Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Now, I'm just depressed

David Freddoco over at the corner:

Should charities support President Obama's plan to limit tax deductions for charitable donations by high-income earners? Joel Berg thinks so. The executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH), Berg wrote as much in last Thursday's Washington Post.

Tax deductions for charitable donations, he wrote, "are a highly inefficient way to fund social programs." Moreover, "voluntary private charity is a less equitable way to solve community problems . . . In America, the government is the most legitimate voice of the entire community."

Is Berg's article as bad as that? Oh yes:

[v]oluntary private charity is a less equitable way to solve community problems. While many people assume that the rich amass their wealth on their own, the truth is that their business interests are almost always aided by public efforts such as roads, bridges and ports through which they ship their goods or public schools that educate their workforces. Given that even the wealthiest benefit greatly from this modern "public commons," it is wrong to give them unilateral power to decide whether their taxpayer-subsidized donations should go to, say, well-heeled operas or lavish care of pets rather than to organizations that meet more pressing communal needs.

Taypayer "subsidized" donation? Erm, getting a tax "break" for making a donation is not the same thing as a taxpayer subsidy. This entire argument is so wrong, I'm honestly just too depressed to address it further.