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Socialism v. Charity

oujon Wrote: Dec 26, 2012 9:32 AM
Doesn't a federal tax deduction for charitable giving amount to a mild form of socialism? Since a person reduces his overall tax burden by giving, doesn't the federal government have to make up that revenue by keeping rates on everyone else higher? Remove the deduction and reduce all the tax rates accordingly.
FletchforFreedom Wrote: Dec 26, 2012 10:47 AM
Of course not!!! Returning someone's money to them or, in the specific context of charity, allowing those resources to be distributed individually rather than collectively is not only not socialistic but does a FAR better job of reducing need. Your fallacy is two-fold when you suggest that the government must "make up" revenues under any circumstances when, in fact, government spending could be reduced by several orders of magnitude without doing anything but benefit to the economy and the people.
oujon Wrote: Dec 26, 2012 4:42 PM
Fletch, of course I believe that voluntary charitable giving is always better than government coerced "charity," which has proven itself to not work as well (or at all). I am focusing here on the tax deduction for giving. Obviously, the government can and should reduce its spending; however, if an individual taxpayer has to pay even a tenth of a percent in a higher tax rate to offset the charitable donation deduction of another taxpayer, then that amounts to socialism, albeit a very mild form. By eliminating the deduction while at the same time reducing all the rates to offset the elimination would be a step in the right direction.
FletchforFreedom Wrote: Dec 27, 2012 8:23 AM
Again, your premise is false. It is logically impossible for there to be a need for government to "offset" anything. Socialism, by definition, is the collective exercise of the powers of ownership over the means of production - in this case, any governmental USE of capital (taxpayer money). Any circumstance where private citizens keep their money is, by definition, not socialism. And that government spends vastly more than it needs to is not the fault of those who give to charity.
oujon Wrote: Dec 28, 2012 5:53 AM
But don't you agree that while, in theory, there shouldn't be a need for government to offset anything, in reality, offsetting their ridiculous spending with (imaginary) cuts to other programs or higher taxes is exactly what politicians do. And whoever has the least effective lobbyists ends up holding the bag. In this case, the nonprofits spread the fear that without the deduction, their coffers would dry up. And then the taxpayers who donate (and also itemize) chime in. Then those taxpayers who are left, those who do not donate and those who donate but do not itemize, are stuck with a higher overall tax rate. And although the inclusion of the deduction should not mean a higher rate, in reality it usually does.
lshort Wrote: Dec 26, 2012 9:38 AM

With the fiscal cliff looming, Washington is looking under every rock for new forms of “revenue.”

Nothing is sacred, not even the mortgage and charitable deductions, which some are recasting as “loopholes.” Ending the mortgage deduction when the housing market is finally showing signs of recovery would be like giving a cancer patient strychnine to make him feel better.

Even worse would be ending the charitable deduction, for the simple reason that this deduction encourages private sector benevolence, which the federal government under Barack Obama treats as pesky competition.

As government grows, the private sector wanes, a situation created...