Cato senior fellow Daniel Mitchell in WSJ calls for the elimination charitable deductions in part because:
It doesn't do what it promises—that is, to boost charitable giving.How much more of a government micro-manager can you get? Why should a tax deduction be about directing revenues in any direction? That is simply government central planning. How about being in favor of tax deductions because they reduce taxes?
But, Mitchell's justification for ending charitable tax deductions, goes from bad to worse:
Finally, ditching the deduction is one of the better options for raising tax revenue here and now. To be clear, I don't want to give more revenue to Washington. That's like putting blood in the water with hungry sharks around.
But if politicians are going to extract more money from the private sector anyway, reducing or eliminating the deduction is much less damaging to growth than imposing higher marginal tax rates.Got that? According to Mitchell raising taxes is like putting blood in the water with hungry sharks, but he wants to eliminate the charitable deduction to increase tax revenues! How tortured can an argument get? This type bizarre micro-managing policy position, within the coercive state, points to the real problem with Cato, and similar institutions. They are captured by inside the beltway thinking, and will throw liberty over-board in any direction at any time, if appears to be a good inside the beltway move. They become micro-managers for the state, who are welcomed at any D.C. crony party because they are "reasonable" and understand the need for at least some government coercion. Disgusting.