Paul L. Caron

Friday, February 24, 2017

Fleischer Presents Subsidizing Charity Liberally Today At Columbia

Fleischer (Miranda)Miranda Perry Fleischer (San Diego) presents Subsidizing Charity Liberally at Columbia today as part of its Public Law Workshop Series hosted by David Pozen:

When visiting America over 150 years ago, Alexis De Tocqueville was amazed by the role of charities in American society. Since De Tocqueville’s visit, the sector’s size and influence have grown enormously. So too have the legal benefits accorded them, the most important of which are governmental subsidies in the form of exemption from the corporate income tax and the ability to receive tax-deductible contributions. Given the sector’s importance and the cost of these benefits, whether the sector’s legal treatment reflects our society’s broader ideals merits examination. More specifically, our Constitution enshrines two bedrock principles of Western liberal democracies: limited government and equal opportunity. Does the legal treatment of the charitable sector further these ideals, or undermine them?

This Chapter explores the extent to which the charitable tax subsidies reflect these principles, as expressed in the two theories of distributive justice respectively associated with them, libertarianism and resource egalitarianism. This analysis shows that the subsidies’ current structure is much broader than necessary to reflect libertarian ideals, even under the more permissive classical liberal theories. As a result, the subsidies undermine the principle of limited government by coercing taxpayers to subsidize activities that are not the legitimate purview of government. The subsidies’ relation to resource egalitarianism is more complex: They are broader than the most common interpretations of resource egalitarianism justify, and undermine basic equality of opportunity notions both by subsidizing activities that increase the head-start of the wealthy and by giving wealthy taxpayers more say over government resources than poorer taxpayers. That said, the subsidies do reflect less well-known and more controversial accounts of resource egalitarianism that address expensive tastes and talent-pooling.

Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink


" government and equal opportunity."

The 2nd will kill the first and, along with it: justice, freedom of association, indivudal liberty, property rights, individual rights and thus the social/political system conducive to such: capitalism.

"Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned.

"The only function of the government, in such a society, is the task of protecting man’s rights, i.e., the task of protecting him from physical force; the government acts as the agent of man’s right of self-defense, and may use force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use; thus the government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of force under objective control" (Ayn Rand; “What Is Capitalism?” Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 19).

Equality before the law is both the context & the extent of the concept "equality." This does not include 'Inclusiveness.'

Inclusiveness ... is the foundation for the Ideal (Marxist) community, one in which everyone, despite individual differences—in physique, health, intelligence, ability, psychology, temperament, character and choice—would be made economically equal: equal in their opportunities and in their responses to those opportunities, so that future opportunities also would be for everyone exactly the same and on and on ad infinitum into a glorious identicalness of thinking and living.

There is nothing remotely "liberal" about social or economic equality or their grotesque parent, equal opportunity. This is why conservatives have been bested by Progressives for the past 100 or so years.

Get. A. Clue.

Posted by: writeby | Feb 25, 2017 10:34:20 AM

Disagree with the third sentence fiercely. Letting people keep their own money is not a "subsidy."

Posted by: Karen A Torres | Feb 25, 2017 9:40:29 AM