There is not a single developed country on earth whose citizens give more to charity than Americans. In 2011 alone, Americans gave nearly 347 billion dollars to charity, with the majority of it going to non-profit organizations like churches and shelters. But it doesn’t stop there. Many of the organizations, especially churches, have a global reach of humanitarian aide that is only made possible by local charity.
The American (.com) stated that “In the year 2000, “religious” people (the 33 percent of the population who attend their houses of worship at least once per week) were 25 percentage points more likely to give charitably than “secularists” (the 27 percent who attend less than a few times per year, or have no religion). They were also 23 percentage points more likely to volunteer.” And charity from church-goers is not limited to churches alone. Religious people were also 10 percentage points more likely than ‘secularists’ to give their money and their time to explicitly nonreligious charities. College universities are among the biggest recipients for charitable donations as well.
It’s safe to say that without the church and the individuals who make up the church, charity in the U.S. would produce massive declines.
The new fiscal cliff deal has decreased the charitable deductions write-off, which not only increases the taxes of those who give the most to charity, but will also lead to a decrease in “rich people” giving to charities altogether. This is not just a direct attack on “rich people,” it is also an indirect attack on the church, who appears to be the biggest loser to be impacted by the passage of the fiscal cliff deal. Rich people being taxed at higher rates will still be rich, but the trickling down of wealth to non-profit organizations is likely to have a decreased trickle in 2013.
Wealthy people have already come out claiming that their charitable giving in 2013 is likely to decrease due to the new tax code. Ari Fleischer was among one of the first people to make a public statement via Twitter regarding the new charitable deduction.
I increased donations to charity in 2012. This deal limits my deductions so I, & many others, will likely donate less in 2013.
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) January 1, 2013
For the record, I do not believe that those who give based on Biblical principle will be impacted by the new tax code, but for those who choose to give more generously because of the deduction will more than likely be reassessing their contributions beginning in 2013.
Less Charity Leads to More Government Dependency
This new tax code was not just about taxing the rich or promoting the financial decline of the church – it was about bigger government.
The government has effectively carved out more space for it to get involved. Less charitable giving automatically equals less charity. Less charity, equals more need. Less charity, plus more need equals a greater dependence on government, which ultimately leads to less freedom.
Please share your thoughts and comments below.[divider]
• Giving USA Foundation
• Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey
• Roper Center for Public Opinion Research.