Dec 13, 2012 No Comments ›› Chuck Biscuits
The Left maintains power by positioning itself as one giant charity. This allows it to continuously raise taxes for the great Federal Charity’s entitlements. Charities are strictly competition to Obama.
Excerpted from The Washington Post: The White House and the nation’s most prominent charities are embroiled in a tense behind-the-scenes debate over President Obama’s push to scale back the nearly century-old tax deduction on donations that the charities say is crucial for their financial health.
In part, the White House is seeking to win the support of nonprofit groups for Obama’s central demand that income tax rates rise for upper-end taxpayers. There are early signs that several charities, whose boards often include the wealthy, are willing to endorse this change.
But Obama is also looking to limit the charitable deduction for high-income earners, and that has prompted frustration and resistance, with leaders of major nonprofit organizations, such as the United Way, the American Red Cross and Lutheran Services in America, closing ranks in opposing any change to the deduction.
Since Obama first proposed to lower the deduction in 2009, more than 60 nonprofit groups have spent at least $21?million lobbying Congress and the White House to preserve it, lobbying records show.
“It would be devastating,” said Jatrice Martel Gaiter, executive vice president for external affairs at Volunteers of America, which has paid Patton Boggs — Washington’s most lucrative lobby shop — nearly $200,000 to lobby on the charitable deduction and other issues in the past year. “Of course people want to say they are giving out of the goodness of their hearts, and of course they are, but the tax deduction makes our hearts larger and our goodness even better.”
Nearly 40?million people a year claim the deduction on individual tax returns, according to congressional estimates. Because it costs the government so much tax revenue — about $230?billion between 2010 and 2014, according to Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation — proposals to limit this and other deductions have emerged as concern has grown over the government’s finances.
Obama has dismissed the charities’ contention that his plan would substantially damage their fundraising. White House officials, including Chief of Staff Jack Lew and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, have recently been telling nonprofit leaders that they would face far graver danger under Republican deficit-reduction plans.
The efforts to press charities have been bumpy. Although many nonprofit leaders agree with Obama’s view on top-end tax rates, they have been disappointed that the president seems unwilling to drop his plan for limiting the charitable deduction.
The frustration stems in part from what some nonprofit leaders describe as a philosophical disagreement between Obama and the nonprofit sector. The president has framed the tax deduction as a benefit for the wealthy, they say, while in their view, the deduction is a benefit for charities, which use the money to help the needy.
Stacey Stewart, president of the United Way, cited a “disconnect” between the White House and charities. Stewart said she and others listened to the White House argument but were not willing to waver in their opposition to an “assault” on the charitable deduction.
When the president initially proposed reducing the charitable deduction in 2009, originally to help pay for his health-care overhaul initiative, he said there was “very little evidence” that the change would significantly affect giving.
With their finances squeezed by the economy and state budget cuts, charities say this would force them to cut funding for services such as aid to the poor and artistic programs.
“You don’t need to be a Nobel economist to figure out that if you lost the deduction, people would have less of an incentive to give,” said Kenneth Kies, a prominent Republican corporate tax lobbyist. His firm, the Federal Policy Group, has been paid more than $600,000 since 2009 to lobby on the charitable deduction and other issues by the Council on Foundations, a leading philanthropy group.