Big Government targets charitable deductions

Screen Shot 2012-12-31 at 12.04.29 PMObama taps individual generosity to expand welfare

Every year, religious institutions, charitable organizations and philanthropically inclined individuals and corporations give of their time, talents and financial resources to assist those in need. This benevolence is an essential part of the fabric of our country as well as a compelling reminder of the social welfare voluntarily produced by our free-market economy.

According to data compiled by the Atlas of Giving, Americans gave $346.1 billion to charity in 2011 — a 7.6 percent increase from the previous year. That’s an astounding figure when one considers that median household income declined by 1.3 percent last year after adjusting for inflation.

Americans help those in need — even when times are tough. In the process, they generate a nonprofit economy that accounts for nearly 6 percent of our gross domestic product and 10 percent of our workforce, according to the latest data from the National Center for Charitable Statistics.

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This is why it is so disturbing to see the Obama administration continue to attack this spirit of generosity — and the nonprofit economy it supports — as part of an effort to expand the public-sector welfare state.

After failing to limit charitable deductions last year, the administration is once again targeting private-sector giving as part of the “fiscal cliff” negotiations, seeking to generate billions of dollars in new government revenue by capping tax breaks for charitable donations.

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