Op-ed: Keep America a giving nation

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  • Ranch Here, UT
    Nov. 25, 2017 8:58 a.m.

    @Rifleman;

    You guys are the ones always yelling "your taking from me to give to someone else" when it comes to taxes; but you don't seem to mind at all that WE have to subsidize your churches. That is hypocritical. If the money you gave your church went to help the poor and needy, it wouldn't be an issue, but the majority of those monies goes to build new magnificient rammeumptoms and such. That should not be deductible - support your churches yourself without a deduction.

    As for "doing good"; ha! Your churches have proven over and over that they don't do good without expectation of something in return.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 24, 2017 7:27 p.m.

    pragmatistferlife - salt lake city, utah

    You don't have to be Carnac the Magnificent to spot people who hate religion in general or a specific religion in particular. When they see those churches doing good their only option is to criticize and tear down. For some strange reasonit makes the haters feel better.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Nov. 24, 2017 9:42 a.m.

    rifleman.."It upsets those who hate religion when charitable contributions are given to churches. Who donates is none of their business and doesn't affect them and so there must be some deeper reason why it bothers them.

    It also bothers them to know how much aid and support churches give to the poor and needy."

    Seriously? Who are you Karnack the great?

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Nov. 24, 2017 7:53 a.m.

    and so patriot,

    when do you start paying off your share of the debt?

    and when do we stop lowering taxes to increase the debt?

  • Light and Liberty St George, UT
    Nov. 23, 2017 7:24 p.m.

    To all the confused: One, eliminate all tax deductions. Two, eliminate all taxes except those that are directly tied to what the constitution authorizes. Simplicity makes everything so much easier to understand and keeps all its citizens defending for themselves, living with the consequences, relying on charity, and free from feeling entitled, lazy, and whining.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 23, 2017 7:20 p.m.

    giving to the turn of 21 trillion in debt? When does the giving stop and the pay back start?

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Nov. 23, 2017 3:49 p.m.

    Ultra Bob

    I don't argue this point, only give you a text book definition. Most modern American Jews don't buy into the God commanded part. Good deeds are done for their own sake. Otherwise, as you correctly infer, it is coercion by whatever one deems a deity.

    Sadly, there is a lot of coercion in religion. That is we do what is expected or commanded so as to avoid some "awful" supernatural punishment.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 23, 2017 12:57 p.m.

    unrepentant progressive.
    “A "mitzvah" is a good deed, often commanded by God. Commonly used it is an act of charity to another person. The highest form of a mitzvah is one done in anonymity with no expectation of a reward. Selflessness combined with modesty.”

    In the sense that charity is voluntary, is it charity when a person does it because his God commands it?

    RBB - Sandy, UT.
    The tax deduction for charity forces every other taxpayer to make up the amount deducted from a person’s tax liability. The government should not force people to contribute to charity.

    If you gave $10 to a charity and claim that as a deduction your outlay is only $9, but the charity got $10. It is the other taxpayers who are forced to make up the $1 difference. If every taxpayer did as you, It would all come out even, but since you admit to giving more to charity, because of the tax deduction, it is only the charities themselves who win.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 23, 2017 12:27 p.m.

    @JoeCapitalist2 - Orem, UT

    You are quite right. Sorry I missed that observation.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Nov. 23, 2017 12:15 p.m.

    Rifleman: "It also bothers them to know how much aid and support churches give to the poor and needy."

    What bothers them, is that by churches caring for the poor and needy through charitable giving; they are less dependent upon government. Power it taken away from the political left to tax you more and be able to direct those taxes toward causes that they support.

    When a private person donates to a charitable cause, THEY get to choose where their dollars go. When the government takes it from you, the money goes toward things that the bureaucrats decide are 'worthy efforts'. Your taxes pay for abortion clinics, transgender bathrooms, and a whole host of other leftist causes whether you like it or not.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 23, 2017 11:11 a.m.

    Ranch - Here, UT
    It upsets those who hate religion when charitable contributions are given to churches. Who donates is none of their business and doesn't affect them and so there must be some deeper reason why it bothers them.

    It also bothers them to know how much aid and support churches give to the poor and needy.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Nov. 23, 2017 10:57 a.m.

    Ultra Bob - Charity is the opposite of unfair to America and all Americans. Charity allows people to help where they believe the help will do the most good. The problem with this opinion piece is that it effectively argues that higher tax rates (i.e. a lower standard deduction) would be better because it would make charitable giving deductible for more people. I do not give to charity to get the deduction. Rather the deduction helps me to give more. Raising the standard deduction also allows me to give more by reducing the taxes I pay. Many charities have fought efforts to eliminate the death tax (yes we know we taxed you on it once, but we want to tax you on it again now that your have died) because it would reduce end of life charitable giving. If we have to keep tax rates high to encourage charitable giving we have a major problem in our country. Why not try the radical idea of keeping tax rates low so people can do what they want with their own money. Hopefully that will include charitable giving.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Nov. 23, 2017 9:19 a.m.

    Most "charitable" contributions are monies given to churches. That isn't true charity unless that money flows through to the poor and needy. Money donated to churches should not be deductible.

    Utah is known as a "charitable state", but that's largely because of the amount of money given to their church. That should honestly be called "club dues".

    There are many good, honest charities out there that are deserving of our donations. Those should remain deductible.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Nov. 23, 2017 6:24 a.m.

    Maybe the Jewish notions of "mitzvah" ought to be explored.

    A "mitzvah" is a good deed, often commanded by God. Commonly used it is an act of charity to another person.

    The highest form of a mitzvah is one done in anonymity with no expectation of a reward. Selflessness combined with modesty.

    It is nice that the government has subsidized charity with a tax break for some folks. Of course, if you don't itemize it really does not factor into the equation, and most folks don't.

    But to sit down an read a piece in a newspaper owned by a religious organization arguing for a tax break for what should be a mitzvah is disturbing.

    What does that say about our country and it's ethical standards?

  • SMcloud Sandy, UT
    Nov. 23, 2017 4:41 a.m.

    I like this deduction because it goes to a good cause but you get to choose which charity to support.

    I understand cutting these types of things to pay off the deficit, but cutting donation write offs so Mr. Billionaire can save millions doesn't make sense to me.

    American payroll taxes are 38th highest in the world. They are not as high as people think they are. Billionaires need to pay their fair share.

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    Nov. 23, 2017 3:14 a.m.

    I will not donate to large organizations. Sorry but that is my rule.

  • Pat Lujanponce Peoria, AZ
    Nov. 22, 2017 9:20 p.m.

    Giving back to others in my community is very important to me. I don't do it for the deduction but because I believe it is the right thing to do. If the government did not tax me on money I give away to others, I could give even more.

  • Pat Lujanponce Peoria, AZ
    Nov. 22, 2017 9:04 p.m.

    I've always been a person who truly believes in giving back to the community not because I get a tax donation but because I truly feel that giving is important. Not being taxed on the money I give to others would allow me to give more.

  • Nicholastodd Northampton, MA
    Nov. 22, 2017 8:39 p.m.

    Agreed. I don't donate to charity because I get a deduction. But not paying taxes on a dollar I've given away allows me to give more.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Nov. 22, 2017 7:24 p.m.

    I would much rather have a lower tax rate with no deductions than have to keep track of everything I spend throughout the year and fill out a bunch of paperwork so that I can reduce my taxes. After all that work, my 'effective tax rate' is my current high rate minus all the itemized deductions. It would be so much simpler if I just had a lower rate to begin with.

    I never give to charities because they are tax deductible. I give because I want to give and I have checked out the charity to make sure they are using my donation wisely.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 22, 2017 7:23 p.m.

    Will the government indemnify the short fall in donations to non-profits? Charitable organizations provide many services that the government cannot provide or afford. Charitable giving should be encouraged.

  • Rick for Truth Provo, UT
    Nov. 22, 2017 6:28 p.m.

    In over 50 years of giving, never once, never, did I donate to BYU, Church Tithing, Scouts, YM, YW, Humanitarian Fund, Perpetual Education fund, Fast Offerings, General and ward Missionary Funds, Salvation Army, Budget, Building Assesment, or any other organization or cause and say, gee now I can deduct that $ on my tases. Sorry, I do not see the connection in this story, donations, and changes in the proposed tax laws.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 22, 2017 6:11 p.m.

    Charity for a reward is not charity. If a charity requires a tax exemption in order to exist, it not only is not charity, it is not American.

    Charity is unfair to America and to all Americans. By giving preferential treatment to some and not all business operations it denies and reneges on the promise of equal justice for all that is our Constitution. Personally I believe that business should not be taxed and government supported only personal income tax of the people subject to that government.

  • Desert Suburbanite Mesa, AZ
    Nov. 22, 2017 5:40 p.m.

    If one is donating to charities for the tax deduction, that's the wrong reason.