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  • Will the Poor Pay for Health Care Reform?

    orszag_omb0903021

    Peter Orszag, Director of the Office of Management and Budget for President Obama, responded Friday to critics of the administration’s proposal to reduce the amount of charitable contributions that high-income taxpayers can deduct. Many tax analysts, including this writer, argued that such a reduction would deplete much needed resources from charitable organizations and further undercut our civil society.

    Not to worry, writes Mr. Orszag. We wouldn’t do this in the midst of a recession, and it’s only fair that high-income and lower-income taxpayers enjoy about the same tax deduction for their contributions.

    What a relief! The OMB chief knows enough economics to argue that raising taxes in the midst of a recession is a dumb idea. However, taxpayers now know that their taxes will be rising in 2011 (from this and the end of the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003). Don’t you suppose that they might be taking steps today to avoid tax liabilities in just two years, steps that might include backing away from certain charitable contributions?

    It is the other hook in his argument that bothers most, however. To suggest that it is a step toward greater social justice to reduce the tax value of charitable contributions made by high-income taxpayers to that made by middle and low-income taxpayers is like Scrooge giving Cratchet an hour off for Christmas and believing he’s done something nearly divine. What is socially just about starving food banks of desperately needed dollars, of stripping centers that protect battered women of charitable contributions, and of denying low-income urban minorities of the education and job training provided by churches, fraternal societies, and voluntary organizations?

    If the answer is that a little injustice to the demographically marginal in our population is a small cost for a reformed health care system for the middle class, we might just have to ask Mr. Orszag to take another look at his budget priorities.

    Posted in First Principles, Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    15 Responses to Will the Poor Pay for Health Care Reform?

    1. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      I think the real reason behind this is to make the Charities depend on the government. When you do that, the socialists can determine which organization is worth supporting and which organization not. It another ruse to reduce private initiative, punish the producers and make the government sole authority over people's lives. It fits the socialist mode of the current administration.

      Rush Limbaugh is dead on when he said that he didn't know of any president that ever had gone after capitalistic system and producers of this country to reduce them to anti-American status.

    2. Mike G, Omaha says:

      The entire Obama administration, to a man (or woman), demonstrates that the combination of (a) ignorance of what drives our economy, (b) rigid Leftist ideology, (c) a consistently naive and shallow understanding of human nature, and (d) contempt for honesty, transparency,and keeping promises, all lead to an unbroken series of counterproductive, misleading, and potentially disastrous policies. Every day is a new slap in the face. A helpful read is Thomas Sowell's book, "The Vision of the Anointed."

    3. Kent, Virginia says:

      American Christian Charities do more good around the world than government giveaway programs that just throw a bundle of money and bureaucracy at a problem. A good example is the 'war on poverty' we've been 'fighting' since the days of FDR. Wealthy Americans should not be punished for giving money they earn to charities they choose. The Fascist Left dictators in DC, if they fail to encourage charitable giving with tax deductions, will not bring about the 'deduction balance' they say they are after, but will make many poor and needy people suffer. What these power worshippers in Washington REALLY want is more money from the people who pay 80% of the tax burden so they can spend it as THEY wish! Demand term limits and vote these power worshipping fascists out of office in 2010!

    4. Dave M., Michigan says:

      Eliminating charitable deductions is being done for several reasons. 1.)It allows the Obama to not only decide which "causes" are worth merit, but in the future it will punish those it sees as "subversive" as the Russians did with their gulags. 2.)It further enhances class warfare because those who help the poor and needy will have less monetary incentive to help, which will then be exploited by Obama and his ilk as "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer", etc. 3.)It will identify philanthropists, Christians, and Jews who will not let the fact that their tax deduction has ceased stop them from giving to an ideology that believes govt. is the answer to everything.

    5. charles, wyoming.usa says:

      charities do more for all/everyone than the government could in 200 years. once again, it's proof we're going down the road towards communism at the speed of mach 7(sr-71). GOD help us when we crash.

    6. Sharon J says:

      Everyday it is something new with obama!! If only people would have done their research on him before they voted. Reading "The Case against obama" this fall was enough for me. He is full filling his dreams as the days march on. Him and his wife are as evil as the day is long as they have the same agenda for this country. His agenda is causing God to become very angry with this country. The most we can do is pray for those that do not believe. We believers will be protected from this evil that obama is spewing.

    7. Glenn, Aiken, SC says:

      Kent you came so close to it, but it all boils down to money and control. Sure the poor will suffer, and similarly they have been trying since the 90's (Clinton) to get a chunk of everyone's 401K. These beauracrats only seek an ever increasing slice of the pie which they did not help to create. But, with which they wish to consolidate their power, and add to their voter base. If this isn't stopped, it ends badly! If you need a history lesson Google the Weimar Republic, and the rise of the National Socialists Party in Germany circa 1930.

    8. mike baker Dallas C says:

      If you can make a reasonable case that Obama isn't doing the damage he's doing on purpose, I'll buy you dinner in Dallas Center,Ia. Ironically, this latest targeting of personal responsibility comes close on the heels of the passing on of Paul Harvey, who's most powerful essay " It must be the shoes " laid clear the beautiful compassion and the simple mission of the Salvation Army and its silent chorus.

    9. duelles, Santa Fe, N says:

      I need a month or so to go over the campaign promises on tax cuts for 95% of americans , transparency in transition, ethical behavior, no earmarks, no lobbyists, cap and trade, cheaper heathcare. And then match them all up with the the lies and deciects coming out of the Oval office.

      Following this Presidents plans is like that kid game of "Concentration". So much BS prior to nov 6th to match up with so much BS after jan 20th.

      He is as Glenn, SC, states HE is just paying off public and private unions for their support. Consolidating the ignorance into a giant voting block. One hopes that they will not get the health care they signed up for and go to Canada.

    10. N. Manetavat Cincinn says:

      The poors should have to pay for health care because they are poor. Why are American peoples mad when Govt. wants to help some poor peoples? The Govt. has made Americans rich and they still complaining. In 1985 we had 13 billionaires but now we have over 1000. Where did the money come from? The Govt. is in debt but Americans are rich.

    11. N. Manetavat Cincinn says:

      Sorry, I wanted to say that the poor should not have to pay health care.

    12. Bob Balda, Queen Cre says:

      I would like to respond to N. Manetavat. Your claim that "poor people should not have to pay for health care" indicates that "rich" people should have to pay for health care. And not only should rich people be paying for their own health care, but they should be paying for health care for the poor. This is what you're alluding to correct?

      1. Americans aren't mad because the government is wanting to help people in need. Americans are mad because the government is creating more of a welfare state than already exists with funds that don't exist. It's a double-edged sword that will only make this country worse off than it is. Helping people in need by taking out expensive loans is superficial. And throwing money at a problem will never fix it, it only masks it for a short time. Poor people, rather than receiving handouts, need to be taught how to make wealth for themselves and then must act on those teachings.

      2. The U.S. government didn't "make" any of our billionaires rich. The government merely provides and protects our freedoms to generate wealth. The only people getting rich due to government are the politicians themselves and the lobbyists. And I guarantee you that most of those billionaires were poor at some point in their life, but made good decisions and displayed the discipline necessary to put themselves where they are at today.

      I am not rich. By the government's standards I am lower middle class if not in "poverty". However, I live a very comfortable life because I live within my means. There was a point when I was supporting a wife and a child on $12 an hour. At this time I was able to afford healthcare, I went to school and paid for my education out-of-pocket, and we had all of our needs met with no government assistance and paid ALL OF OUR BILLS ON TIME, including $1000's in medical expenses.

      There are many people in our country who make far more than $12 an hour who cannot afford the lifestyle they have created for themselves. Many choose a fancy car over health insurance, others choose drugs over health insurance, some choose entertainment over health insurance. Health insurance is affordable to those in "poverty". It is not affordable, however, to those who CHOOSE to spend their money on other, less important things.

      Responsible Americans have every right to be angry about being FORCED to foot the bill for their irresponsible counterparts.

    13. C Holland Chelsea MI says:

      r.e. "To suggest that it is a step toward greater social justice to reduce the tax value of charitable contributions made by high-income taxpayers to that made by middle and low-income taxpayers is like Scrooge giving Cratchet an hour off for Christmas and believing he’s done something nearly divine. What is socially just about starving food banks of desperately needed dollars, of stripping centers that protect battered women of charitable contributions, and of denying low-income urban minorities of the education and job training provided by churches, fraternal societies, and voluntary organizations?"

      Is the author seriously arguing that we as a people are so morally bankrupt and devoid of compassion that giving has been reduced to a calculation of gain?

      To suggest that high-income taxpayers will significantly decrease their level of giving if the tax value of their charitable contributions is reduced is extremely cynical — it suggests that such giving is motivated solely by economic calculation. What if most people give because they can — and they can see that it makes a difference and it feels good to make that difference? I.e., even if the amount of tax benefit decreases, the primary motivator for the individual donor (having made that difference) does not decrease.

      This argument seems specious at best to me.

    14. REBECCA CLIFFORD OHI says:

      Oh stick it Bob Balda… quit playing the ' well, I sure did it for myself ' … self righteousness last time i checked in with god and my heart., was very selfish and a sin. Health insurance IS NOT affordable to anyone in poverty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And this is something that DID NOT happen overnight. And the rising of unemployment, and lack of jobs…DID NOT just happen overnight.., and the wars DID NOT just happen overnight!!!!!!!!!!!!! And they HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH OBAMA!!!! Last time i checked, BIG DADDY BUSH! AND LITTLE BOY BUSH….. BOTH ….. I SAID …BOTH… had wars … in their terms of presidency.. My nephew served in one.. And unemployment has been an issue for years!!!! THIS IS JUST A MESS LEFT OVER FROM THEM………ESPECIALLY FROM LITTLE BOY BUSH!!! THAT OBABA IS LEFT TO TRY AND MAKE SOMETHING OF IT.. LEFT HERE TO CLEAN UP THIS MESS THAT WAS CREATED!!!!!! SOME BODY HAD TO TRY TO DO IT… IT WASNT YOU, OR YOUR NEIGHBOR…OR I…EVEN. IT IS HIM, THAT IS DOING WHAT HE CAN… WE ARE NOT ALL PERFECT.. NO ONE HAS ANYTHING TO SAY ABOUT WHAT BUSH DID FOR THIS COUNTRY, WHICH WAS CREATE A BIG MESS…. CAUSE THESE ISSUES WE ARE FACING NOW…. HAVE BEEN HERE A LONG TIME… CREATED BY ..YOURS TRULY…… LITTLE BOY GEORGE BUSH……………………….. AND FOR THE RECORD, I HAVE NO INSURANCE… NONE!!!! TO TAKE CARE OF MY HEALTH, TO BE HERE FOR ALONG TIME FOR MY CHILDREN AND GRAND CHILDREN… AND MR. SELF RIGHTEOUS, WHAT PENNIES I DO HAVE, WHICH IS FEW… I SPEND ON VERY IMPORTANT THINGS THAT ARE NEEDED….. LIKE GLASSES FOR MY EYES SO THAT I CAN SEE LIKE YOU AND EVERYONE ELSE, PEOPLE NEED TO QUIT LOOKING AT THE POOR, LIKE THEY ARE INSECTS… OR INVISIBLE.. CAUSE GUESS WHAT….. THERE IS NOT ENOUGH MONEY IN THIS WORLD FOR EVERY PERSON LIVING TO BE RICH…… BUT FORTUNATELY, IM RICH BECAUSE MY VALUES LIE WAY BEYOND WHETHER I CAN AFFORD HEALTH INSURANCE OR NOT…. BECAUSE I AM BLESSED WITH FAMILY AND GOD , WITH THE HELP OF OBAMA, WILL BLESS ME WITH HEALTHCARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111

    15. Colleen Colsey says:

      My disability "too high" to be on Medcaid,yet too low to pay for monthly expenses including rent and the astronomical medical bills. My food stamps allotment is $28.00 per month. I'm going to have to claim bankruptsy–I need a bailout.

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