Time to tax churches and NGOS. - Page 3 — Brooklynian

Time to tax churches and NGOS.

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Comments

  • I don't think we've started putting guns to people's heads for $$$ just yet.

    Though the Fed has been robbing the people to lend to the gov't by way of inflation.

    No Ron Paul, but putting an end to that nonsense would do a lot more to help the position of the avg American than taking austerity measures off the table. If inflation isn't at 10% a year, that's less money that people depending on the gov't have to spend to survive.

  • austerity breeds austerity.

    if businesses/corporations holding ~$1 trillion are not investing (from an article quoting Warren Buffet I read recently but can't seem to track down) and banks are not readily lending the only entity left that is able to increase demand is the government.

    Ron Paul actually made a good point in the video CTK posted earlier. The government gave out $5 trillion, why didn't we give it to individuals?

    That money gets plowed back into the economy as people pay their bills, go out to dinner, buy things, etc.

    It's like we gave a huge lump of cash to the oligarchs and that didn't work and the word is well, we have no more money to give to the bottom 90% so you will just have to suck it up.

    I call bullshit.


    Attached files image
  • "give money to the people" was a mantra of the Recovery Act.

    While it postponed the coming pain and put us further into debt, I'm not sure it did much more.

    For example, it did not create the investment in infrastructure that this country needs to compete.

    I agree, a lot of the money that is given to corporations by government just ends up going to their shareholders and directors, but our attempts to have federally led investment programs seems equally flawed.

    I know I keep "beating this", but I think it is time to stop the myth that we can "stimulate" what we already have. We either need to accept that this is as (ahem) as hard as we are going to get, or somehow get new equipment

    The world competition seems to be always stiff.

    (ok, I'll stop now)

  • I agree whynot. The obsession with growth is a big problem. But that delves into some fundamental problems with the money system we are using that I don't want to get into as I'm about to leave. However, the fundamental idea that the money supply or economy should be growing at a greater rate than the population is prob our gravest mistake. Much of these shenanigans we have seen are the result of such flawed thinking. I mean, the US economy hasn't grown much in the last few years, and yet somehow the world as we know it hasn't ended. But that is a whole other discussion.

  • I don't think there is any shame in admitting our economy doesn't measure up to their expectations, and don't think we can meet their belief of what they need.

    They may need to lower their expectations.

    After all, we can't all be expected to be John Holmes.

  • whynot_31 said:

    "give money to the people" was a mantra of the Recovery Act.

    It was? I missed that

    While it postponed the coming pain and put us further into debt, I'm not sure it did much more.

    For example, it did not create the investment in infrastructure that this country needs to compete.

    So that's an argument for a larger stimulus, isn't it? And we do have some things there were many tangible projects conducted with stimulus money.

    http://www.recovery.gov/Transparency/RecipientReportedData/pages/RecipientReportedDataMap.aspx?ZipCode=11215&datasource=recipient

    I agree, a lot of the money that is given to corporations by government just ends up going to their shareholders and directors, but our attempts to have federally led investment programs seems equally flawed.

    how so?

    I know I keep "beating this", but I think it is time to stop the myth that we can "stimulate" what we already have. We either need to accept that this is as (ahem) as hard as we are going to get, or somehow get new equipment

    The world competition seems to be always stiff.

    (ok, I'll stop now)

    you seem a little to ready to accept 20% unemployment, stagnant wages, and rising income inequality.

  • vidro3 said:

    It was? I missed that

    Yup, we have just funded teachers and fire fighters, etc with federal money (debt)

    While it postponed the coming pain and put us further into debt, I'm not sure it did much more.

    For example, it did not create the investment in infrastructure that this country needs to compete.

    So that's an argument for a larger stimulus, isn't it? And we do have some things there were many tangible projects conducted with stimulus money.

    or, one could stop doing something that didn't work, and embrace infrastructure ...combined with (gasp) things like imminent domain for high speed rail.

    http://www.recovery.gov/Transparency/RecipientReportedData/pages/RecipientReportedDataMap.aspx?ZipCode=11215&datasource=recipient

    I agree, a lot of the money that is given to corporations by government just ends up going to their shareholders and directors, but our attempts to have federally led investment programs seems equally flawed.

    how so?

    There are many programs that fail to achieve their goals. It seems government is about as successful as private industry. That doesn't mean we stop both; it just means that we invest as opposed to merely continue the present state of affairs. If people want fire fighters and teachers, they should not be able to incur debt to pay for them ...they should have to pay taxes. I think they would rise to the occasion.

    Afterall, shouldn't their be a correlation between taxes and government services? Any correlation is presently weak at best. We can either cut services, or increase taxes ...I'd be ok with either, IF we also addressed the large debt.

    I know I keep "beating this", but I think it is time to stop the myth that we can "stimulate" what we already have. We either need to accept that this is as (ahem) as hard as we are going to get, or somehow get new equipment

    The world competition seems to be always stiff.

    (ok, I'll stop now)

    you seem a little to ready to accept 20% unemployment, stagnant wages, and rising income inequality.

    I have no belief that we are exempt from the larger world environment.

    Yes, our standard of living must fall.

    Yes, we must live within our means. We presently live 40% above our means. ....we can't continue to do this.

    However, once wages fall, unemployment will also decrease as we become more competitive.

    While I would love to get out this problem by taxing the rich, I don't see it as possible.

    We need a different solution. Companies often find that they must compete by lowering their prices and/or improving their product; I'd be ok with the US doing either.

    Taxing the rich does neither. ...like the Recovery Act, the problem is merely postponed and we may very well end up simply older and more in debt than we started.

    Cheery aren't I? ....my outlook can be described as consistent with a philosophy of "learning to dance in the rain, or learning to build a shelter", as opposed to "trying to make it stop raining".

    P.S. I really wish it would stop raining, but I can't control that.

  • Yes, our standard of living must fall.

    my overriding point is that the standard of living doesn't seem to be falling for everyone.

    in fact it seems to be falling for most and getting ridiculously better for a very select few.

    i see no problem with government policies aimed at leveling that inequity.

  • in fact it seems to be falling for most and getting ridiculously better for a very select few.

    Objective truth.

  • Boygabriel said:

    in fact it seems to be falling for most and getting ridiculously better for a very select few.

    Objective truth.

    I agree.

    ....but I do not think my agreement represents any progress.

  • Still think this is one of the best ways to get revenue.

  • NGOs I don't know. Would something like the Salvation Army be an NGO? They shouldn't pay taxes. But the Righteous Church Of The Newly Appointed Apostle Ezekeriah Jenkins And His New Jaguar XJ Supersport And Lavish Mansion should probably be obligated to give something back to Uncle Sam.

  • The only way to avoid the problem CTK describes is to tax all religions and NGOs.

    ....we should not be in the business of determining which are worthy of an exemption.

    whynot_31 said:

    I agree that if we are going to tax them, we should tax both.

    If you just tax churches, they will all become NGOs.

    If you just tax NGOs, they will find someway that they believe in some mild form of god in order to not be taxed.

    both are pretty powerful in this country.

  • problems with exemptions is people learn quickly what those loop holes are. like all tax loop holes rich always find a way ;p. cause they have money to lol.

  • ....I'm not sure they they will be able to do what they are setting out to do, but the gesture is a nice one. What would government do without task forces?

    http://www.nynp.biz/

    Governor Adds to Task Force

    on NGO Executive Compensation

    nynp wrote: Governor Cuomo announced last week that that Senator Carl L. Marcellino and Assemblyman Steve Englebright, chairmen of the Senate and Assembly Government Operations Committees, will join the Governor's task force to investigate the executive and administrator compensation levels at not-for-profits that receive taxpayer support from the state. Governor Cuomo also announced that Department of Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky will chair the taskforce. Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez, Commissioner of Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services, will also serve on the taskforce.

    "I thank Senator Marcellino and Assemblyman Englebright for agreeing to serve on this taskforce. This taskforce's work is critical to ensuring that taxpayer dollars are actually being spent supporting the critical services these not-for-profits have agreed to provide to New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo said.

    "I commend Governor Cuomo for creating this task force to investigate executive compensation at taxpayer supported not-for-profits," said Senator Marcellino. "The great majority of not-for-profits are doing it right and putting the needs of those they serve first. Unfortunately, some executives have lost sight of their mission and are using their position to feed their greed at the expense of the neediest New Yorkers. By working together, the task force can find solutions that protect the integrity of services and taxpayer dollars. I thank the Governor for the opportunity to serve."

    "Governor Cuomo is right to order a review of the executive compensation of not-for-profits," said Assemblyman Englebright. "These organizations play an important role in New York State, often serving much-needed causes and working on behalf of disadvantaged groups. However, as these groups are supported by tax payer dollars, it is our responsibility to ensure that money is spent on helping others rather than excessive salary packages. I look forward to working together with other members of this task force to make sure not-for-profit organizations across New York are putting taxpayer money to good use."

  • New Orleans Halts Effort to Assess Property Taxes on

    Nonprofits (12/22/11)

    Nonprofits in New Orleans will be able to keep their property

    tax exemptions at least through 2012, the Times-Picayune reports.

    Mayor Mitch Landrieu and his administration had hoped to get the

    state legislature to pass amendments to the Louisiana constitu-

    tion that would narrow the scope of property tax exemptions for

    nonprofit organizations in the city and give local government

    more power to regulate such exemptions. In June, a tax fairness

    commission appointed by Landrieu recommended the amendments after

    studying the effect exemptions have on the city's budget. The

    commission's report argued that local governments should be

    allowed to collect taxes on as much as half the assessed value

    of properties that have qualified for the tax exemption and

    recommended narrowing the types of properties that receive such

    exemptions.

    A report in March issued by the Bureau of Governmental Research

    found that, at current tax rates, eliminating nonprofit exemp-

    tions would add $125 million a year to the city's budget. But

    another study, by the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Orga-

    nizations, found that nonprofits -- and the people they serve

    -- would be hurt by the proposed changes. Tax exemptions

    represent as much as 30 percent of the budgets of most of the

    organizations LANO surveyed, and their elimination likely would

    result in wide-scale cutbacks, staff reductions, and the cancel-

    lation of programs that support local residents.

    Last week, New Orleans deputy director of intergovernmental

    affairs Suchitra Satpathi-Dyer told the Louisiana House Com-

    mittee on Municipal, Parochial, and Cultural Affairs that the

    city intended to table the proposed amendments for the time

    being. "This is a very complicated issue for municipalities,

    and everyone has worked very diligently with the city to try

    and come to some resolution on what is the best course of

    action for the city going forward -- and not just New Orleans,

    but other municipalities that grapple with these same sorts of

    issues," she said. "The issue is so complicated that it will

    certainly take further review and work on our part."

    source: Schleifstein, Mark.

    "New Orleans Mayor Abandons for the Coming Year Efforts to Make Some Nonprofit Groups Pay Property Taxes."

    New Orleans Times-Picayune 12/20/11. http://bit.ly/twT1D6

    as linked by: http://pndapps.fdncenter.org/link/20000413/8

  • We can take a page out of the religious guys from Israel. Get ourselves exempted and pay nothing and leech off society!!!

    The professor, Channa Maayan, knew that the acting health minister, who is ultra-Orthodox, and other religious people would be in attendance. So she wore a long-sleeve top and a long skirt. But that was hardly enough.

    Not only did Dr. Maayan and her husband have to sit separately, as men and women were segregated at the event, but she was instructed that a male colleague would have to accept the award for her because women were not permitted on stage.

    Though shocked that this was happening at a government ceremony, Dr. Maayan bit her tongue. But others have not, and her story is entering the pantheon of secular anger building as a battle rages in Israel for control of the public space between the strictly religious and everyone else.

    At a time when there is no progress on the Palestinian dispute, Israelis are turning inward and discovering that an issue they had neglected — the place of the ultra-Orthodox Jews — has erupted into a crisis.

    And it is centered on women.

    “Just as secular nationalism and socialism posed challenges to the religious establishment a century ago, today the issue is feminism,” said Moshe Halbertal, a professor of Jewish philosophy at Hebrew University. “This is an immense ideological and moral challenge that touches at the core of life, and just as it is affecting the Islamic world, it is the main issue that the rabbis are losing sleep over.”

    The list of controversies grows weekly: Organizers of a conference last week on women’s health and Jewish law barred women from speaking from the podium, leading at least eight speakers to cancel; ultra-Orthodox men spit on an 8-year-old girl whom they deemed immodestly dressed; the chief rabbi of the air force resigned his post because the army declined to excuse ultra-Orthodox soldiers from attending events where female singers perform; protesters depicted the Jerusalem police commander as Hitler on posters because he instructed public bus lines with mixed-sex seating to drive through ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods; vandals blacked out women’s faces on Jerusalem billboards.

    Public discourse in Israel is suddenly dominated by a new, high-toned Hebrew phrase, “hadarat nashim,” or the exclusion of women. The term is everywhere in recent weeks, rather like the way the phrase “male chauvinism” emerged decades ago in the United States.

    All of this seems anomalous to most people in a country where five young women just graduated from the air force’s prestigious pilots course and a woman presides over the Supreme Court.

    But each side in this dispute is waging a vigorous public campaign.

    The New Israel Fund, which advocates for equality and democracy, organized singalongs and concerts featuring women in Jerusalem and put up posters of women’s faces under the slogan, “Women should be seen and heard.” The Israel Medical Association asserted last week that its members should boycott events that exclude women from speaking on stages.

    Religious authorities said liberal groups were waging a war of hatred against a pious sector that wanted only to be left in peace.

    That sector, the black-clad ultra-Orthodox, is known in Israel as Haredim, meaning those who tremble before God. It comprises many groups with distinct approaches to liturgy as well as to coat length, hat style, beard and side locks and different hair coverings for women. Among them are the Hasidim of European origin as well as those from Middle Eastern countries who are represented by the political party Shas.

    As a group, the ultra-Orthodox are, at best, ambivalent about the Israeli state, which they consider insufficiently religious and premature in its founding because the Messiah has not yet arrived. Over the decades the Haredim angrily demonstrated against state practices like allowing buses to run on the Sabbath, and most believed the state would not survive.

    The feeling was mutual. The original Haredi communities in Europe were decimated in the Holocaust, and when Israel’s founding prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, offered subsidies and army exemptions to the few in Israel then, he thought he was providing the group with a dignified funeral.

    “Most Israelis at the time assumed the Haredim would die off in one generation,” said Jonathan Rosenblum, a Haredi writer.

    Instead, they have multiplied, joined government coalitions and won subsidies and exemptions for children, housing and Torah study. They now number a million, a mostly poor community in an otherwise fairly well-off country of 7.8 million.

    But while the community has gained increased economic might — there is a growing market catering to its needs — what is lacking is economic productivity. The community places Torah study above all other values and has worked assiduously to make it possible for its men to do that rather than work. While the women often work, there is a 60 percent unemployment rate among the men, who also generally do not serve in the army.

    It is this combination — accepting government subsidies, refusing military service and declining to work, all while having six to eight children per family — that is unsettling for many Israelis, especially when citizens feel economically insecure and mistreated by the government.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/world/middleeast/israel-faces-crisis-over-role-of-ultra-orthodox-in-society.html?hp

  • By pooling their resources, they are able to survive and (by some measures) "thrive" on public assistance. I wonder if the gains they achieve from cooperation exceed the gains they forego by not working.

    I suspect the potential tax revenue from this group would be minimal.

  • PS. Many NGOs are likely to go under due to falling government revenue: http://www.thenonprofittimes.com/article/detail/survey-prepare-for-50-percent-cut-in-gov-t-income-4332

    Just tax the rich ones please.

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