THE PHILANTHROPIC ENTERPRISE

All posts tagged with: tax policy


The Good, the Bad, and the Charitable

Robert Atkinson and William Dennis both critique the philanthropic tax exemption in the United States in a manner reminiscent of Augustine’s early pleas for chastity: “IRS, grant me taxation, but not yet.” Although both essays point to current problems generated by the exemption, the writers recognize that when bad policies are deeply entrenched, the exemption might serve as a coping mechanism.

Tocqueville or Austerity? Health Care and the Social Compact

Aboard the Arbella in 1630, John Winthrop composed “A Modell of Christian Charity,” outlining a social compact by which the Puritan settlers in the New World might “be all knit more nearly together in the Bond of brotherly affection.” Almost four centuries later, America’s democratic society still rests on a tacit social compact enjoining us to seek to balance and maximize individual liberty, personal responsibility, and the public good.

Good to see real debate emerging

It was good to read Scott Walter’s recent coverage of the ACR meeting at Philanthropy Daily: Moderator Sandra Swirski of ACR reiterated the need for the audience to help move Congress from the view of the charitable tax deduction as a “subsidy” of good works by the government to the tax-base theory advocated by Woolf: “If you give it away, it’s simply not income.” The former view, Swirski noted, means that Congress could “dial” the subsidy up and down as it pleases, while the tax-base theory means Congress has no right to money charitably donated, period.