Congress and the White House have around a week left to make a last-minute deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. That means there is less time for Americas to call leaders to stand up for tax incentives for charitable contributions. According to a recent poll, two-thirds of Americans are opposed to reducing or eliminating the charitable tax deduction.
Published: December 20, 2012
Congress and the White House have about a week left to make a last-minute deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.
That means there is even less time for Americans to call leaders of Congress to stand up for tax incentives for charitable contributions, which could be eliminated or reduced to avoid the fiscal cliff.
“[O]ur society could undergo a radical adverse transformation as a result of these next seven days,” noted NRB President & CEO Dr. Frank Wright during a recent interview on the WallBuilders Live! radio program.
According to a recent poll by United Way Worldwide, the nation’s largest charity, two-thirds of Americans are opposed to reducing or eliminating the charitable tax deduction, and nearly 8 in 10 believe that reducing or eliminating tax incentives for charitable contributions would have a negative impact on charities and the people they serve.
Despite public sentiments, leaders in Washington could decide to eliminate or reduce the charitable tax deduction – not because it’s a good idea, but, as Dr. Wright pointed out, “because their backs are against the wall financially.”
“We’re borrowing a trillion dollars or more every year to finance our deficit spending,” he noted.
Still, while the government could raise $1.7 trillion by taking away or severely limiting the housing deduction, the mortgage deduction, and the charitable deduction, Dr. Wright and other non-profit leaders have asserted that any reduction to the charitable deduction could be “devastating” for charities and the people they serve.
Furthermore, the government would have to end up spending more money in trying to do what charities are incredibly efficient in doing. And it would do so in a “horribly inefficient” way.
“[W]hat that’s going to lead to is suffering from the very people that charities aim to help. It will lead to suffering and deprivation because they’re not able to receive the kind of aid that they used to receive. Now, I know that some churches and some individuals are going to continue to give whether there’s a charitable deduction or not. But the studies that have measured the potential impact of the loss of that deduction have shown that that effect will be dramatic and will result in people being deprived of basic necessities,” noted Dr. Wright.
With this in mind, Dr. Wright is encouraging concerned Americans to act now – even amid the busyness of the Christmas season. Any later could be too late.
“If there’s anybody who is motivated to respond … and wants to do so, contact the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, and the Majority Leader of the Senate, Senator Harry Reid. Those are the two who will determine the shape of that legislation,” Dr. Wright stated.
“Any change to this is going to happen under the stewardship of these two men along with the President of the United States,” he added.
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