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The NY Times' skewed view of taxes

So this op-ed summary caught my eye in this morning's NYT e-mail: "If Leona Helmsley’s $8 billion charitable bequest to dogs were only a matter of wasting her own money, no one would need to care. But she is wasting ours too." For obvious reasons. I was thinking, "OK I knew there was some eccentric lady who left a fortune to some dogs, but is this what it sounds like? Is some dumb government agency footing the bill for a dog museum or something?"

And it's nothing of the sort! It's simply that the NYT is jealous of her fortune (and doesn't think she's spending it well--but that's a different story), and the 45% of it that would be taken in taxes if it hadn't been "donated" to a "charitable" cause. According to the NYT, "The charitable deduction constitutes a subsidy from the federal government... her $8 billion donation for dogs is really a gift of $4.4 billion from her and $3.6 billion from you and me." AND THAT'S WRONG!! There's no way you can call HER money YOURS just because it happens to be taxable! Money that "should've" been taxed is still NOT the government's, and NOT yours and NOT mine, but whoever's it first belonged to.

As if any of us had a right to other people's money. The government can't spend what it doesn't have--including untaxed charitable donation money.


mafia said…
Well said.

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