Tax Reform Under Trump 2017


Why do we incentives giving to charity? Giving to charity should be enough. People should not be able to avoid their tax bill by giving to ‘charities’.

I am all for incentiving certain behaviors, but that is not one I am in favor. It’s just another way for the wealth to avoid paying their dues.


Well it was also a means to encourage buying and building homes, and that activity has a lot a push throughout the entire economy.

The charity piece probably driven to help encourage people to donate instead of sit on mounts of wealth or just pass it on to kids. It’s designed to encourage behavior.

Everyone has a pet project, want to see more giving, want to keep the farms open, want to encourage people to buy homes… in the end, the list gets pretty damn long.


In general I think it’d be best to eliminate all the various deductions, which it seems like the better off have more opportunities to utilize. Simplify filing and reduce tax avoidance.

If politicians really want to promote some behavior, subsidize it rather than give it tax breaks.


Because it’s money that you aren’t using for yourself or your family.

Suppose I earn $100, and you earn $200 but give half of it away to charity. We both end up with only $100 for ourselves.

You effectively took a pay cut for the sake of the greater good. But because your income was originally higher, your tax bill starts out twice as high. The charity deduction is way to adjust for this. You never really saw $100 of your income, so you shouldn’t have to pay taxes on it.

A tax break is a subsidy. And a relatively easy one to administer, compared to (say) applying for a grant.


The point I was trying to make was that complexity of the tax system is almost entirely based on the many exemptions, deductions and incentives we have built into the tax code. If you really care about making taxes simple you need to look at the exemptions and deductions, not the progressivity of the rates.

Of course in reality the GOP does not really care about simplifying taxes, they care about making rates less progressive.

But any time the ole “tax postcard” idea pops up, I feel obligated to point out the real issues is tax loopholes, not progressive rates.


Some of these ideas remind me of the push to get rid of earmarks in Congressional bills, which sounded great, but had some nasty consequences (according to some folks).


Why should I subsidize your generosity? What if I don’t like the church you donated to?

And really the only people who make a killing via the “charity” option on a sch A are the rich. Only they can afford to give enough for it to make sense.

For most (especially now with the increases required in itemized deductions) the only people using schedule A with the new tax rules are people paying for a house or people with massive charity or medical bills. Others are virtually using a post card system.


Sure - a subsidy to someone paying taxes.


Why should you subsidize energy efficient appliances? What if you don’t believe in climate change and/or the need for energy independence? And why subsidize day care? What if you believe women should stay home and take care of their children, rather than enter the workforce?

The answer in all cases is that it doesn’t really matter what you believe. Your wise representatives think that our national goals include supporting the work of charities, increasing our fuel efficiency, and promoting women in the workplace. If you disagree with them, you know what to do.

The only way to making a killing via charity donation is to voluntarily reduce your income by a lot. So I guess you’re right, only the rich can do that. So what?

Depends. For some tax subsidies, you can actually end up with a negative income tax. Which means you aren’t paying taxes at all, you only getting a subsidy.


Fuck that noise. Pay taxes and then you can to charity. Dont weezel out of it by giving to some pro life, pro child bride organization that pays you a hefty salary to be on the board and put your name on a building.

Charity isn’t charity if you get a tax break. Than it’s just another loop hole.
If you want to give, go for it, but I don’t see why I have to subsidies it.


Housing and energy are know benefits to the common good of the US. Your pro pedophile church club should not cost the tax payers a cent.

And there is a difference. One is set up specifically by Congress and good for our nation, while charities are just ways to funnel money from our coffers into private enterprises or needs.


I mean, you don’t have the authority to determine the common good of the US. I happen to think that some charities overall do a lot of good things, though not all of them. Other people obviously differ. They also differ on climate change, etc.

If you hope to see the government only reward the things that you personally value, you are bound to be disappointed.


No, I don’t, but the government does.

And if charities do go, that’s great. Give money. I do. Just don’t expect us to subsidies it.


Yes, that’s their job. So if you don’t like that the government indirectly funds food banks and homeless shelters, we’ll have to agree to disagree.


For the record, I did not intend to start yet another forum war over tax exemptions; I just wanted to make the point that the real cause for our complex tax code is exemptions and deductions, not marginal tax rates. Oh well, unintended consequences.

On the topic of tax reform, I am in favor of trimming down our forest of deductions, but as was mentioned above, wiping them out entirely, just as with earmarks, would have substantial unintended consequences. Also, to the extent any major changes are made, they need to be phased in to minimize disruption.

In the big picture, I favor a much more progressive tax code, which includes lowering taxes on most Americans while raising marginal taxes on the high end. When I say “make the taxes more progressive” I don’t mean “only on the high end” - I mean lower the low end, raise the high end. As part of that, I feel like reasonable deduction reform is a good idea.


I don’t mind that at all. They should and do fund them directly.

I just don’t think it helps society when people give money to the NRA or the Catholic Church, and get a tax break for it.


Also, keep in mind, poor people give a larger percentage to charity but get less of a tax break. And it’s because rich people are greedy assholes who think the rules don’t apply to them.


Donations to the NRA are not tax deductible. It’s a political organization, not a charity.

Donations to the Catholic Church generally are. They do a lot of good things with that money, including fund medical care for the poor, homeless shelters, and so on.

It’s true that some bad people are involved in the Catholic Church, but if you stop funding any organization that contains bad people then nobody will help the poor. Including the government.


I think part of the challenge of our tax system is how little the average American actually understands it to begin with. It’s tied to that silly statement that people sometimes make about not working more or taking overtime because it will push them into a higher tax bracket and then the government will take all my money… with them not understanding they’re taking it in brackets… it’s not as if their first dollar is suddenly hit at a higher tax rate.

In other words, in order to really evaluate the complexity, it probably helps to understand the system to begin with, and so many don’t.


You can do it. Just indirectly.

And do I need to bring up the Trump Foundation? I mean, seriously? Fuck charities giving tax breaks.