Turner, Republicans wrong on tax breaks
Remember the 1994 “Contract with America,” a ten-point plan that promised tax reform for the middle class? That promise was good enough for the GOP to flip the House majority in the November, 1994 election, but unfortunately the Republican Party is no longer interested in meaningful tax reform. For decades the citizens have been clamoring for a complete overhaul of the tax code, not senseless tinkering at the fringes, but by their recent legislation Mike Turner and others have sent a message that we can forget about any tax reform with a positive impact on the citizen class. The House just passed a tax package designed to boost charitable donations by seniors, private foundations and procrastinators. With a closer look, this appears to be nothing more than a sop to high maintenance, government subsidized, non-profit corporations.
Don’t get us wrong, there are many non-profits that provide remarkable value added to society but there are also those like the Dayton Development Coalition (DDC) that steer un-bid contracts toward their political class cronies, not to mention waste tax-payer resources on outrageously high salaries and benefits for senior management. For example, the Coalition paid President and CEO J.P. Nauseef $285,000 in 2005, the last year of the Greene County – DDC BRAC Initiative Agreement. Nauseef’s span of control was less than 30 employees, but he was paid nearly double Ohio Governor John Kasich’s compensation and more than the Vice-president of the United States.
Moreover, the proposed legislation contains no benefits to the citizen class that we don’t already have.
- Barely one-third of U.S. taxpayers itemize so more than 60 percent of the citizen class wouldn’t see a dime in tax relief from this legislation.
- One provision expands tax breaks for people over 70 who make charitable contributions from their IRAs. Seniors can already deduct charitable contributions, whatever the source of income.
- The legislation allows procrastinators to claim tax deductions made after the end of the year provided they do so by April 15th, the year after the tax year the deduction is taken. When has the government ever written a law to protect us from procrastination? It’s always the other way around. In fact, if we pay our taxes late we’ll get nicked for interest plus penalties.
The truth be told, this legislation is a gift to private charitable foundations as it reduces their excise taxes and provides marketing tools to help non-profits extract cash from their donor base. This legislation was written by non-profit lobbyists for non-profits, and at the end of the day signals another transparent attempt by government to social engineer the citizen class.
Election after election Republicans use the promise of tax reform as a wedge issue to get our votes, but once they get in office, it’s back to allowing the special interest lobbyists to drive the legislative agenda.
One other element in the “Contract” was term limits, and we all know what happened there. Despite congressional approval ratings approaching single digits, we see no movement on meaningful tax reform or term limits, two reforms that could give the citizens a fighting chance against the political class and their special interest lobbyists.