It appears that the writer is upset about the income tax deduction allowed for charitable contributions. Basically, the writer is a statist that wants as much of our money as possible funneled to the state, and is upset that private charities have not yet been entirely replaced by state "charity".
I dunno if I would go so far as to characterize the writer as a totalitarian based on what you said, though I certainly agree that they are considerably more statist than most.
The writer reminds me of another statist, a politician who ironically by Hawaii standards is considered a moderate, who at a town hall meeting said something that implied that every bit of income really belongs to the government -- he characterized income tax refunds of overpayments as a government expense and a form of income to the recipients, talking about the payments as a program that costs "us" money, and implying that maybe "we" shouldn't be so generous in handing out all this free money.
The $300 billion donated to charities last year cost the government more than $50 billion in lost tax revenue.
This is just as bad as what a local representative here in Michigan suggested be done to reverse some of the Granholm caused damage.
The movie industry is getting a generous tax incentive to make movies in this state. Representative Tom McMillin (R), Rochester Hills, actually called the incentive "corporate welfare!" As if companies being "allowed" to keep their own money are somehow stealing from the rest of us.
Using my own money to build something isn't the same as accepting stolen tax revenue to build it. Duh.
Teresa -- we have the same kind of tax incentives for movie makers in my state. My objection to this sort of thing is that it allows politicians to play favorites, giving favored industries tax breaks while charging everyone else more to keep the revenue levels growing. Also, it leads to rent-seeking campaign contributions from the industries getting the tax breaks.
I'm all for tax breaks, but feel they should be across the board, not targeted to whichever coalition of special interest groups bids the highest with campaign contributions.
It's one thing to argue that tax cuts should be across the board. It's another thing for a politician to argue that there should be high taxes across the board, and to call a break, not a subsidy "welfare."
What this means -- and I would say that Becerra knows exactly what it means -- is that he wants to think of (and speak about) citizens as children, and that he wants to play the role of the parent with but a single exception -- he wants to be a parent who loots his kids' piggy bank.
Good one, Ed. I will try to remember that exception in connection with governmental paternalism.
Ed T – These true totalitarians are systematically trying to limit freedom with their Newspeak nonsense to the effect that when the government doesn’t steal your money, it’s a special favor to you that harms the collective.
Here’s my piece on the background of this attack, by an old ACORN guy at that:
... What kills me is that I sent off the letter to my local newspaper before noticing that this article was a reprint from the NY Times. Planning to send a copy of the letter to the NY Times, I painfully noticed that the NY Times doesn't accept any letters which have been sent to any other publications.
How would the New York Times even know you sent it to another paper, unless you told them, or you published the letter in another prominent New York paper?
The two local papers in Honolulu have the same policy, which I subvert by sending two copies of the emailed letter, rather than one email with a cc:
And it's not like I even fool them, since after the first couple of dozen letters that got into both papers, they know good and well what I'm doing. That, and I've personally met the people who screen the letters to the editors, and batted emails back and forth about letters they liked but needed to be trimmed down to fit in the available space. Basically, their policy boils down to "show us respect by sending a separate email".
I got my furst LttE (that's: "letter to the editor" for those interested) published! It was longer than the 150-word limit, but they published it without without cropping it! Page 11B of the St Paul Pioneer Press today reads: ************************ Gift -giving and taxes
Stephanie Strom's article about charities multiplying was disconcerting ("Fake nuns to red roses, charities multiply, costing U.S.," Dec. 6). What bothered me wasn't charities but the paternalist, authoritarian views of Strom and Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif), whom she interviewed.
That Strom writes "[t]he $300 billion donated to charities last year cost the government more than $50 billion in lost tax revenue" sheds light on her views regarding the issue of private property as it relates to gift-giving.
That someone's choice regarding the disposal of their own money is seen as a "cost" to government is communist in spirit if not in detail (where government owns all property and it's disposal is directed by authoritarian bureaucrats).
Becerra's admonition to "make sure taxpayers are getting a big enough return" is merely the next step in this authoritarian slippery-slope; embodied by the regulation of gift-giving, thereby stripping individuals of the autonomy to make choices about donating to whatever charities or causes in which they believe.
Another way to say this is that we need authoritarianism to save people from themselves. No thanks, I prefer my freedom.