What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : Corporate Tax Breaks, General : H.R. 7. Charitable Giving Act/Vote on the Democratic Substitute Bill Which, Unlike the Republican Version, Includes Offsetting Revenue Increases to Pay for the Proposed Tax Breaks for Charitable Giving. (2003 house Roll Call 506)
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H.R. 7. Charitable Giving Act/Vote on the Democratic Substitute Bill Which, Unlike the Republican Version, Includes Offsetting Revenue Increases to Pay for the Proposed Tax Breaks for Charitable Giving.
house Roll Call 506     Sep 17, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

During his presidential election campaign in 2000, then-Governor Bush proposed a wide range of "faith-based" initiatives to, among other things, enhance the role of charitable organizations in society and encourage contributions to charities. While many of Bush's "faith-based" initiatives have failed to pass Congress, agreement was reached among lawmakers on the merits of a proposal to provide tax incentives for charitable contributions. However, one major sticking point remained: how should Congress pay for the new tax breaks on charitable giving? During debate on the charitable giving legislation, Congressman Cardin (D-MD) offered a substitute measure on behalf of all Democrats which would have offset the revenue losses caused by the new tax deductions by reducing to amount of corporate tax breaks provided in President Bush's 2002 tax cut (tax deductions reduce the amount of money available for government programs and services). With the exception of the offsetting revenue provision, Cardin's substitute bill was identical to the Republican version of the bill. Progressives viewed Cardin's bill as the fiscally-responsible alternative to the Republican measure and voted in favor of the proposal. The creation of additional tax breaks without corresponding offsets, Progressives argued, would further deplete the amount of funding available for domestic priorities such as education, health care, and Social Security. Conservatives rejected Cardin's measure based on what they viewed as a retroactive tax increase on corporations. Retroactive tax law changes, Conservatives argued, were unfair because businesses base their investment decisions in part on the current body of tax laws. Retroactive tax increases, then, can be likened to moving the goal posts midway through the game. On a party-line vote of 203-220, the Cardin substitute bill was defeated.

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