When you give to a private foundation, you receive an immediate tax deduction for the fair market value of your contribution, up to 30% of your adjusted gross income for that year for gifts of cash and 20% for gifts of property. Give more in any one year and you can carry the deduction forward for the following five tax years.
In addition, under some circumstances, giving through a private foundation lets you receive an income tax benefit for donations that would not be deductible if made directly, such as donations to individuals, scholarships or foreign charities.
The author's comparison of the tax benefits of large philanthropy to the mortgage interest deduction seems laughable in that there is such a large disparity between them.
The point that critics of foundations make, which you seem to dismiss here out of hand, is that the benefit to the donor needs to be balanced with public benefit -- and for that you need transparency and accountability, something which the lion's share of foundations neglect. Therefore, there has been a reaction -- as one would expect -- which pushes the pendulum too far to the other side. But this reaction is the result of a lack of action and leadership on behalf of the foundation community to monitor itself.
If foundations would like to ensure their privilege and protect our American tradition of philanthropy, then demonstrate that you can be accountable to the public.
Walter Wriston said: “Money goes where it is wanted and stays where it is well-treated, and that's all she wrote. This annoys governments to no end.”
When state governments attempt to intimidate foundations, the trustees should move the foundation to another state. If the feds try the same, off-shore the funds and move the headquarters to another country.
Helping others one-on-one is far superior to sending a mandatory tax that funds a hireling. I have helped both ways, the latter, reluctantly. When a person is helped one-on-one, that person is treated with love and reciprocates by trying to become self-sufficient. Both giver and recipient are helped spiritually as well has physically. The same does not occur when the government is the donor. The government worker has a vested interest in keeping the dependant dependent. Without the dependant, the hireling loses his job. With the hireling, the dependants that I have known feel entitled to the aid and its continuation and show little interest in becoming independent of government aid. (Those who are out of work for a short time do not develop this attitude.) The government should switch its role to that of certifying who are the needy, perhaps with a registration card that tracks how much they have received and from whom. Contributions should be a tax credit, rather than a tax deduction.
The government has no business being in charity. None!
Let them do the jobs they were created for.
There is no enterprise that can't be done worse by government "participation". There are no examples that prove they have ever improved policy or execution in private enterprise or the personal management of ones own affairs. Butt out, unless a better, proven record can be presented. Can't happen .
This is nothing more than a back door method of redistributing the wealth through mandating that only the poor and "disadvantaged" get the benefit. It's kinda like a Soviet or Red Chinese style of charity, where it is funneled in the manner "suggested"...The Capitol is beginning to resemble the Kremlin in the way it does business. Corruption, psychology, disinformation, censorship, back door deals, cronyism, bait and switch, false flag, all of the tricks...
The worst abusers are the foundations themselves. The far left would crumble without foundation grants and I for one resent tax exempt money being used to obstruct the death penalty and finance illegal immigration and left advocacy groups. The foundations should clean up their own act or be taxed like the rest of us.