“No Charity, We’re Socialists”: Obama Pushes a Higher Charity Tax

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


Private charity was nearly illegal in the old USSR. In entirely unrelated news, Obama Inc. appears to be working to discourage charitable donations in this country.

The White House has effectively doubled down on a tax change it has been pushing for four years that would limit the value of the charitable tax deduction.

The Administration has, since 2009, pushed unsuccessfully to allow only 28 cents on a dollar donated to charity to be deducted—even though the top tax rate for the wealthy donors who make most use of the deduction has been 35 percent.

In the budget released today, the President again proposes to cap the charitable deduction at 28 percent—despite the fact that the top rate on the highest earners has increased to 39.6 percent.  Think of it this way:  the White House proposal would raise the cost of giving to charity from 60 cents per dollar to 72 cents per dollar.  That’s a 20 percent increase in what can be called the “charity tax.”

When one taxes something more, of course, one gets less of it—and it’s likely that the current $168 billion in itemized charitable giving would decline.  Indeed, Indiana  University’s Center for Philanthropy  has previously estimated that capping the charitable tax deduction’s value at 28 percent—even when the top income tax rate was 35 percent—would lower giving by 1.3 percent, or some $2.18 billion in 2010.  The new proposal would likely take an even bigger bite from giving. The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that the reduction in giving could be as high as $9 billion a year.

Socialists tend to dislike private charity because they want centralized control. From the point of view of a Barack Obama or an Elizabeth Warren, it is just as selfish of a billionaire to decide whom to donate money to as it is for him to buy a yacht.

The state is meant to serve as the total economic arbiter of needs and wants. That leaves no room for individuals to do anything except contribute to the state or work within the state. Collectivism seeks only collective charity based on government mandates and political ideology, not free market individualism.

  • Mary Sue

    Doesn't Obama know it's bad manners to tuck your napkin under your chin in your shirtcollar?

    • Brian

      No Mary Sue Obama does not know about manners. He only knows how to sink the USA.

  • Mary Sue

    Anywhere socialism is prevalent, charity drops because the people don't feel the need to give because the government is doing it all. But that is a bad thing because since it takes the personal touch out of donations and the personal connection, it hardens peoples' hearts.

  • Patscholar

    Another good post from Daniel Greenfield – Obama's outrageous attempt to kill private charity in the US – just like the old Soviet Union. If anyone doubted Obama's penchant for Marxism and communism this alone would prove the case. Its axiomatic that Obama is a socialist if not an outright communist. We need more articles like this one to help raise the consciousness of the No Information Voters in this country. Keep up the good work Daniel.

  • Toni_Pereira

    How christian charity became distorted.

  • John Spielman

    This is understandable because after all Obama IS the commander and THIEF of the United States.

  • Rianna Richards

    Socialism never worked in Europe, and it will never work in the U.S. – that's the sad truth.

  • jeanjean4

    Sorry,ot, but this is really hard stuff:
    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-presiden

    via Weasel Zippers
    http://weaselzippers.us/2013/04/13/turkey-warns-e

  • Charley

    The socialist/communist radicals of the '60s have become mainstream and have there man in the white house, so it is all about bigger and bigger government control. Discovering and reporting this stuff small pieces at a time without describing it as part of the big government take-over is myopic and part of the disinformation we are fed daily.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    "The Administration has, since 2009, pushed unsuccessfully to allow only 28 cents on a dollar donated to charity to be deducted—even though the top tax rate for the wealthy donors who make most use of the deduction has been 35 percent."

    This is the opposite approach any American president would take. Charity often solves problems too efficiently and then erodes the need for big government.

  • flowerknife_us

    The Lords tax rate is 10%, The Devil is in the difference.

  • David

    looks like the maitre d is kermit. wonder what's in the bowl?

  • alkidya

    Is that Obama's food tester in the background?

  • H

    The point of charity is to give, not create a tax shelter for yourself.