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01/26/2011

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Kayla

David Nasaw argues in his article "Giving Season" that the government should no longer allow tax deductions for charitable donations. He explains that those who give are eligible for a 35 percent tax deduction, which means that if they "give" $100 then they are actually only giving $85 because the rest is given back through taxes. Nasaw also points out that the people who give typically donate to charities that directly benefit the donors. He states that about half of the money given goes to either religious organizations, education, or the poor. He argues that instead of the money going directly to organizations, it should be distributed through elected officials.

Although I agree with Nasaw up to a point, I cannot agree with his overall conclusion that politicians should decide which charities receive money. I accept his point that the wealthy donors have a lot of power when it comes to deciding which charities receive money. However, the people who donate the money should be allowed to decide where their money goes. I also believe that if the government gets rid of tax deductions for charity donations, that the amount of money being donated to charities would significantly decrease because there would be little incentive to donate. While the idea that one should be rewarded for giving to charity is twisted and wrong, I think realistically that would be the case because people like some sort of recognition for doing something right. I think Nasaw brings up good points about how the current tax deduction system works, but this is a problem that needs to be approached realistically as opposed to ideally.

Maggie Durning

I think that Kayla makes a great point in her argument that politicians shouldn’t be the ones to decide where the money from charitable donations go. Donating to charities is purely optional. People who willingly decide to take money they have earned and give it to various causes should be the ones who get to decide where it goes. It’s only natural that people donate to charities that personally affect them. Someone affected by cancer is more likely to donate to cancer research, just like someone impacted by the poor and needy is going to want to focus on charities supporting that. I think it outrageous to even suggest that politicians should decide where people’s charitable donations go; if they want to donate to a certain cause, they can use money that they have personally earned. I also do not believe that getting rid of tax deductions is a good solution. Not everyone who donates to charity makes millions of dollars every year. Sometimes the only way people can afford to make a donation is by receiving tax deductions. As Kayla pointed out, by eliminating these, I could see donations significantly decreasing. While there may need to be some sort of reform in charitable donations, this is definitely not the best solution.

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