Letter: Tax policy means caring falls to good Samaritans

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Eleven years have passed since the onset of the 2008 economic recession. And while economic recovery has restored and returned a lot of us to a place of personal security and prosperity, there are many less fortunate in our midst who remain unemployed/underemployed, homeless, food insecure and without basic health care. It’s disheartening to read that charitable donations to help the “least among us” have declined since the GOP tax bill, which was touted by President Trump as a “Christmas gift” and “middle-class miracle,” was enacted in December 2017.

While some hourly wage earners may have benefited from a small-to-moderate increase in their take-home pay in the short run, it is the big corporations and wealthy individuals who will garner the lion’s share of the benefits in the long term. The tax cuts for low- to middle-income earners will expire after 2025; however, the tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations will be permanent unless Congress acts to change it.

In addition, raising the standard deduction for individuals and couples has resulted in a disincentive to make charitable donations. It’s clear that the responsibility of caring for the least among us in our community is going to fall upon local good Samaritans (individuals, businesses, churches, civic groups, etc.) in both Asheville and the greater WNC community.

If your primary reason for making charitable donations was to get a tax deduction, then I guess you’re like the Levite or the priest in the parable — callously giving a wide berth to the beaten stranger by the side of the road in need of help. I choose to believe that more of us will be moved with compassion like the good Samaritan and will go out of our way to lovingly care for others in need by sustaining or increasing out charitable giving.

— Nancy Tabel
Asheville

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