Public Policy Update 2-14-12 "The Buffett Rule"

 So anyone that has interest in the non-profit community and/or politics, should have heard by now about the on going saga of Charitable Deductions. 

The saga pretty much amounts to a bad relationship. Congress being the bad boyfriend and the non-profit sector is the crazy girlfriend. We fight it out, the boyfriend cheats on us (aka considers taking away the Charitable Deduction), we catch him, call him incessantly, drop by his office, try to get him to see logic. He concedes, says he won't cheat again....and then as soon as we're not looking - he comes home with lipstick on his collar. And then Carrie said "....

Ha. Just kidding.


Anyway, I explained what the problem with eliminating or reducing the Chartiable Deduction would mean for non-profits when I recounted my tale of my lobby trip to D.C. with the Alliance for Charitable Reform

In all seriousness, this is an issue that would have a very harmful effect on non-profits. And some in the non-profit sector have misgivings of what removing or reducing the deduction could mean for American society as a whole. Steve Taylor, Senior Vice President & Counsel for Public Policy at United Way Worldwide said "This goes to the core of who we are as a nation We have a long tradition of charitable giving, of taking care of our own groups, and this deduction is an embodiment of that spirit."


But at last, it looks as if we may have found a relationship counselor. Things just may work out in the end. We've begun seeing this therapist called Dr. Buffett Rule.


The "Buffett Rule" made its first appearance in the State of the Union by the POTUS, and is somewhat of a compromise. The new legislation would require the top bracket of income earners (those earning more than $2 million) to increase thier taxes, but would allow them to continue to claim the Charitable Deduction. This website does an excellent job of clarifying the new proposal in layman's terms. 


The new rule is not what some in the non-profit community would call "ideal". There are still aspects to the legislation that would be complex and simply not optimal. However, what the legislation symbolizes is significantly more valuable than what is written in words. The adminstration is listening, and taking into account the backlash of not just the non-profit community, but also the general public; and they're working to try to come up with viable alternative.


So, for right now the boyfriend has made real progress in our therapy sessions. We're getting to the core of his insecurities and commitment issues. But you better believe we're still going through his text messages and deleting "pretty" Facebook friends. 


Caitlin Carey
Public Policy Intern