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03/15/2009

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John Booke

I do not like tax breaks for any "charitable giving." How do tax breaks for charities that support Isreal (a country that steals land from its own people) help American taxpayers? How do American taxpayers benefit from tax breaks for giving to the Catholic church; a church that spends hundreds of millions of dollars defending child molesting priests?

David Moore

A serious disadvantage of the proposal to eliminate tax breaks for donations to U.S. charities that in turn support foreign charities is the added bookkeeping imposed on the U.S. entities, especially on e.g. small churches. I give to my church, which uses some of its resources to support a hospital in Mexico, a missionary in Zambia, a seminary teacher in Prague ... One might also argue that the change interferes with traditional religious imperatives. More detail, please.

Sam Vinson

Judge Posner's comments are disappointing in that America cannot be thought by a serious person to be in an economic event comparable to the Depression. People have not seen their savings destroyed in widespread bank defaults. Compared to the failure to bail-out the Bank of the United States, the '08 and '09 steps to deal with the credit panic issues appear well-measured. While unemployment is relatively higher than in recent recessions, it does not approach the level of 1930 and 1931. Hunger is a non-event because of the elaborate safety net. Most individuals are not turning to non-market solutions in order to deal with problems. Indeed most polls demonstrate greater concern about excessive government spending, than desire for increased. And ideas like the National Inbdustrial Recovery Act are only discussed in remote corners of academia. While Republican failure on enhanced Mexican immigration is disturbing, we have not enacted a no-nothing immigration bill, nor have we stumbled into a full-blown protectionist stance as in Smoot Hawley despite the stimulus bill Buy American provision or the Administration's Mexican trucker debacle.

So both the actual economic situation and the policy measures going forward ought to give confidence to any believer in the free market and rational choice.

The thought that increased tax revenues are desirable in any peace time context is contrary to everyything we've learned about government expenditure--it will alwaqys be a little more than we can afford. And it will always push out more productive private spending.

As the country heads into the retirement years of the baby boomer generation, substantial deficits may be the only way to produce agreement about expenditure reduction.

Sam Vinson

Judge Posner's comments are disappointing in that America cannot be thought by a serious person to be in an economic event comparable to the Depression. People have not seen their savings destroyed in widespread bank defaults. Compared to the failure to bail-out the Bank of the United States, the '08 and '09 steps to deal with the credit panic issues appear well-measured. While unemployment is relatively higher than in recent recessions, it does not approach the level of 1930 and 1931. Hunger is a non-event because of the elaborate safety net. Most individuals are not turning to non-market solutions in order to deal with problems. Indeed most polls demonstrate greater concern about excessive government spending, than desire for increased. And ideas like the National Inbdustrial Recovery Act are only discussed in remote corners of academia. While Republican failure on enhanced Mexican immigration is disturbing, we have not enacted a no-nothing immigration bill, nor have we stumbled into a full-blown protectionist stance as in Smoot Hawley despite the stimulus bill Buy American provision or the Administration's Mexican trucker debacle.

So both the actual economic situation and the policy measures going forward ought to give confidence to any believer in the free market and rational choice, at least in comparison to the early '30's.

The thought that increased tax revenues are desirable in any peace time context is contrary to everything we've learned about government expenditure--it will alwaqys be a little more than we can afford. And it will always push out more productive private spending.

As the country heads into the retirement years of the baby boomer generation, substantial deficits may be the only way to produce agreement about expenditure reduction.

Jim

If our politics and government were rational and we had, say, a flat tax, all of these points would be moot

Mike

Speaking as someone who has lived outside the USA for a decade, I find it morally reprehensible that gifts to "domestic" charities are deductible but those to "foreign" charities aren't. From my perspective, a "foreign" charity is one that is located a short walk from my home-- which is also a short walk away from my job, where I earn 100% of my earned income.

Somehow, when it comes to my income, the US is happy to tax it with no hesitation over its "foreign" status, but when I donate money to a charity whose office is located in the same neighborhood as my source of income, suddenly its foreign status disqualifies it.

How about a little consistency here?

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Sara Smith

I am not sure I agree with your assumption that individual charitable donations are more efficient than government directed ones. It is possible that individual charitable donations have outlier motivations, are subject to more idiosyncratic bureaucratic obligations, and are directed to areas of personal interest to the donor that have little social utility. The efficacy of charitable donations should be judged by their social utility, not their utility to the individual donor, but it is the individual donor's utility that motivates the donation. The wealth holder's individual utility (because the wealthy are different) is far less likely to match the larger group's social utility than spending directed by a group (even Congress) that more closely matches the characteristics and interests of the larger social group. Encouraging individual charitable donations through the income tax deduction has resulted in such interesting anomalies as the huge taxpayer subsidy for the Gate's redirection of wealth to African charities, the accumulation of wealth by already wealthy private universities, and redirection of health research to high profile celebrity supported disease research away from less well known but more lethal diseases.

henry and Fred

Hello,

Fred and Henry are Kenyans looking for a charitable organisations. We have just read from you posting and we are interested to hear more from you about your organisation.

Thank you so much for the good work you are doing to God's people and may His continue to bless you and the rest that you are working with.

Thanks.

Henry and Fred.

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