Now We Will Learn Who The Real Charitable People Are

Is one truly being charitable if one seeks tax write-offs for one’s charitable giving? That question is missing in discussions about the effect that tax reform will have on charities.

From Chris Gates, senior policy adviser for the Global Social Enterprise Initiative:

“By doubling the standard deduction, estimates are that between 90-95 percent of filers will not itemize their returns, thus walling off the charitable deduction from all but 5-10 percent of filers. The Tax Policy Center estimates this change will reduce charitable giving by up to $20 billion a year.”

Nothing in the recently-passed tax reform prevents people from giving to a charity if people are truly altruistic.

Plenty of Americans routinely make donations to charity without seeking a tax benefit for doing so.

So, should the federal government use taxation to coerce people into giving to charity?

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  • RockThisTown

    Meh. Tax consequences notwithstanding, we know who the real charitable people are: conservatives. Liberals are only charitable with other people’s money.

    • Scalia

      Liberals are only charitable with other people’s money.

      That’s not just a political slogan. I recall a tax increase measure in our state that was soundly rejected by voters. The editors of our newspaper threw a fit (for they had wholeheartedly supported the measure). I wrote one of them and asked that given his avid support of the measure whether he would pay the tax and encourage all his liberal readers to do so. He did not reply. I wrote him again and asked the same thing. Ditto–no reply.

  • Wild_Willie

    If you are a giving person, you give. If you do it for a deduction, you are only conducting business.

    • Tom Monroe

      Except that even at the top marginal tax rate, you only get a little more than 1/3 of the money back in a tax deduction. As a business plan, it’s something only a democrat would think makes sense.

  • Snidely Whiplash

    I don’t think that, “So, should the federal government use taxation to coerce people into giving to charity?” accurately characterizes the situation. It’s not coercion it’s, perhaps, reward, which is really just about as bad but not quite the same. If you are giving to charity and then get paid for giving then it’s not very charitable.

  • Vagabond661

    Geez. Google which party is more charitable. It’s out there already. Liberals are not liberal with their money.

    • Brett Buck

      Everyone eles’s money, that’s free game, however.