So what doesn't count as a "class issue"?

By Conor Clarke

I'm confused by the The Wall Street Journal's editorial on the Obama administration's plan to cap charitable deductions:

In defense, White House budget chief Peter Orszag wrote on his blog: "If you're a teacher making $50,000 a year and decide to donate $1,000 to the Red Cross or United Way, you enjoy a tax break of $150. If you are Warren Buffet or Bill Gates and you make that same donation, you get a $350 deduction -- more than twice the break as the teacher." This Administration wants to turn even philanthropy into a class issue.

I think it would be difficult to come up with an interpretation that is more wrong. Isn't the administration is trying to make charitable deductions less of a class issue by reducing the disparity in deduction rate? Put differently: Would having a flat deduction rate be a class issue? Or is havingĀ  system in which you receive bigger subsidies as you get wealthier a "class issue"?

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2009/03/so-what-doesnt-count-as-a-class-issue/1371/