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Ari Fleischer: not lying any more.
The bill hammered out by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to step back from the self-inflicted "fiscal cliff" left much to be desired from the point of view of the left. The expiration of the payroll tax holiday will increase effective tax rates on anyone who earns wage income, and the passage of any bill at all might have eliminated most leverage President Obama has when the Republicans on Congress' lower chamber inevitably take the country hostage by threatening to withhold passage of a bill to increase the debt ceiling without steep cuts to either spending or earned benefits. Equally was irksome was the perception that the president had shifted from his campaign position of raising taxes on those making over $250,000 a year.

But while rate increases will now only affect incomes over $400,000, taxes will still go up on those making $250,000 through the mechanism of reducing maximum allowable deductions. According to the Wall Street Journal, the amount an individual making $250,000 per year, or a married couple making $300,000 a year, may deduct from their income through items such as charitable contributions or mortgage interest deductions will be reduced by 3 percent for any amount above that threshold:

A couple with income of $400,000 average about $50,000 in itemized deductions, according to IRS statistics. Because their income would exceed the $300,000 threshold by $100,000, their allowed deductions would be reduced by about $3,000 to $47,000—potentially boosting their tax bill by about $1,000.
From a political standpoint, the limits allow the Obama administration to achieve its long-sought goal of raising taxes on people making more than $250,000. PEP and Pease represent about $150 billion of the tax increase of about $620 billion over 10 years, making them a key element of the deal.
This could actually be viewed as a significant win for progressive taxation: Middle-class households will still be able to take full advantage of their deductions, but as one's income increases, the amount one is able to deduct gets gradually reduced, up to 80 percent of the total deductions available.

Some people are not happy about these new limits on deductions, including Republican consultant and former press secretary of George W. Bush, Ari Fleischer:

Diarist The Troubadour appropriately excoriated Fleischer, as well as those whom Fleischer claims will act in the same vein, for the lack of empathy signified by the act of a wealthy man reducing charitable donations in the wake of a reduced financial incentive to make them. The fact that a Republican expresses an opinion thoroughly devoid of compassion shouldn't be surprising. The chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan, requires his staff to read the writings of a woman who developed the philosophy of objectivism, which decries compassion as a moral evil. And it was only a few years ago that former conservative media darling Glenn Beck espoused the nation that empathy resulted in the rise of National Socialism in Germany.

Economics is the study of incentives, so it stands to reason that no matter how noble the cause, people will be more likely to engage in a particular action if they receive an economic benefit for doing so. Still, only a particularly uncaring person would actively proclaim that he would donate less without a financial incentive to do so, lest he be considered selfish, uncharitable and unfeeling. But then, this is Ari Fleischer.

The bigger irony behind the laments of Fleischer and his ilk about their reducing incentives for charitable giving is that so many Republicans seem to believe that charity can substitute for the social safety net, particularly as it applies to health care. During the midst of the debate about health care legislation back in 2009, current Majority Whip Eric Cantor, Sen. Tom Coburn both said at Town Hall events that charity was an adequate solution to the problem of uninsured people—a claim repeated by retired Rep. Ron Paul during his campaign for the presidency. One wonders if Tom Coburn or Ron Paul have ever contemplated how "neighbors helping neighbors" could adequately manage the crushing expenses that months or years of extensive treatment for cancer or other conditions can impose, but then, nobody ever accused today's Republicans of being very well grounded in reality.

Ultimately, then, conservative ideologues want to see charity take over the role of the social safety net, but won't fund the charities that would theoretically perform these services unless the government pays them to do it through ample tax deductions. Compared to that, just paying for health care directly seems much more efficient and cost-effective. But that wouldn't let rich people be nearly as tax-advantaged, so there's no way Republicans would put up with it.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Excellent diary, Dante. (16+ / 0-)

    Nice detail and a strong conclusion that shows just what hypocrites certain Republicans are.

    I didn't know that a progressive scale was set for deductions.  That could, indeed, being a far greater win than it first looks like on paper.

    This is the kind of analysis and detail that I originally came to DailyKos for!

    Thank you.

    Tipped and recced.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:07:21 PM PST

  •  There is also the appeal for conservatives... (20+ / 0-)

    ...that making the poor dependent on charity ensures that the poor will be duly grateful for whatever scraps their betters should choose to hand out.

    For all that conservatives talk about the poor lifting themselves up by their own bootstraps, I suspect that a lot of folks on the right really do like having a helpless and dependent class of poor people to look down on.

    Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

    by TexasTom on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:08:11 PM PST

    •  And a charity determines who's eligible (14+ / 0-)

      After, of course, determining what work the charity will do.  Why feed hungry kids when you can build a fab library for your upscale suburb or glamorize your fav hobby?  You can even use your race for the cure to attack another charity for providing services that you don't want Those Women receiving.

      "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

      by KateCrashes on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:14:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yup... (9+ / 0-)

        ...doing these things through charity instead of the government ensures that control will remain with the wealthy -- and that's where they (conservatives) think it belongs.

        It a message of empowerment for the 0.1%.  Not so much for the rest of us.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:27:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Life (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          To the 1%, it's one big tax code.

          "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

          by gsbadj on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:45:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't find that tweet offensive... (0+ / 0-)

            I find it understandable. If someone has certain expenses - and we can argue another time about whether those expenses are too high or whether they reflect reasonable values - and they find themselves with less money coming in, then something has to give.

            someone with a high income that could be affected by the charitable giving changes probably has certain fixed expenses that can't easily be changed - mortgage, car, etc. Something else has to give, and it might be their retirement savings and it might be their kids education expenses, and it might be their charitable giving.

            My guess is that they will follow most financial planner's advice and make sure their retirement is fully funded and their kids get the best education, and only then will they look to see what's left.

    •  Don't forget, a lot of them are poor themselves (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, TexasTom, gsbadj, OhioNatureMom

      But being a "strong conservative" allows them to think "at least I am not like THEM"... while standing in line to collect unemployment insurance. It is really a shame that public assistance is considered such a negative thing in the United States (and that is not a recent development by any means.) Lots of conservatives are very self assure that they will someday be wealthy, so they seek to try to identify with the currently wealthy. They might be on medicare and unemployment today, but someday they know they are going to be better then those other people.

      Its all based on shame.

      "The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian... America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance." The Real Ron Paul

      by 815Sox on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:25:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Standing in line to collect unemployment insurance (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        OR hiding money in the Caymans to avoid paying taxes, OR, if you're especially worthy, using that carried interest loophole.

        “Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.” -- Ronald Reagan, 1984 debate with Walter Mondale

        by RJDixon74135 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:42:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Somehow? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It would just crush them to realize they will never be better off than they are are now.  A nation of Ralph Kramdens.

        "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

        by gsbadj on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:49:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ayn Rand used Social Security when she (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gsbadj, OhioNatureMom

      got older. Duh!!! What a lie her books are but the right doesn't even have the smarts to know her history.

      Our money system is not what we have been led to believe. The creation of money has been "privatized," or taken over by private money lenders. Thomas Jefferson called them “bold and bankrupt adventurers just pretending to have money.” webofdebt

      by arealniceguy on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:42:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pork in the FC Bill overlooked (0+ / 0-)

      Why Corporate Subsidies in FC Matter:

      Three days ago, Naked Capitalism published a story, Eight Corporate Subsidies in the Fiscal Cliff Bill, From Goldman Sachs to Disney to NASCAR. Basically, when everyone else was focused on taxes for the wealthy or spending cuts, we actually looked at the underlying bill. And loh and behold, the corporate extenders were egregious and included cash for NASCAR, Hollywood, mining companies, GE, Citigroup, and so on.

      The reaction has been swift, and is useful to understand, because it points to an underlying political dynamic. And that is, change is possible, and “the system” isn’t inherently dirty. We can make a difference, if we try.

      This aspect seems to be frequently overlooked in the mix.  Check it out!
  •  Sorry Ari (6+ / 0-)

    That you won't be able to give the same amount as you did to the Waxed Pate Imbeciles of America. They'll live.

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:08:45 PM PST

  •  were I Fleischer's tax advisor, I would advise (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, 714day, varro, OhioNatureMom

    him that he will be able to get full benefit from the deduction unless he either doesn't itemize or is already at the 80% threshold.

    ie, the Pears limitations raise the tax on marginal income but don't reduce the tax benefit of marginal deductions (except as noted above)

  •  The reduction (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, 714day, midwesterner

    In the Schedule  A deduction is nothing new and hits those of us below $250,000, so Fleischer is blowing smoke. For instance, last year our Scehdule A was around $38,000. But the IRS worksheet only reduced that by a few hundred on taxable income less than $150,000. We increased our charitable contributions this tax year and the extra "bite" from the worksheet had no impact on our decision.

    If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball! - Rip Torn ("Dodgeball")

    by cka on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:12:35 PM PST

    •  you're thinking of something else. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cka, VClib, Zack from the SFV

      the limitations were last in effect in '09 and will be back in '13.

      •  And those who live w/o mortgage deductions (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        devtrash, cka, thomask, LNK

        can't take charitable deductions at all (Standard deduction doesn't allow for charity, they say it's included, bullhockey).  Yet, as a percentage of income we give the most.  Apartment dwellers are always screwed.

        •  You don't need the mortgage interest deduction (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

            to itemize deductions. You just need for the total of your potential itemized deductions to be larger than your standard deduction. For the 2012 tax year the standard deduction for a single person under 65 is $5950. If you have more than that in state taxes paid and charitable contributions, or high unreimbursed job expenses, or medical expenses or whatever then you can itemize deductions. It is an either/or deal so if you only have a couple of thousand dollars in potential itemized deductions it is better to use the standard deduction.

               Most of my clients who itemize deductions have mortgage interest and real estate taxes, but some get to itemize on the basis of these other items. I have a few high income renters (lots of state taxes paid) or others who have high medical expenses who can itemize without owning real property. I even used to have a very generous old lady who itemized based on her charitable contributions and not much else. I work in a mixed income community where most of my clients use the standard deduction (maybe two thirds of the total) but there are all kinds of different tax situations. I have been a tax geek since 1991...

          Diehard Swingnut, disgruntled Democrat, age 54, new CA-30

          by Zack from the SFV on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:26:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  You know what? (0+ / 0-)

        It's been since tax year '09 that I last did my taxes manually (where I had to use the worksheet). The online tax program computed any worksheets for me, so I think you're correct. Thanks.

        If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball! - Rip Torn ("Dodgeball")

        by cka on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:41:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Rethugs want charity to be the only source for (8+ / 0-)

    Poor people because then they can pick and choose who is worthy and who is not. This makes them omnipotent which is exactly how they view themselves. Masters of the universe.

  •  Ari, you're a twit. You donate, dumbass, because (5+ / 0-)

    it is the right thing to do, regardless if you can deduct it or not!

    Poverty and Income Inequality isn't Democratic, Justice or American. It is Tyranny.

    by Wendys Wink on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:22:47 PM PST

  •  Minor typo: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Espouse the nation" should be "espouse the notion."

    Good article, ty.

    •  Nah. He just lurves this country soooo (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      much, he's gonna MARRY IT!

      Almost 10 year old Daughter: "Boys are pretty good, but daughters have sentimental value." Me: "I don't think that phrase means what you think it does." Daughter: "None of them do, Mom. More's the pity. Words have to be flexible in today's world."

      by left rev on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:36:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Way to go, Ari! (4+ / 0-)

    You have ably illustrated that 'charitable' contributions by the wealthy are often just another tax avoidance gimmick. If you're wealthy enough to be using them, you're wealthy enough to kick in a few bucks for the good of the country. How silly for me to say that; it suggests that the good of the country instead of the good of your bankroll is somewhere on your radar.

  •  Give 'til it hurts, but no more than that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Naniboujou, susanala, JeffW

    first twinge.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:31:09 PM PST

  •  It should also be noted that (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RadGal70, JeffW, vcmvo2, varro, OhioNatureMom

    it's the middle class that gives the most. Rich people are relatively stingy, which may explain why they are rich to some extent.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:32:38 PM PST

  •  And by the way, (7+ / 0-)

    Lawrence O'Donnell had someone one last week who pointed out that the $250,000 threshold back in the Clinton days is now just a shade under $400,000 when adjusted for inflation.  To supposedly "give in" by raising the starting figure to adjust for inflation while also sneaking in the deduction clause and getting the other things he had no leverage on like Unemployment Insurance extension, which had nothing to do with the fiscal cliff, seems like excellent negotiation to me.

    •  $383,000, according to.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OhioNatureMom inflation calculator.  

      My wife hated me using that toy watching old Mary Tyler Moores and seeing how much Mary's 1972 apartment would cost today....

      9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

      by varro on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:25:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is yet another example of IOKIYAR (6+ / 0-)

    Follow me on this one.  
    1: Ari Fleischer was an outspoken Mitt Romney supporter during the 2012 campaign.  
    2: Mitt Romney's plan to raise tax revenue by closing deductions and loopholes, including a proposed limit on total deductions at an amount to be determined later, would have proven far worse for the charitable deduction than the deal reached to avoid the so called fiscal cliff.  
    3: Fleischer was well aware of Romneys tax plan during the election.  
    4: Therefore, Fleischer evidently thinks it is ok for a Republican to cap deductions on charitable contributions at a much lower limit than what he is complaining about happening under Obama.  
    That defines the truism: IOKYAR.

    I am the neo-con nightmare, I am a liberal with the facts.

    by bhfrik on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:40:13 PM PST

    •  He is also stupid (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bhfrik, OhioNatureMom

      or disingenuous. Probably both, he acts like the charitable donation is a $ for $ tax deduction when that has never been the case. Limitations have always changed on various levels of income tax but it shouldn't stop people from giving.

      If anyone used this as an excuse to not give, I would seriously have to say something to them. He's a fool!

      In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

      by vcmvo2 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:54:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The goalpost can always be moved (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, JeffW
    Ultimately, then, conservative ideologues want to see charity take over the role of the social safety net, but won't fund the charities that would theoretically perform these services unless the government pays them to do it through ample tax deductions.
    Of course, if we were gullible enough to actually try this "experiment", our Financial Overlords would "find something more worthwhile and productive than funding charities." And in the long run, we'll all benefit...or something.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:42:25 PM PST

  •  "Earn all you can, save all you can, give (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites, LNK, varro, Zack from the SFV

    all you can"-John Wesley

    Work faithfully however you are so able, live frugally in order so as to not live beyond your means, and of whatsoever you have over your needs, give of it to those who have not what they need.

    Live, give, and love beyond all expectations.

    We do tend to make things more complicated than they have to be. As a species, I mean.

    Almost 10 year old Daughter: "Boys are pretty good, but daughters have sentimental value." Me: "I don't think that phrase means what you think it does." Daughter: "None of them do, Mom. More's the pity. Words have to be flexible in today's world."

    by left rev on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:45:29 PM PST

    •  Good philosophy. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      left rev, LNK

      I tend to live by it, by and large, though I never saw it spelled out before.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:27:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  John Wesley, very apt for America (0+ / 0-)

        May I add:

        “When a man becomes a Christian, he becomes industrious, trustworthy and prosperous. Now, if that man when he gets all he can and saves all he can, does not give all he can, I have more hope for Judas Iscariot than for that man!”
         ― John Wesley

        “Do you not know that God entrusted you with that money (all above what buys necessities for your families) to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to help the stranger, the widow, the fatherless; and, indeed, as far as it will go, to relieve the wants of all mankind? How can you, how dare you, defraud the Lord, by applying it to any other purpose?”
         ― John Wesley

        “Vice does not lose its character by becoming fashionable.”
         ― John Wesley

        “October 6, 1774
        I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them
        1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy
        2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against, and
        3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.”
         ― John Wesley, The Journal of John Wesley

        See his sermon 50, on the use of money. Very important to many in the generation of the Founding Father.

  •  typo? "espoused the nation" sb notion? n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:49:10 PM PST

  •  Remember when this prick threatened people (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, JeffW, vcmvo2, covered

    to "watch what you say" post-9/11 and then had Bush's press office illegally remove his threat from official transcripts?  Piece of shit.

    In Roviet Union, money spends YOU.

    by Troubadour on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:52:02 PM PST

  •  What a jerk (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, vcmvo2

    I appreciate that my charitable contributions are tax deductible, but that's not why I make them.  I don't understand how Republicans think.

  •  I can't even stand the sight of this guy, let (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites, vcmvo2

    alone read about anything he's expressed.

    Do you remember when he was the spokesperson for the Bushies when they proudly took us to war with Saddam to end his "weapons of mass destruction"? Looking at that repulsive puss always brings it back to me with queasiness.

    "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

    by Wildthumb on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:06:05 PM PST

  •  A thousand points of light... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The conservative notion that charity can provide the safety net goes back at least to George Bush the Elder.  They forgot to mention that we will all have to pay the rich people of this country to keep the lights burning.

    See you in Heaven if you make the list. R.E.M.

    by Akronborn on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:10:53 PM PST

  •  Any charity he would give to is probably evil. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yet another liberal

    So win/win.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:20:18 PM PST

  •  Actually (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rube Goldberg

    conservatives do contribute quite a bit more to charity than other demographics (sadly including self described liberals). That Ari treats his deductions as the impetus to be charitable speaks ill of him.

  •  two observations on charitable tax deductions... (3+ / 0-)

    actually, I have a lot more than two but for starters:

    As a Christian, I have a problem with claiming credit for giving to my church and saying that the government should give me a break in taxes for that tithe or donation I make.....    I give money to my church for lots of reasons.. because I want to support it and help it spread the Gospel message of loving one another ...
    (oops, disclaimer... I don't itemize so maybe I am just being academic) ...somehow claiming a tax deduction for charitable giving seems to violate the spirit of love.  

    Also, Jesus spoke out often that we should let our good deeds be done quietly and without thought of earthly reward ... doesn't getting a tax break mean I am getting rewarded here on earth in an earthly instead of a divine manner?  

    Secondly, the Old Testament prophets and Jesus himself never really advocated financial charity ... they advocated justice .. and there is a real difference.  Charity is what we give to the Red Cross, or Salvation Army or some Relief service when there is a catastrophe, like an earthquake or flood or hurricane.  It is the immediate helping of a neighbor in need.  It is for emergencies and short time.  
    But the long time and real goal is justice... Justice mandates that we see to it our neighbor has access to good jobs, so he or she can buy what they want for dinner... Justice mandates that we all pitch in and pay higher taxes so that the govt can have research on health needs and people can afford medicine because it is created to help people get well instead of a few getting rich ... Justice mandates that every school provides every student with the best teachers and libraries and programs ..not just those in the rich districts .. or private schools ...  Charity bandages the wound; Justice provides the opportunities

    Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

    by moonbatlulu on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:22:27 PM PST

  •  Isn't his math wrong? (0+ / 0-)

    If I understand the new rule correctly, it doesn't limit the amount of your deductions, it reduces the amount of your deduction. So if your deductions total more than the amount of the reduction, each marginal contribution above that is fully deductible, right?

    For example, if someone makes $500,000, then their deductions are reduced by 3% of $500,000 minus $250,000, or a measly $7,500. Most taxpayers at that income level will have $7,500 in deductions in just things like property taxes, etc. So if they have $10,000 in deductions, say, they'll be able to take $2,500 of them. Then if they want to donate $1000 to charity on top of that, they'll be able to take $3,500 ($11,000 minus $7,500), or the full $1000 donated.

    Is that correct?

    If this is how it works, it's pretty clever, actually.

  •  Ari who™? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    softserve, Zack from the SFV

    Why is this person relevant any more?

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:31:09 PM PST

  •  The Deduction is there to get people to give (0+ / 0-)

    And if the deduction isn't there, people won't give.  It's not really that hard to understand.

    Should we give?  Yes.  But tying tax breaks to that yields exactly what Ari tweeted.

    Look, remove the mortgage interest deduction and the housing market will collapse into a bit of rubble for a bit.  Same deal here.

    •  mortgage interest deduction should be (0+ / 0-)

      eliminated. it was only retained when other interest deductions were eliminated as a giveaway to banks and home builders.

      having said that, it is true that the charitable deduction does effectively cause people to donate more (just as the mortgage deduction encourages people to buy more expensive homes)

  •  There would be less need for safety nets if (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ‘we’ hadn’t given away 16 Trillion to the bankster oligarchy, who now have no incentive to invest in the (resulting) starved-out consumer (real world) economy, when they can borrow money from the Fed for next to nothing, then lend it back to the government (in the form of buying US Treasuries) for 3.5%.
    The oligarchs don’t even need an “economy” under such scenarios. We’ll have to increase taxes on the recipients of Wall-Street bailouts (i.e. the bankster oligarchy), then invest in direct employment to ever rebuild the US (and world) economy (because the bankster oligarchy has 'better'/safer things to invest in).

  •  Reject the GOP Thugish Threats (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to blow up the economy on the debt ceiling.  Seems to me that Obama calls their bluff.  And we see how this plays in the 2014 elections.  Once before the GOP promoted their agenda over the country's well being is a big fiscal matter causing our bond rating to fall.  This never happened before and I know the GOP had this hung on them with good cause. When these GOP paddle brains threaten the Republic with fiscal mayhem; let's keep our eye on 2013, elections and then give them, what for, in 2014 .

  •  Charity Has 3 Key Advantages: (0+ / 0-)

    1) As many have said here, it can reject applicants.
    2) It can shame recipients, giving it the Conservative Golden Rule feature of punishment.
    3) It has never in 12,000 years come within 4 orders of magnitude of working.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:38:48 PM PST

  •  Farsical Fleischer go find your rock, its lonely!! (0+ / 0-)

    America, We blow stuff up!!

    by IndyinDelaware on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:44:42 PM PST

  •  One comment I may make (0+ / 0-)

    is that some wealthy people make very large donations. If you donate 15% of your income, or make a very large one time donation that could equal your annual income, then limiting deductions will have an impact on the ability to donate money.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:56:24 PM PST

  •  Do you buy taxation as a tool to support policies? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The government has been using taxation as a tool to support various policies for a long time. For eg. deductions etc when you buy solar or for that matter just pay mortgage.

    And from every study I've seen, it works.

    Irrespective of what we think about Ari, the message itself is correct. The donations will decrease - we don't know how much.

    Enjoying driving the electric Nissan Leaf as the primary car since Feb '11

    by EVNow on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:59:00 PM PST

  •  I never take the deduction (0+ / 0-)

    I've never taken it. It's not "giving" if it's a tax break.

    Which makes my karma just a little bit better than yours, Ari.

    O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives. ::: Jim Morrison :::

    by Kevanlove on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:24:58 PM PST

  •  I don't like charity. (0+ / 0-)

    It's more about dominion over the unfortunate with rules of conduct and behavior for recipients, or expensive break-even galas of back slapping self satisfied fat cats. It is ultimately unreliable. The New Deal came about because charities, states, municipalities, etc. were completely overwhelmed by The Great Depression. There is no need to relearn this lesson. Give me a strong Federal safety net, with reasonable and relevant requirements, not an arbitrary and capricious handout with somebody's agenda intertwined.

  •  Rich can donate more than money, anyhow (0+ / 0-)

    Ari Fleischer & friends can make up for not getting the tax deduction for donations that they wanted by giving of themselves, their time, their expertise........just like people who don'g have money to spare but who volunteer at soup kitchens, who visit elderly shut-ins, etc.

  •  is there any study which shows how much people in (0+ / 0-)

    certain income bracket give to charity ?  

    do people in higher income brackets give more to charity for the tax breaks or for the publicity pictures?????

    and what about the people who don't itemize (like me)?  
    who knows how much we give to charity?

    Also, since I have your attention, what about people who give to charities that are not tax deductible?  Some small or local charities may not be able to offer a tax deduction because there is a fee for being a tax deductible entity...

    it really bothers me that people take data from the IRS filings and say such and such a group doesn't give to charity like the uber rich right wing Christianists do ....
    the fact is that I may give 1000 dollars to a non-tax deductible charity, but because that charity didn't want to spend the 2000 dollars for the status, it's not tax deductible... I have lots of charities that I give to that are not tax deductible, but just as worthy and beneficial as the tax deductible ones

    Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

    by moonbatlulu on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:09:44 PM PST

  •  Very un-Maj. Winchester of him.... (0+ / 0-)

    ....the right hand always has to know what the left hand is doing.  

    9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

    by varro on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:21:37 PM PST

  •  I was off the grid most of last week (0+ / 0-)

    what was the analysis of the fiscal cliff 'deal'?  

  •  Afghani.. what? (0+ / 0-)

    It is still unfathomable to me that we can have so so many of our children over there and it often doesn't even warrant a fart in the mainstream media.

    people don't want to know by choice or stupidity.. some don't even care.

    And the repub convention snubbing was the intolerable antithesis of patriotism and support.

    Good post- we should all be reminded, continuously.

    People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think. -George Carlin

    by downtownLALife on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:58:08 AM PST

  •  Show us the tax forms, Ari (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He says he "increased" his "donations" to charity in 2012. Let's see the tax forms from 2011 and the check stubs from 2012 and let us do the math.
    I don't believe a word this serial liar says. Or rather this professional serial liar.

  •  Wage taxes went up 2%. Cap Gains tax (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    went up 5%.

    Interest taxes got a slide. But of course that's mostly important for elderly people with retirement accounts. And not much money anyway.

    Any time we win by 5:2, I'll take it.

    "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

    by bontemps2012 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:15:28 AM PST

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