The OU has been outspoken in opposing the White House’s proposal to cut the tax deduction afforded on charitable deductions. Others, including UJC, the Council on Foundations and a leading Harvard economist, Martin Feldstein, also opposed the idea, saying it would devastate the nonprofit sector at just the time nonprofits are being asked to do more with less, and as people battered financially and emotionally in these times they are demanding more services from financially struggling nonprofits. As IPA director Nathan Diament has said, if the issue is “tax fairness” as the president claims (middle income donors get a smaller deduction) than just increase the middle income deduction to match the wealthy.
Senator Baucus, the powerful Finance chair, put it diplomatically when he recently said the proposal to cut the deduction “ran into some headwind”. And today the LA Times reports the deduction (as well as one for home mortgages) are looking like they might be off the table. Senator Baucus for his part says everything is on the table still – both the president’s plan as well as others, including his own. But at least for now, this unwise proposal is off center.