Hoggish Charity


Experts who perceive President Trump as Hog-in-Chief believe charities will lose billions because the standard deduction has been doubled are probably mistaken. Charitable donations were not always deductible. People donate to charities to be charitable, and not for tax deductions. Besides, the values of things donated are often exaggerated to reduce taxes, and the system is otherwise gamed without benefit to the needy. People who itemize generally have more to donate. A single person who itemizes instead of taking the new $12,200 standard deduction may still deduct his or her charitable contributions. The needy might be served better if donations could be deducted “above the line” i.e. in addition to the standard deduction. Still, historical data indicates that donations do not depend on tax deductibility. That is not to say the tax reform is not hoggish. It certainly is. The rich will become richer and the poor even poorer and more people will depend on private handouts. The pendulum will swing back, perhaps with violent effects on animal farming, so that the Boar dictates instead of the Hog.

David Arthur Walters 2017 CE


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