Unkind to Charity

Unkind to Charity

There's a new whipping boy on Capitol Hill and it's not the bankers who brought down the economy, the fossil fuel companies that are heating up the planet, or the gun lobby that has figured out how to increase sales every time there's a mass shooting of schoolchildren.

The new black hats - donors to charities.

File this under Example No. 501 of Washington dysfunctionalism.

Almost from the start of the tax code, when you give your money away you have been allowed to deduct it if the money goes to a 501(c)(3) charity. The reasoning is pretty simple: you don't have that money anymore and you gave it away for a public benefit.

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If President Obama has his way, the cost of being charitable will go up. That means giving out of income will go down. That is not a public good.

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View David Cay Johnston's opinion in its entirety on the taxanalysts® Blog.

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