Estate taxes: give or else

Fred Clark at slacktivist makes an astounding claim:

It is not possible to endorse the work of charitable agencies — including “faith-based” agencies — while simultaneously working to eliminate the estate tax.

Fred’s statement’s not without statistical backing; he continues:

The Congressional Budget Office has completed a new study on the impact of the estate tax on charitable giving. It confirms what every previous study on the subject had found: Elimination of the estate tax would result in a decrease in charitable giving of up to 12 percent.

Fred, at what price are you willing to encourage giving to charities? I’m sure we could increase tax rates and lower the exemptions and get even more “giving” to charities. Better yet, let’s send armed federal marshals to funerals to give heirs the option of giving the entire estate to the federal government or to a charity of their choice. I can virtually guarantee the result. “Charitable giving” would increase dramatically.

Following Fred’s “logic,” it is not possible to endorse the work of charitable agencies — including “faith-based” agencies — while simultaneously opposing an increase in the estate tax to 100%.

Thought question: Is it possible to be a “faith-based” “charity” while relying on the government to coerce “donations” using threat of confiscation?

Author: Brent Logan

Engineer. Lawyer. WordPress geek. Longboarder. Blood donor. Photographer. More about Brent.

One thought on “Estate taxes: give or else”

  1. I don’t really care one way or the other about the tax deductibility of charitable giving.

    But I do think that politicians have a responsibility to look before they leap, to think through what the consequences of their plans will be.

    Bush has campaigned on both the repeal of the estate tax and his faith-based, “compassionate conservatism”. He should have known that the first plan will greatly hurt the second, and he should have adapted his plans accordingly. He did not.

    I think Bush knew all this perfectly well, but chose to campaign on an impossible set of promises nonetheless. That’s what I find important. But that’s just me.

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