but you want them to reimburse you for your charitable donations?

Tom in CA
Vallejo, CA

Instead of cutting deductions for charitable donations, the most efficient way to fix the financial nightmare we are in:

Get rid of Obama and all of his cronies - now.

The new President (Anyone but Barrack Hussein Obama) should appoint Ron Paul (he will never be elected as President) as US Treasury Secretary, and Donald Trump as Foreign Ambassador to China.

caleb in new york
Glen Cove, NY

"The other $4,500 would come from fellow taxpayers who might not even know your favorite charity or, if they did, might not much like it," Reinhardt.

Mr. Reinhardt's statement is interesting because it indicates that he does not trust the American people to decide what the better choices are for deciding how money in their control should be spent to help improve the country.

This portion of the tax-code as it currently stands is also not written in bias for church-goers. For the anti-church folks out there, you can still use this specific deduction by donating to some other approved charity besides a church.

LValfre
CHICAGO, IL

@Paul in MD,

"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."

- Would love to see those numbers with the LDS church. Some claim the average member donates about $4-5/year to humanitarian aid, the rest of their donations go 'elsewhere'.

@Johnny Triumph

"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."

- I don't know about you, but when I donate, I donate. I don't expect tax deductions, I do it directly to help someone else, not myself.

Those who stop donating when they don't get a tax deduction ... aren't donating for the right reasons.

LValfre
CHICAGO, IL

@Informed Voter

"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. "

Do you know Obama? You know for a fact that he's purposely doing this? And you know, for a FACT, that it's bad for the country?

If you're so informed I want some facts. Either your speaking 'truth' or your talking nonsense. I want some answers.

Dart Thrower
Ogden, UT

Use taxes to raise revenue for the Government, not promote or punish behavior. Charities should prosper or fail based on their own merits, not upon the Government's subsidy of them.

Screwdriver
Casa Grande, AZ

How is giving to a megachurch a benefit to society? They give very little to the poor, there are no laws that they must give away the donations they recieve.

Many 501c charities are terrible and run by charlatains. They call about donating to the fire department and then give only 20% to the fire department.

There are clubs set up as 501c's so people can go flying, boating, golfing and reduce thier taxes for having a good time.

There needs to be some sanity brought into the equation instead of a loophole that puts the country in greater deabt by avoiding taxes.

GiuseppeG
Murray, Utah

re: Dart Thrower - "Use taxes to raise revenue for the Government, not promote or punish behavior." So it sounds like you're saying taxes shouldn't be used to fund law enforcement? I'm pretty sure law enforcement promotes and punishes behavior deemed by society to be desirable or undesirable. Sounds like we could get rid of most of government under your plan, starting with Congress, since we wouldn't want any 'laws' on the books promoting or punishing behavior, then we could get rid of the Judiciary branch of government since no laws to enforce. Let's see, no military needed since we'd hate to punish other countries behavior like invading. Yep, let's just throw it all away, sounds like a great plan to me, were I an anarchist.

sanpaco
Sandy, UT

Heaven forbid Congress cut their salaries, now let's punish people for being charitable. I swear this President never ceases to astonish me with his disregard for traditional values.

I M LDS 2
Provo, UT

I sure grow tired of the anti-government rhetoric I read from many of you.

This government IS "of the people, by the people, and for the people." If you don't like how your fellow citizens are performing their roles in government, then RUN for office yourself! See if you can do better!

If you are too frail in spirit, intellect or ability to run for public office, then at least have the courage to VOTE for one of your fellow citizens you can support.

If you are too cowardly and inept to run OR to vote, you are barely a nominal citizen of this great nation, and are more like a parasite, sucking benefit from those who DO run for office, serve in public positions, and vote.

Our Government is not inherently evil, inefficient or corrupt. It is comprised of YOUR fellow citizens! It was designed NOT to be an oligarchy, aristocracy, plutocracy, theocracy, or even a nationalistic bipartizan crony capitalism-opoly!

To the degree it has become any of these, it is because YOU are content to sit around whining and criticizing instead of getting involved and SERVING the greater good!

worf
Mcallen, TX

Wow! Our country went a hundred thirty seven years without federal income tax.

Freedom is endangered when people allow government to steal from them.

MacMan
Somewhere, ID

Let me make sure I understand. Take away the charitable donations (or part of them) and tax revenue goes up. At the same time we'd have more needy who would need government help since conceivably those providing help from the charitable donations could not longer provide such help....woops there goes the increased tax revenue back out the door

Unemployment goes up since many who work for charitable organizations may not be paid.....woops. There goe that dang unemployment rate back up again.

You, that's our president, once again ding the wrong thing for the right reasons.

Deserthiker
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Encouraging charitable giving is one of the biggest bargains the government gets. The many individuals helped by private agencies need less help from government sources. Nearly always private organizations provide that help much more efficiently than government can. Cutting charitable giving deduction would be a huge false economy and only hurt us financially in the long run. I can only shake my head in amazed dismay at the reasoning of the esteemed Professor Reinhardt of Princeton fame and others of his philosophic ilk. To carry his reasoning to it's logical conclusion one can only conclude that we should give ALL our money and property to the government, which possesses all wisdom, altruism, and knowledge, and allow it to distribute the people's resources as it deems proper, receiving whatever is doled out to me in gratitude, trusting the government to see to my physical, mental, and spiritual welfare in all things. Of course Marx already came up with this idea, and several countries- like the former Soviet Union- tried hard to put the idea into practice. DIdn't exactly work out so well, but why should we pay any attention to history.

Engineering Econ
Loudon, TN

If I make $50K gross per year and the government takes $10K in taxes. That leaves my family with $40K. If I choose to give the Red Cross $5K and claim the charitable donation, the government will return $1K of the original $10K I paid in taxes. So now with my charitable donation and tax return, I'm left with $36K annually to spend on my family's needs. Yet if I hadn't donated to charity, I would have $40K annually to spend. So how does having a charitable tax deduction make my giving less charitable? It doesn't! With the deduction, when one donates to charity, he/she still ends up with less money than if they hadn't donated. Not sure how removing the tax deduction would make my giving more charitable as some have state. If my family requires $36K for the mortgage, insurance, food, clothing, etc., then removing the charitable deduction will cause me to only be able to afford a $4K donation to charity. Elimination of the deduction is simply a transfer of financial power to government. People would have to sacrifice more if they want to donate the same amount... or they will likely donate less.

Abinadis friend
Boise, Idaho

What happened to the soup kitchen Obama was pushing regarding 911? He doesn't know what he wants. Except our money to pay for the spending he has done. He may have had some of you fooled last election. I sure hope you, who voted for
him last time, have learned your lesson. Lets get him out of office. We cannot
afford to give to the poor if we loose our deduction.

yurana
SANDY, UT

charitible contributiona is win/win. why would you make the poorest suffer if you claim to care. instead make rules to make sure as much of the donation as possible gets to the intended recipient...and I do not mean the overpaid CEO's of these non-profits.

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