Washington, DC (Vocus/PRWEB) February 17, 2011
On Monday President Obama unveiled his outline for the 2012 Federal Budget making good on his promise to propose broad cuts in domestic spending, leaving many advocates in the non-profit sector wondering how the spending freeze would affect the national economy as well social welfare programs designed to improve low-income communities.
There is real adamant pressure from Republican law makers backed by the Tea Party to cut domestic spending across the board, more so than last year according to a recent post by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
As Obama makes the shift in his economic game plan from stimulus measures to reducing the annual deficit, funding for many of the programs the President once publicly supported are destined to be scrapped, says Vincent Everett (CEO Works of Life International Ministries).
Given the rise of Republican influence in the House, however, it might be the case that the Right is taking the ball from the President to run it more effectively, according to Everett. But even so, some experts in the philanthropic community including Mr. Everett fear that Obama is proposing to slash domestic spending in a way that would harm non-profit organizations and hamper economic recovery.
"Obama is not exactly trimming the size of the federal government in the sense the GOP intends, because he's cutting funding in all the wrong ways," says the Works of Life Chief Executive.
"The president is cutting funding for government-run social welfare programs, which isn't necessarily a bad thing since the most effective organizations in the non-profit sector would thrive," continues Everett, "But Obama wants to cut spending and increase taxes so that more money is going into the federal government with no real security that it will be spent wisely."
The Works of Life CEO wrote in a recent statement that Obama's 2012 Budget Proposal would use increased tax dollars to sustain a new system in which non-profits would have to compete to meet federal criteria in order to receive government grants. "This plan takes personal choice out of the equation," Everett states, "It's the worst thing that could happen to non-profit organizations; you have to pay more in taxes to run a program that, if this administration's past policy initiatives are any indication, will not even be effective anyway."
Obama's official budget for 2012 proposes to diminish the value of charitable tax deductions for Americans in the top economic bracket, 250K and up. This is the same as last year's budget proposal that failed in which Obama made the same suggestion to limit the rate of charitable tax deductions by thirty percent, which if passed this time around would stand at 28 percent.
"What we have here is the president commissioning increased revenue through higher taxes, which will turn the nation's wealthiest away from making a charity donation. It's exactly the same as asking them to donate to charity after you've taken away a chunk of their money. It's not going to work," says Everett, " Americans would have to bank on the success of government-run social welfare programs. But I wouldn't trust them to run a lemonade stand."
Organizations like Works of Life, non-profit, non-denominational faith-based charitable organizations, provide an alternative avenue towards social welfare that by in large runs independently from government interference, adds the charity's Director Don Smith. "The problem," mentions Smith, "is when the Federal Government starts to draw people away from charity only to mess things up even worse than they were before."
For over a decade Works of Life has worked alongside its affiliate charitable organizations Online Car Donation and the With Causes charitable network to encourage more Americans to donate to charity by expanding items eligible for a charitable tax deduction: potential donors can donate car, donate boat or yacht, or even donate aircraft that they no longer wish to own in order to create revenue to help fund a variety of worthy charitable causes.
Works of Life's charitable program has recently gained national attention; the organization has appeared in USA Today and Forbes magazine among other major news agencies. "We do the kind of work that the government never could. We're using what people want to give away to effect positive change in communities across the US, all while providing donors with a charitable tax deduction," writes Everett.
Obama announced in his official Budget Proposal speech that he has to make cuts to programs held dear to his heart in order to ameliorate the annual deficit and ensure future economic prosperity. These are programs that the President said Americans "can do without."
"That means cutting programs that he once advocated? Obama is acknowledging that his own ideas are not absolutely necessary. Nevertheless, the President still wants to get legislation passed that makes it harder for Americans to donate to a charity of their choice, in order to make them fund his own programs, which for the last two years have gone no where," mentions Everett.
Philanthropy leaders like Everett advocate choice in charitable giving. A way for this to happen is letting the non-profit sector work in conjunction with the government, says the Works of Life Executive, "But the President is creating a huge disincentive for a large segment of potential donors. And he's telling us to not worry about it because things might work out later? This is a cop-out. A dangerous one. Up to this point we haven't seen any of the promises Obama made come to fruition, so why should the non-profit sector suffer because of his failed policies, especially when we've been acting as a counter balance to the government's inadequacies for over ten years?"
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About online car donation/ Works of Life Intl. Ministries Inc.:
Operating since 2002 Works of Life is a non-profit, non-denominational faith-based charitable organization that provides charitable works for other like-minded organizations in the form of endowments, grants and much, much more.
Their clients range from social service agencies to private non-profits, hospitals and more importantly individuals with special needs including victims of crime, military families, those with physical challenges and victims of abuse.
Works of Life has enjoyed a successful relationship with many like-minded charitable Organizations, developing residential based programs for those interested in Ministering to others but limited physically in doing so.
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