Friday, February 27, 2009

A brief interruption to comment on proposed Budget...

I don't normally share my political views here on the Blog. I don't really want to get any undesirable comments that I'll have to delete.

But I have to admit - I was hoping that things would be looking better there on Capitol Hill than they are. I'm disappointed. By what I read re: the proposed Budget.

As a former CPA/Tax preparer, the elimination of certain itemized deductions for individuals with AGI over $250k is a sad testament to the understanding of certain leaders in government. Unless the objective is to bring our country into a Welfare State where needs are met by your government (when they have the money) vs your local charity.

I don't disagree that a tax hike is needed - that's been clear for a long time - I do think they should spend the money properly. If they know how - and that's currently looking doubtful. And I don't disagree with certain elimination of deductions for the wealthy EXCEPT FOR: real estate/state tax and charitable contributions.

Double/triple taxation is just wrong - morally, legally, however you want to put it. It's already in place, already limited on the wealthy's returns, it's just hasn't been completely eliminated as a deduction, yet. But once the real estate/state tax deductions are eliminated. That's it. It's done.

Charitable contributions: All kinds of planning goes into charitable contributions by the wealthy at year end. Strategies to lower their tax bill. And they feel good about helping others. I did this for clients - clients who made a lot, paid a lot and contributed a lot. The less than 5% of the population that makes AGI of $250k are the people that contribute heavily to charitable organizations. Not to mention the cost of living disparities in our country - $250k goes much farther in the middle of the country than on either Coast. What will happen when Uncle Sam takes away that deduction, they are having to pay significantly more in tax and they feel the need to keep a little more in their bank account (but not UBS hahaha) ?

The donations to Charitable organizations will dwindle.

I don't support ALL Charities. There are those which I disagree with, but many others that make me glad to contribute.

We (Olson's) contribute regardless of tax implications because the Bible tells us to and we want to. We don't use a prescribed amount - we pray about it/give as we are able/led.

Whether a person is Christian or not - People find it important to give to charitable organizations - and they do. It supports programs/research/opportunities for others that might not otherwise be made available.

But it worries me that the giving will be less. And if the government has to step in and cover those areas, there will be less options for those needing assistance. They will have to wait their turn, many won't 'qualify', there will be less available, there will be less......

So I dearly hope and pray that portions of the Budget will be revised in the interest of the Nation as a whole.

And don't get me started on Health Care! I want choices re: my treatments and in certain "universal health care systems" in place through the world - you're choices are limited and/or determined by your government who's paying for it.

I'm rambling.... I've been getting too worked up over this stuff. That's all I'm going to say... Except I hear Nancy Pelosi was seen in a Snuggie and I might have to leave a carbon footprint in order to Google that Pic!


Linds said...

One day you and I must sit down and discuss the economic meltdown. And politics. I have a feeling it would be a great discussion! I cannot understand why sheer common sense has all but disappeared from the face of the earth right now. People in power seem to be reacting instead of acting, and without any idea of the consequences. Sigh. Just take a look at the CPSA debacle, and if I start on what is happening here in the Uk, I will never stop. I don't often write about these things on the blog either, but that doesn't mean that I am not having many many long discussions and debates in real life! What on earth is happening in our world. By the way, I also read a very interesting post somewhere this morning.... I will try and email you the link if I can track back to where I found it. I would love to know what you think about it. You are absolutely right re charitable giving, Susan. And the consequences.

PS: I always enjoy reading other people's perspectives!

mandy said...

That whole post was worth the last paragraph! :)

Olson Family said...

Linds - I think we could have many great conversations over the course of DAYZ!

Mandy - thank you. Find it hard to throw all that out there without a little humor!

Laughter is necessary medicine - keeps one from crying! :)