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Monday, March 02, 2009

The Obama Administration Grabs for Power Over Charities

The Devil is in the details, especially when it's a Democrat Budget Proposal.

President Obama's new budget plan has a sneaky little scheme buried in it to cut tax deductions for charitable giving by the so-called wealthiest 1%. The plan will help the government increase the taxes collected by the IRS from all those evil greedy rich people by discouraging them from giving to charity.

You know who they are - the people who make over $250,000 and do most of the hiring and creating of new business. The loss of funding to charities, Obama's staff says will be offset by increases in funding by the government.


Okay, let me get this straight.

The government is going to provide a tax DISincentive for couples making more than $250K. Obama thinks that will raise some $179.8 billion in the next 10 years while at the same time reducing nonprofit charitable funding over the next decade by $179.8 billion.

Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag says Mr. Obama takes care of the losses by giving charities government money to make up PART of the difference. So, then, the government is going to TAKE part of the money that now goes to charities and do what with it? We are asked to trust the government to do the right thing with this money.

What could be wrong with that?

Just this:

1. Instead of the money going directly to the charity which uses it all for expenses to run programs and the charities, the money will go through Washington, be given to a vast unwieldy bureaucracy, where, if the charity spends hundreds of man hours writing a complicated and restriction filled grant in competition with thousands of other nonprofits and maybe a few faith-based ministries, this bureaucracy might actually give some of all that money back to the charity. Of course the amount of this "give back" will be less than what the charities lost because the government has all those administrative costs to support the vast unwieldy bureaucracy that may or may not give them some of their money back.

2. The government WILL add restrictions to the funding and ban certain types of nonprofits from receiving government funds. THIS WILL ELIMINATE ENTIRELY, CERTAIN UNAPPROVED TYPES OF CHARITIES.

3. Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin says "Contained in the recovery act, there's $100 million to support nonprofits and charities as we get through this period of economic difficulty," he said. If that's an annual figure, then that's a ten year total of 1 billion dollar. So, they're taking 179.8 billion dollars from the charities and giving them back 1 billion dollars. According to my calculations that's a 99.388% administrative fee the government's charging there!!!!

Only in the Fantasy Land that is Washington could the Obama administration say that they would take almost 180 billion from the philanthropy community and see no drop in giving and then have the further cheek to suggest that their tiny one billion dollar "economic recovery fund for charities" will actually help charities.

Okay, the government plans to "take over" many of the functions of nonprofits and churches in America, so they won't be needed. Anybody think the government is going to be able to do what nonprofits do and deliver the same level of service. I've seen what government run programs cost. I worked at a residential treatment center for kids. We were paid $59 a day for caring for a severely disturbed kid. This included treatment, 24 hour staff, food, shelter, recreation and virtually everything the kid needed. They paid us 90% of our actual costs and we had to raise the remaining 10%.

Want to guess how much it cost the government to provide the same service"

$180 per day! That's 3 times what the nonprofit sector cost to do the same job.

Does anyone think that's a good idea???

Everyone who works for, with or is a member of a nonprofit, faith-based ministry, church, civic or community group, foundation or charitable organization or who is a person of means who donates to any charity should contact their congressman and both senators TODAY and tell them to pitch out this clause from Obama's budget.

It's bad for charity. It's a grab for more power over charities by the government. It's going to close thousands of small local charities who depend on the largesse of the philanthropy community to meet unique local needs.

Don't let this go by. It costs you some stamps or a phone call or, if you can use the computer, nothing but a bit of electricity. SEND AN E-MAIL FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

Some Democrats and a whole bunch of Republicans have caught the administration doing a bit of political engineering here. BUT A LOT OF THEM HAVEN'T. Make sure your delegation is howling very loudly about this in the halls of Congress!



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