Here’s part of James Taranto’s take on it (from today’s Wall Street Journal):
,”. . . if you follow the professors’ method of protesting your low tax bill, you will lower your tax bill even further. Talk about a win-win!
And that only begins to capture the brilliance of this idea. By giving your money to charity instead of the government, they explain, you “replicate good government policy, outside the government and free from the grip of obstructionists within it.”
Come to think of it, we’re being too hard on these guys. They’ve made a profound discovery: Private, voluntary charity is far more effective than coercive federal bureaucracies at helping people in need. To be sure, this is common sense. But you don’t get tenure at Yale or Cornell by being common. Given the intellectual handicaps under which Hacker, Hockett and Markovits operate, they can be very proud to have figured this out.” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527487039099045760515723343434
AYY is right to point to this WSJ article. If the leftists with too much disposable income feel bad about it, they should write a check to the US Treasury. They’ll take it. Then they won’t get a tax write-off and the government can efficiently spend their money.
UD, I fear you missed the point. Since the rightists are perfectly willing to write the checks to charities and get the tax deduction, the irony is that the leftists have adopted a rightist solution in the name of progressivism.
Your argument is that affluent people on the right – who want to hold to their tax cut money – want to hold onto it so that they can then turn it over to charity. They are ‘perfectly willing’ to do this. What are you basing that argument on?
And if you’re right – What charities are we talking about? Are you counting giving to multiply-billioned Harvard University, for instance, as the sort of charitable contribution Hacker and the others have in mind?
There is no evidence to support the claim that private charity is more efficient than government run agencies. No private charity could ever effectively take the place of Medicare or Medicaid or Social Security. The lacunae existing in those systems should be what our ‘tax cuts’ go to fix.
I think a better proposal is to refuse to take the payroll tax holiday — send that 2% to the SS fund and if you’re feeling flush, make a similar ‘donation’ to the Medicare Part A Hospital trust.
UD, My comment followed your question about the rightists with too much disposable income who feel bad about it. Those were the rightists I was referring to. And I agree that there are much better charities to give money to than Harvard University, even when they were facing a cash flow problem (last year I think it was.)