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View Diary: Donations to 501(c)4's are not tax-deductible. Good. Why are those to 501(c)3's? (88 comments)

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  •  I beg to differ (0+ / 0-)

    First, I do believe that 501 (c) 3 organizations should remain tax exempt.  I do not believe that charities, nonprofits, museums, educational institutions, etc., should have to pay taxes if they are not profit-making institutions. I think it would be destructive to the vibrant world of associations and cultural institutions to place such a financial burden upon them.

    However, what I do find problematic is allowing individuals to deduct their charitable giving from their total income when they file taxes.  Charitable giving is an individual choice.  I believe people should donate as their finances allow, and I'm sure many could give more than they currently do.  However, it is not the role of the government to subsidize the donations of private individuals, especially when that lost revenue could be better used elsewhere.  Granted, I don't want additional revenue going to fund wars or the increasing militarization of the country--as much of our budget does; my argument, consequently, is more in terms of theory than in terms of concrete implementation.  

    As I see it, almost every deduction and exemption in the tax code is a sign of flawed policy.  The employer based health care tax exemption?  A necessary evil in a health care system that does not offer universal care as all other industrialized nations do.  The child care credit?  Our failure to provide robust child services, such as day care or the extensive support offered in countries like the Netherlands.  The various higher education credits?  The fact that education in this country is far more expensive than in any other industrialized country and puts millions into debt.  

    I think the government could do more to fund public universities, museums, and the arts as other countries do as European nations do.  I think the government should do more to fund public health, child care, and education.  I would love to see the revenue gained from the elimination of the deduction go to such purposes.

    I would hope that people do not just give to charity because they can write it off on their taxes.  That belief stems from a depressingly cynical view of people and their intentions.

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