Gris — I see where you are coming from, but let me clarify. When I say we could get rid of the charitable deduction, I do not mean doing that in a way that would mean a net tax increase. I would advocate reducing other taxes so that people have exactly as much of their own money to spend as before. The only difference is that they would have it unconditionally — they could spend it to fix the roof, to take a cruise — it would be their choice, instead of the way it is now, where they get to keep it only so long as they give it away. Yes, they have the choice of whether to give it to their church or the Sierra Club, but that is a limited choice. Anyway, it seems to me that after getting rid of the charitable deduction (in a tax-neutral way) the “small piece of control” over where your money goes would be larger, not smaller. Agree?

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Economist, Senior Fellow at Niskanen Center, Yale Ph.D. Interests include environment, health care policy, social safety net, economic freedom.

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