Just a buck…
July 23, 2011 1 Comment
If you have ever stood in line, reached the checkout counter and the cashier asks you if you want to donate to one of a plethora of genuinely legitimate and pressing charitable causes how do you feel?
You could have donated ten percent of your income to your church or to your favorite charity but now you are being called out publicly to donate “just a buck” to a good cause.
What do you do? Maybe the real question is, “What can you do?”
You are challenged publicly and personally to reach a little deeper into your pocket. You are faced with a decision to arbitrarily part with a buck. Maybe it is 1%; 10%; 50% of your purchase. Maybe you are a frequent shopper and a frequent contributor. Maybe you have factored the additional dollar or more into your purchase price. Maybe you linger in the vicinity of the register so you might checkout without an audience, should you choose to reject the request for just a buck.
That’s the question posed by President Obama tonight to the Republican Party. He clearly conveyed in his message to the American public this evening, this is a personal decision and it’s only a buck. What’s a buck?
President Obama has made this personal. He is hoping those who oppose him are now faced with making their own very personal decision.
The difference is it’s $400 billion bucks. The deal was $800 billion in new revenues. The president raised the ante to $1.2 trillion. He waited until the Republicans had bought in, ready to swipe their credit card and the line behind them was long, impatient and tired of the delays, lack of service and needed to get on with their lives. You can pay for it later. Next month or next year. What’s $400 billion? After all it’s for a good cause. It’s for charity.
How can this get any more personal?
In 2009, Americans reported nearly $34.9 billion worth of donations to private charities serving the public interest on their federal tax forms, as they claimed the federal government’s tax deduction for charitable contributions on their taxes. Of all these donations, $19.14 billion, or 54.9%, were made by taxpayer households that reported $200,000 or more in annual income.
Needless to say, that’s a lot of money that President Barack Obama believes would be better spent by the U.S. government in the form of spending controlled by elected U.S. politicians who would receive political benefits from it, which is why the President has repeatedly proposed cutting or eliminating the charitable contribution tax deduction for Americans who earn high incomes.
The President most recently went after the charitable contribution tax deduction in his original budget proposal for the U.S. government’s 2012 fiscal year, which could limit the amount of a tax deduction for high income earners by up to 30%.
Assuming that if not for the tax deduction for charitable contributions that Americans earning high incomes would not donate as much money to private charities, we estimate that the potential effect of the President’s FY2012 budget proposal would affect up to $1.9 billion of charitable contributions.