Stephen Dinan and David Sands report for the Washington Times about the issues with President Obama's Budget. Specifically, many people are highly critical of the proposal to cut back the tax advantages of charitable contributions for "wealthy" (individuals with income over $200,000, couples with income over $250,000) taxpayers. Apparently, this provision is estimated to generate additional tax receipts of about $180 billion over ten years. Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center points out that philanthropic giving will decline as a result. Apparently, Budget Director Orszag's response was that the federal government would compensate for those reductions!
First, his point contradicts the whole point of the tax revenue impact of the proposal. But more fundamentally, this is patently ridiculous. Is this what he really believes? That the government is better at making decisions that individuals are? We are going to pay more taxes, and donate less, so the government can get more involved in deciding which philanthropic organizations should be supported? We now will have an expensive intermediary (the government) who will also impose its policy views on what are "good" or "bad" activities to support. And, no doubt, the government will hang on those donations various "restrictions" and criteria for the money's use.
It is going to be a very long four years.