Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Joplin Globe Applauds Congressman Ford's Charitable Giving Act

The Joplin Globe has taken notice of Congressman Ford's dedication to charitable work and have praised him for it:

Three years ago, the U.S. House gave near unanimous support to legislation that would enhance charitable giving, strengthen “faith-based and grass-roots charities” in serving the needs of Americans who require a helping hand and offer tax relief to those making donations. The Senate also passed a companion measure that year.

But the bill was effectively blocked in the Senate from going to a conference committee. Passage of this legislation might have alleviated some of the suffering of the tens of thousands of victims of crippling national disasters in the past couple of years. Certainly, the bill was designed to encourage greater giving.

U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, House majority whip, recently testified on behalf of the Charitable Giving Act before the House Committee on Small Business. We support the concept and would hope the plan will fare better this time.

Under the act, 86 million taxpayers who do not itemize their deductions could deduct part of what they give to charities from their income taxes. It also would permit tax-free contributions from Individual Retirement Accounts. Other provisions would raise the lid on charitable giving by corporations, and permit farmers, ranchers, restaurants and food producers to claim an “enhanced deduction” for food inventory donations.

“Individuals, families, churches and charities have long seen it as their duty to care for those in need,” Blunt testified. “It is this humanitarianism that we seek to encourage. The Charitable Giving Act is about helping more Americans support those charitable institutions they care about — and in turn empowering those charities to help more Americans. The tax code should not be an obstacle to charitable giving; the tax code should reflect the willingness of Americans to give to those in need.”

We applaud Blunt and Rep. Harold Ford, D-Tenn., for coming up with this common-sense approach for expanding charitable giving. After three years and the suffering by so many in hurricanes and other natural calamities, it should be an idea whose time has arrived.

It is time we elect a new generation of leadership to the U.S. Senate that really cares about helping people. Tennessee deserve better than what we have now and what is being offered by the Republicans. We need Harold Ford Jr.