Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Even as the United States suffers from a staggering unemployment crisis and vast income inequality, the nation's wealthiest families are sitting on huge piles of unproductive cash.
So with nothing remotely like a second stimulus bill in the cards, the best hope for goosing the economy, creating jobs and providing relief for the needy could lie in a Washington economist's ingenious scheme to get a chunk of that money put into circulation right now, in helpful ways.
Isabel Sawhill, a budget expert at the Brookings Institution, is pushing to temporarily double the tax deduction for charitable giving, a move that would serve as a powerful incentive for the rich to significantly increase -- or at least accelerate -- their contributions to nonprofit organizations.
(Hat Tip: Francine Lipman.)