Van Jones, Salon - Romney has proposed trillions in new tax cuts, and so far has only proposed one concrete way to offset that budget-busting cost: Capping itemized tax deductions at $17,000, $25,000 or $50,000 (he’s floated several different numbers).
Let’s ignore, for the moment, that this cap could still hit middle-class families. Let’s skip over the fact that the richest folks will still make out like bandits thanks to the massive rate cuts that Romney proposes. Let’s even pretend that capping deductions would come close to paying for those tax cuts. It’s still an incredibly dangerous proposal.
This cap would be a dagger in the side of foundations, hospitals, nonprofits, museums and community organizations that rely on charitable giving — because most of that giving would no longer be tax deductible. No tax deduction, no big incentive to donate. As Jon Perr aptly puts it, Romney’s plan would “choke off charitable giving.” (And, as he notes, Romney’s estate tax repeal would do even more damage.)
Here’s my take: Romney is fully aware of this fact. It isn’t an unfortunate side effect. It is, in fact, the next step in the conservative strategy to undermine the foundations of the progressive movement.