Easy: As I’ve suggested before, Obama always wants to empower the State.
Howard Husock at Forbes writes about the Obama administration’s continuing attack on private charity. The attack is boringly technical because, naturally, the administration does not want people riled up:
The Administration has, since 2009, pushed unsuccessfully to allow only 28 cents on a dollar donated to charity to be deducted—even though the top tax rate for the wealthy donors who make most use of the deduction has been 35 percent. In the budget released today, the President again proposes to cap the charitable deduction at 28 percent—despite the fact that the top rate on the highest earners has increased to 39.6 percent.
So, a bunch of rich people wouldn’t see as much tax benefit from their charitable donations. “Who cares?”, says the lefty. Well, you should care, because:
When one taxes something more, of course, one gets less of it—and it’s likely that the current $168 billion in itemized charitable giving would decline…The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that the reduction in giving could be as high as $9 billion a year.
Husock’s piece is worth reading in full, for its good information. But I don’t think he quite grasps Obama’s motive.
The average private charity helps people better than government does. Usually, private charities are closer to the problem and spend money more efficiently. Leftists quietly hate the competition, in that they would rather see an expanded government program.
When the Left wants to take over (or destroy) something that private actors have been doing relatively well, the Left will propose some governmental program or rule change which seems small, technical, boring and even halfway reasonable, but which makes it harder for the private version to survive, and which sets a precedent for deeper changes to come. The slippery-slope approach.
That is why Obama keeps trying to get this tax change. If he can get this ‘reasonable’ change that only hurts rich people, he will have his bad precedent in place (for further steps to reduce or kill the charitable deduction).
In addition, he will have hurt private charities’ budgets, which means they will do less to help people, which means they will be a little bit less important in our society. I believe Obama prefers that, deep down. Because he always proposes the thing whose effects will make people more, rather than less, dependent on government.