Grave Concern Over Obama Budget Proposal that Harms Tzedakos and Mosdos

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obama-white-houseThe Orthodox Union and other Jewish organizations have expressed grave concerns about one aspect of President Barack Obama’s federal budget proposal, released on Monday, which will harm tzedakos andmosdos across the American landscape.

The President proposes that taxpayers earning more than $250,000 will have their ability to deduct contributions to charities reduced from a rate of 35% to a rate of 28%. (Thus, for example, a person making a $10,000 contribution to a charity would, under the Obama proposal, receive a tax deduction of $2800, as opposed to $3500.) The Administration claims that the current tax deductibility is a disparity that this budget will remedy.

Nathan Diament, director of public policy for the Orthodox Union, issued the following statement:

The Orthodox Union, like so many in America’s nonprofit sector, is gravely concerned over President Obama’s budget proposal to reduce the rate of deductibility for charitable contributions. Even in good economic times, a proposal such as the one put forth in the President’s budget would adversely affect America’s charities. In these distressed times, in which charities are serving more people’s needs while at the same time already suffering a dramatic downturn in donations, the proposal to reduce the rate of tax deductibility for contributions is a recipe for disastrous displacements and cuts in much-needed non-profit sector institutions and services.

We know from proposal the President released Friday – for tax credits to spur and support hiring within nonprofit organizations — that President Obama appreciates the critical role nonprofits play in American society.

We therefore appeal to him to immediately remove this aspect from his budget proposal to Congress. Absent that, we intend to work with our partners across the nonprofit sector and in Congress to ensure that charities are not harmed in next year’s federal budget.

While we are distressed by the issue discussed herein, the Orthodox Union commends President Obama for issuing a bold and honest budget plan which seeks to address so many of America’s pressing needs.

{Noam Newscenter}


  1. the oumust have very little faith in rich donors if they thing they will give lesst because the tax decuction goes down a tiny fraction.

  2. Dear #1,
    Since when is 7% a tiny fraction? On a $1M donation the difference is &70,000. A loss of a $70k writeoff is more than enough to get a donor to think again. If 7% is so small, would you be willing to forgoe a 7% raise?

  3. this doesnt harm zedakos and mosdos at all. why do you say that? why are you undermining the donors? the danger to the mosdos is the spin selling of this argument by amillion dollar business like the OU.
    shame on them

  4. Are we to believe that “rich donors” only give tzedakah because they’ll get it deducted from their taxes?

    This is an insult to all the askanim and baalei tzedakah of Klal yisroel. If anyone is looking for credit, it is only in Shomayim, not from the IRS. This article strikes me as political posturing, which does not care if it gravely tarnishes the image of all those who have given – and who have given without, I am sure, the advice of their tax consultants.

    This article is motzei shem ra on those who have supported our mosdos in the past. The OU should be ashamed of itself, and issue a public apology to the baalei tzedakah of Am Yisroel.


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