Headline Dec 19, 2014/


THE GATES FOUNDATION spends on causes widely agreed to be good, and supported by the public purse through other means.

In general, though, giving never matches very closely the spending choices of democratically elected governments.

Overall,  American donors  give more than half of their charitable donations to religious organisations, according to a study by Mr Reich of Stanford University.

*Only a small part of total American giving was in any sense redistributive from rich to poorer people,  the study concluded*. The churches, the synagogues and so on that received most of the money-

Were typically attended by the donor, and thus could be interpreted more as a membership fee than an act of charity  -the study, by the way, did not include religiously linked charities engaged in good works under the heading of religious organisations.

Different types of donors favour different things. Rich American donors give a lot less to religions  than  less well off ones do. Instead  ''Taxpayers with incomes over $1 million tend to favour:

.- Higher Education.
.- Health and the 
.- Arts, notes Charles Clotfelter, an economist at Duke University, in a recent paper.

The American tax system, he points out:
''gives the wealthiest taxpayers a disproportionate role in allocating public resources.''

In 2008,  individual Americans with incomes over  $500,000  -who make up less than 1% of taxpayers-   accounted for  18%  of all incomes and made almost a quarter of all  charitable donations.

By contrast,  the  two-thirds of taxpayers with incomes under  $50,000  earned about 20% of all income and made about  20%  of all donations.

In  2006   taxpayers with incomes over over  $100,000   received  76%  of the total  49.9 billion tax subsidy due to the charitable deduction, although they made only 57%  of all donations.

Those with of less than  $50,000  received a mere  5%  of the subsidy, despite making one-fifth of all charitable donations.

This unfairness costs a lot of money and in some cases, at least, makes a little difference.

Warren Buffet recently told a reputed newspaper that tax concerns were largely irrelevant to his giving, and that he thinks the same is true of many of his super-rich peers:

''I gave $2 billion last year and saved almost $2 million in tax.''

The  ''plutocratic bias''  also tends to argue against the pluralism case for tax incentives,  in that it overpopulates civil society with organisations friendly to, and aligned with, the interests of the wealthy.

Mr Gladstone spoke wisely on charities:

'A good State aid would help the poor charities more than it helped the rich. But an exemption from the income tax helps the rich as such, and in proportion as they are rich.

The poor charities have no income derived from the property which could be exempted   -they possess none, and are therefore taxed upon none. You give them, therefore,  nothing.

But the rich charities, which have large estates, gain much: their income tax is returned to them. The principle of the present law is to aid the wealthy because they are so, and to aid them in proportion as they are so.

The truth is even worse. The income of poor charities is derived from voluntary contributions of the  tax-paying classes.

Britain updated its definition in the  2006 Charities Act, but beyond demanding somewhat clearer evidence of public benefit it barely changed.

America places remarkably few limitations on becoming a tax-exempt  501C3 charity, beyond a requirement not to engage in party politics.   

Most experts on charity reckon the status quo to be the least bad option.

The Honour and Serving of the operational research will continue in the future and on regular basis.

On !WOW!  -at some moment in the near future, the debate must begin on defining  ''Charity''   and    ''real charity''. 

'''!WOW!'''   -I pray and hope will get to grow,  as one of its great attributes,  and      become a very loved charity

With respectful dedication to !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Whatever You Want '''

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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