I have had my differences with Dick Morris over the years, but the title of his latest column absolutely nails it.
In Obama Soaks the Rich: Churches, Day Care, Homeless Shelters, Soup Kitchens he takes on the Messiah’s brilliant plan to reduce charitable donation deductions:
President Obama’s glib assertion that his reduction in tax deductions will not reduce donations is absurd. His pathetic defense at his press conference — that he would still give a $100 dollar check even if he got $11 less of tax deduction from it was both disingenuous and beside the point.
And his comment that his reduced deduction would only affect 1 percent or 2 percent of the nation misses the point that it is these folks who are doing almost half of the donating.
In 2006, the most recent year for which data is available, 4 million taxpayers had adjusted gross incomes of $200,000 or more. They comprised 3 percent of the tax returns, made 31 percent of the income, but donated 44 percent of all charitable contributions. Together, they provided charity with $81 billion in that year. (emph added)
I worked for The Salvation Army for 20 years and I can tell you from firsthand experience that those large donors play a critical role in the ability of the Army to provide the myriad of services to the poor and downtrodden that the Messiah claims to care so much about. If those who are well off significantly reduce their donations, which is an obvious and easily foreseeable result of the proposed tax change, the Army and other groups like it providing those services are going to be even more hard pressed to come up with necessary funding than they are already.
Morris goes on to identify the likely real motive behind this:
It is totally dishonest for Obama to pretend that his curtailment of these deductions won’t hurt the poor. It will most directly impact them since most of the charities Obama is hurting focus on helping the impoverished.
This proposal is not about saving money. It is about controlling it — by, in effect, transferring at least $11 billion a year from private philanthropy to government spending, Obama empowers the public sector at the expense of the voluntary one.
President Obama’s recommended reduction in the tax deduction for charitable giving reflects his fundamental belief that only the government can or should help the poor. He wants to keep the impoverished directly dependent on the government — and the Democratic Party — for their daily bread.
The voluntary sector has always been the backbone of compassion in the United States. Our charitable donations dwarf those of any other country. And our system of tax deductions for giving permits us to decide what charities are worthy of our generosity — a decision Obama will transfer to the politicians under his program.
That’s the bottom line… it’s really about power! Just as liberals can’t trust people to spend their own money “properly”, so socialists like Obama can’t trust the voluntary sector to spend donations “properly” and only the nanny state knows how it should be done.
George Orwell was stunningly right in his decription of government in 1984… his timeline was just off by 25 years!