National Problems

Growing up the popular phrase was Charity begins at home. Many of you donate your money, time, or property to organizations of your choosing. Some donations have personal meaning; other gifts or contributions are because you believe the charity has merit; or perhaps because your company has a matching policy; or you donate because you can write the donation off on your taxes.
The public perception is that a majority of charitable donations is for the latter – tax deduction. But, that is simply a lie! Can YOU show me a reasonable person, a sane person, one who is not in debt up to their eye brow’s….who would give away $1000 or $500 or even $100 in order to get back $250, $125, or $25 back on their taxes. I certainly would not do it and I doubt you would either. So why do people make donations? Hmmmm, let’s see …because it makes them “feel good” about themselves!
Americans give more when they have more. They buy more when they have more. Let’s examine history of donations in America in relation to Federal Taxes. In 1980 when the taxable marginal rate was 70%, we donated $43 billion. In 1988 with a marginal tax rate of 28%, we gav e away $88 billion. In 2003 donations topper $240 billion and this was during the Bush tax cuts. When taxes are low, people take home more money and hence have greater disposable income. Disposable income is the money a family has after paying the bills.
Oops, I did not answer the motive of donations relative to tax write offs. IF you believe people donate for the write-off, say $1000, representing sweat and hard work, because $250 will return to them in April…please send me your money, I will keep 75% of it and return 25% of it to you. Okay, you need better proof. If you examine the most recent year I mentioned 2003. IRS records indicate 61% or $145 billion was claimed on itemized deductions on Federal Tax returns. Again, no one who intentionally donates to gain a tax benefit is going to leave $95 billion unclaimed.


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