Ignorance or malevolence?

27 02 2009

I am generally the type of person who gives people the benefit of the doubt.  I don’t like to think ill of people, nor do I wish to ascribe ill will to acts that may simply be the result of coincidence or mere human failing.  That even extends to politicians, a class of people seemingly incapable of honest communication.

However, recent evaluations of the budget proposed by the Obama administration cause me to rethink that, since some of the provisions of that budget can lead to no other conclusion.  Either the Obama  administration is the most catastrophically clueless mass of people to assume power, or they have taken duplicity to a new high.

From today’s Washington Times:

Still, the charitable giving deduction reduction, which would limit deductions for couples making $250,000 or individuals making $200,000, provoked the most heat Thursday. Mr. Obama is counting on that provision to raise $179.8 billion over 10 years.

“Some of the reforms and offsets contained or referenced in the budget, such as the limitation on itemized deductions, raise concerns and will require more study as we determine the best policies for getting America back on track,” said Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, Montana Democrat.

Roberton Williams, senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, said it’s impossible to calculate the exact effects of all the tax changes, but said the overall result is clear – less philanthropic giving.

“This will lead people to give less to charities if they behave the way they’ve behaved in the past,” he said. “We’ve already seen a drop in giving as a result of the economic collapse. On top of that, this will just reduce the amount of giving.”

Asked about that, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag said Mr. Obama took care of that by giving charities government money to make up part of the difference.

Now let’s think about that for a second.  It breaks down into two parts:  people who make over $250,000 won’t be able to deduct some (if not all) of their charitable deductions, and some government person somewhere will be empowered to authorize payments of government money to “charities” to make up part of the difference.

If they wanted to be honest, the Obamoids would simply say that they wanted the money instead of letting the taxpayers keep it.  Instead, however, they attempt to mollify us by asserting that they will make up the drop-off in charitable giving with more federal largess.

What goes unspoken (an unasked by a complacent media) is the conclusion that the replacement donations will only go to those “charities” that the government is constitutionally allowed to fund and that are politically approved (read that connected) to the administration.  Thus, no money for support of churches and religions institutions if the purpose to support the religious ministry.  No money for any group that does not toe the politically-correct line (can you imagine the uproar if the Boy Scouts received money?  There are already court cases involving the Scouts renting federal land for events) or politically unfriendly institutions like the Heritage Foundation or the NRA?  Meanwhile, plenty  more money for Acorn, greenie groups, and other favored groups.

I’d ask how stupid they think we are, but they’ve already answered that question.

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