Gun control and charitable deduction control

by Marvin Olasky
Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013, at 4:35 pm

As Congress is debating gun control under the glare of media spotlights, a quiet threat is emerging under the radar: charity contributions control.

Non-profit groups that rely on contributions are America’s chief poverty-fighters (alongside job-creating businesses). They care for orphans, refugees, and those who are ill. They feed people materially and spiritually, fight illiteracy and provide tutors, help those who want to leave gangs and prostitution, and do thousands of other useful tasks.

Some abuses always occur, but few people working at non-profits earn big salaries. They don’t get rich but much of their funding comes from the rich, and that’s why one proposal floated by the Obama administration—to limit tax deductions among those with more than $250,000 in income—would be destructive.

Reducing deductions will reduce contribution. Does this mean that the generosity of the wealthy is not pure? I’m shocked, shocked—not really, because all of us have a mix of selfishness and altruism in whatever we do. The federal government’s goal, unless it wants to go from providing 90 percent of U.S. purported poverty-fighting to 100 percent, should be to provide incentives for increasing contributions, not reducing them.

A strong America needs a strong civil society so that people can cooperate for community progress without growing government. Taking away guns from citizens removes a last defense against totalitarianism. Taking away contributions deductions hurts the groups that provide alternatives to health, education, and welfare dictatorship.

Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. His latest book is Reforming Journalism. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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