With Charity, Who Needs Taxes?
The idea that contributions to the public good, for provision of public goods, should be voluntary is certainly appealing. But I was curious about the numbers. Like most things libertarian, this notion is utopian and unrealistic.
Total charitable contributions by individuals, corporations, and foundations was an estimated $298.42 billion in 2011, up 4 percent in current dollars and 0.9 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars from a revised total of $286.91 billion in 2010, according to a report from the Giving USA Foundation and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
That’s 2% of GDP. Government spending over the years has been circa 30% of GDP. If taxes were eliminated, would charitable giving increase fifteen-fold?
Would it be donated to the sexy things like road maintenance and bank regulation?