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You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > General Talk > Lets all blame the US
Lets all blame the US  [message #32399] Tue, 30 May 2006 22:58 Go to next message
Brian1407a is currently offline  Brian1407a

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Im the first to admit the US sticks its nose in other peoples business and we have underhanded operations going on all the time. I admit we try and force our ideas on other people. However, we are the most generous country in the world. Some small country in Africa is in dire need, their people are starving, they dont even get a basic education and THEIR ELECTED officials are wollowing in cash. Is this our fault? The people elected a leader who was a crooked warlord to begin with and they think hea not gonna be after hes elected. Tell you what, lets blame all the world problems on the US and that way they wont have to take the blame for their own stupidity and lazyness. sounds like a plan to me.

Ok, Im thru again;-D



I believe in Karma....what you give is what you get returned........

Affirmation........Savage Garden
Re: Lets all blame the US  [message #32400 is a reply to message #32399] Tue, 30 May 2006 23:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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Well, just maybe your generation can keep its head long enough to solve it.

The problem is usually self interest among politicians. Once greed sets in the cause is lost

Stay calm and work quietly for small changes



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Sorry to burst your bubble  [message #32402 is a reply to message #32399] Tue, 30 May 2006 23:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pimple is currently offline  pimple

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http://www.globalpolicy.org/socecon/develop/2003/0428flunk.htm

Brian1407a wrote:
> ...However, we are the most generous country in the world....

Quote
Of the world's 21 wealthiest developed countries the United States ranks 20th, just ahead of Japan, for its policies aimed at reducing poverty in poor countries, according to a new index released Monday by the Washington-based Center for Global Development (CGD) and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
End quote

Regards-
Simon



Joy Peace and Tranquility

Joyceility
Re: Sorry to burst your bubble  [message #32403 is a reply to message #32402] Wed, 31 May 2006 00:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brian1407a is currently offline  Brian1407a

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Now add in all the private donations, private charities etc. etc.. I guess i should have stated that the American citizens are the most generous. Befor the collapse of the Soviet empire, they had a severe grain shortage. The US shipped billions of tons of grain there,a nd if I remember the grain was given to them. but like I said blame the US and they will be leaving everybody else alone.



I believe in Karma....what you give is what you get returned........

Affirmation........Savage Garden
Re: Sorry to burst your bubble  [message #32404 is a reply to message #32402] Wed, 31 May 2006 00:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brian1407a is currently offline  Brian1407a

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Oh and guess where the grain came from to make Grandfathers malt.



I believe in Karma....what you give is what you get returned........

Affirmation........Savage Garden
Why is it that the people are, and the government isn't...  [message #32405 is a reply to message #32403] Wed, 31 May 2006 00:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pimple is currently offline  pimple

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if the government reflects the view of the electorate?

Regards
Simon



Joy Peace and Tranquility

Joyceility
Oi, Brian! ....  [message #32407 is a reply to message #32404] Wed, 31 May 2006 03:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
cossie is currently offline  cossie

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.... we do grow cereals in the UK, too! If I thought my favourite malt was made with imported grain, I'd have to seriously consider relegating it to be used as a drain cleaner! Geez, I need another double just to calm myself!

Seriously, though, this business of national generosity is far more complex than it at first appears. There are plenty of statistics, but statistics have little value unless we know exactly how they've been compiled - and that's something we usually aren't told.

I'm not criticising ordinary Americans; most will only know what their government and media choose to tell them. However, the perception in Europe is that the US - and especially this administration - is devious in the extreme in the field of overseas aid. It has a poor reputation for providing genuine, unfettered aid; too often 'aid' is actually spent in America, because it is conditional upon contracts for infrastructure improvements being placed with US corporations. I'm not suggesting that the UK and other European countries have never been guilty of the same kind of manipulation, but the US is perceived to be the worst offender.

I don't have any information about individual contributions through appeals such as 'Live Aid', so I can't comment on that. Statistics of the average per capita annual contribution probably exist, but no-one's making them public.

Hmm. Quite heavy, that. Calls for another double!



For a' that an' a' that,
It's comin' yet for a' that,
That man tae man, the worrld o'er
Shall brithers be, for a' that.
Re: Oi, Cossie....  [message #32409 is a reply to message #32407] Wed, 31 May 2006 03:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brian1407a is currently offline  Brian1407a

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I knew that would get upir attention Grandfather.



I believe in Karma....what you give is what you get returned........

Affirmation........Savage Garden
Ooh, you naughty Grandson .....  [message #32412 is a reply to message #32409] Wed, 31 May 2006 04:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
cossie is currently offline  cossie

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.... you do SO deserve a good smacking!



For a' that an' a' that,
It's comin' yet for a' that,
That man tae man, the worrld o'er
Shall brithers be, for a' that.
Re: Lets all blame the US  [message #32415 is a reply to message #32399] Wed, 31 May 2006 05:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
electroken is currently offline  electroken

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Hi Brian.............I wont jump on you this time.
I have to think that a lot has changed since I was your age. I think in those days the US was a bit more gracious with how it treated other countries. I dont know if cossie is right about the way we tie things to some kind of deal with the trade etc. I know that there are a number of charitable organizations and, yes, many churches that do a lot of work in other countries with money they recieve from contributions in the US. I know you are going to say that it is conditional on joining that particular religion but I think that most of those groups dont make any strings attached to their charity. In any case, I know that the US could probably do a lot more than it does for others if you base it strickly on wealth of the country involved, but much of the money given in aid comes from individuals who are not much richer than their counterparts in the rest of the world. We happen to have a lot more wealthy individuals and that skews the averages.

If you think about wages, in a lot of cases the US worker is not paid as much as his counterpart. I was an electrician and my highest earnings in any one year was approx $42,000 and I usually had only one week vacation until my last job where I earned 1 day per month for the first 5 years and then recieved the most I ever got in any job which was 1-1/2 days per month.

So not all of us are so wealthy as many in other countries would seem to think we are and hence are not able to give enough to make up for some of the wealthier people who do not give as much in proportion. I will give Bill Gates as an example. I know he does give a lot of money to charity; millions of dollars I hear. But as a percentage of his wealth? I hear he would be able to pay off the national debt in just about 10 years or so. Anyway, my point is that those statistics are critical of the US in this area and it is probably true as far as it goes.

What about a lot of aid we give thru our military during times of emergency in many places? I know we dont get paid back for all we do. There was some Canadian guy who wrote a peice about how the US has done a lot for people and alway we only remember some of the less than good things we have done by mistake. I cannot think of the USA as the "evil empire" that a lot of people have said that it is during the last election here in the US.

Well anyway Brian. Even if some of the things the US does is not liked by everyone, I have seen some of the good we have done in the world too. I would certainly like to see us be able to do more. Also, even when we do try to help we are questioned about our motives, and we don't always have our own self-interests in mind. Maybe your generation can reverse what has been the trend for unmittigated greed in our country.......se shall see.

God, how I tend to ramble...........am I forgiven?



Ken
Re: Lets all blame the US  [message #32417 is a reply to message #32399] Wed, 31 May 2006 06:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
saben is currently offline  saben

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However, we are the most generous country in the world.

On a aid given:gross produce ratio? Possibly, though I'd warrant a guess that it's unlikely.

The US isn't the only nation at fault in the modern world. Australia, the UK and most European nations are as bad. But to me the US symbolises a lot of what is bad in the modern world. Much like in the early 1900s the US symbolised a lot of what was good in the world. This has nothing to do with citizens, but with governance and with corporations overwhelming the populace. We are brain-washed, by our governments, by media, by corporations.

I think the criticism is mainly directed towards America because, no other country has as much international impact as the USA. Around the time of the last presidential elections some Americans were heard to say things like "why should you be criticising our president, you're not living here" without realising the far reaching impact that American politics has. Most Americans are very insular, living entirely within their own country, even their own state in a lot of cases, and not even knowing about conditions abroad. I had a good friend while I was in Japan that was a prime example. He was from Illinois and he seemed to know very little about life outside Illinois, despite living in Japan. He's a great guy and a smart guy with a University education, but it is so possible when living within the boundaries of the world's only superpower to think that there is nothing outside that, not literally, but figuratively. The more Americans that travel abroad, the better, in my opinion.



Look at this tree. I cannot make it blossom when it suits me nor make it bear fruit before its time [...] No matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach.
Master Oogway
icon7.gif Try again Simon to burst any bubble..  [message #32424 is a reply to message #32402] Wed, 31 May 2006 11:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Handyman is currently offline  Handyman

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Simon

* I wouldn't trust figures from any so called Global Policy group as most are anti USA.
* I'd have to study their methods minutely then think very clearly for a time to evaluate if they're making an accurate assesment. They may be very idealistic or have their own agendas.

* "To obtain the rankings, the authors of the report gave equal weight to six categories of policies pursued by the 21 wealthiest nations that have an impact on world poverty. The categories included aid, trade, investment, immigration, peacekeeping, and the environment. Using various criteria for each set of policies, the authors awarded a raw score of between zero and 10 to each country's performance in that category and then calculated the average for all seven."

* As stewards of some of the world's largest stores of resources I agree with Brian that the USA has been quite generous even to a fault with it's Billions sent to hurting countries. We citizens & all our children must earn & pay for these activities with our life & sweat.
* I think our Federal Government should be required to maintain a balanced budget like some states governments .

Teddy



Life's a trip * Friends help you through * Adventure on life!
icon7.gif Don't see a prob with promoting business  [message #32425 is a reply to message #32407] Wed, 31 May 2006 11:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Handyman is currently offline  Handyman

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* I dont see a problem with the present administration looking out for U.S. business to some extent. It is the engine that drives our economy & alot of the world's (altho our debt now threatens that) & if it can be done & still help others..it's good.
* We've seen so much of our business packing because our most recent free trade policies now allowed the same.(Clinton with China; Bush with North American Countries) that steps need to be taken to support what little industry remains! (greed, taxation, worker safety & environmental laws all figure into this)
* I am ignorant of actual practices & am sure as long as Human Nature remains the same greed, wars, unequal preferences will remain.

Teddy Cool



Life's a trip * Friends help you through * Adventure on life!
Work and sweat  [message #32428 is a reply to message #32424] Wed, 31 May 2006 12:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deeej is currently offline  Deeej

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Ted said,

>* I wouldn't trust figures from any so called Global Policy group as most are anti USA.

Would you trust figures from a group that is pro-USA? If so, why?

Is there any group in the world that cannot be said to have some sort of agenda?

>* As stewards of some of the world's largest stores of resources I agree with Brian that the USA has been quite generous even to a fault with it's Billions sent to hurting countries. We citizens & all our children must earn & pay for these activities with our life & sweat.

Regarding the last sentence, I do not believe for a moment that the US would play such a prominent role in world issues if there were nothing in it for them. Its foreign policy has been carefully considered so that it maximises return to United States companies and individuals.

I would remind you that its activities along those lines -- going back to the Great War -- have made it the sole remaining world power, financially, politically and culturally, at this point in time. That can't be a bad thing as far as it is concerned.

David
Bill Gates, again  [message #32430 is a reply to message #32415] Wed, 31 May 2006 13:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deeej is currently offline  Deeej

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>I will give Bill Gates as an example. I know he does give a lot of money to charity; millions of dollars I hear.

From whom? "Millions of dollars" is actually out by two or three orders of magnitude.

>But as a percentage of his wealth?

As a percentage of his wealth, about 52%, I understand. And he will leave virtually all of it to charity when he dies; only a tiny percentage will go to his children.

The Bill & Melissa Gates Foundation donates more than a billion dollars a year to good causes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_&_Melinda_Gates_Foundation

Sounds fair enough to me...

>I hear he would be able to pay off the national debt in just about 10 years or so.

American national debt? Why ever would he want to do that? There are more deserving people than the US Government.

>Anyway, my point is that those statistics are critical of the US in this area and it is probably true as far as it goes.

Indeed they are, and it sounds like you are guilty of not using them yourself. It does rather undermine your point!

David
icon7.gif I only wish what you said was true!  [message #32438 is a reply to message #32428] Wed, 31 May 2006 14:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Handyman is currently offline  Handyman

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If the USA was looking out for it's own interests we wouldn't be deficit spending our grandchildren's tax money on helping hurting countries.

We are setting ourselves up for a fall. I believe only God has upheld this country & we sha'nt stand any longer than He continues to permit. Our activities have helped us along to a large extent.. but can also bring us down.

A world at fairness & peace is in all our interests but beyond our abilities & grasp to obtain though.. But try we must!

I wish our foreign policy did maximise anything for us! We'd be a closed society not sharing any of our wealth & just importing what we wanted! Doesn't Japan do this somewhat?


Teddy Cool



Life's a trip * Friends help you through * Adventure on life!
Re: I only wish what you said was true!  [message #32440 is a reply to message #32438] Wed, 31 May 2006 14:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JFR is currently offline  JFR

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Handyman wrote:

I believe only God has upheld this country & we sha'nt stand any longer than He continues to permit.

Weird and wonderful are the ways of the Lord.



The paradox has often been noted that the United States, founded in secularism, is now the most religiose country in Christendom, while England, with an established church headed by its constitutional monarch, is among the least. (Richard Dawkins, 2006)
Re: Bill Gates, again  [message #32448 is a reply to message #32430] Wed, 31 May 2006 15:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
electroken is currently offline  electroken

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Hey now David, are you intimating that since Bill appears to be giving approx 50% of his earnings each year to charity, that I am not doing my share since I havent been doing the same thing? I have a link I will put in here:
http://www.templetons.com/brad/billg.html

After you go to that site I suggest you take the link that he has to go to the Bill Gates net worth page and then suggest to me that I am not doing my share. I regret referring to Bill at all, but he was the handiest one I could think of at the moment.

Of course you are going to say I am bitter in some way and resentful of his wealth, but that is not my sentiment. I am merely trying to point out that most people are not in position to give as much to charity. Can most of us afford to give even 10% of our income? I dont know about you, but I am left with little after taxes on my social security as it is. Some of these things are indeed relative and the impact on us is not the same.

I know that actually I had heard that Bill Gates was doing some real good with his charities and I do thank him for that. But I also know there are many others in this country who are not so eager to shed their wealth. My own state of Minnesota has more millionairs as a percentage of its poplulation than any other state, I am told. Dont know it for a fact, so dont ram it down my throat. I would be interested to see how my state compares to others in its giving.

I will stand by my point I made about Bill even though he does indeed give a lot and it seems he intends to give his wealth to some good causes. I guess you figure that if he only has about a billion a year left to live on so he must have to struggle a lot just like me.



Ken
Re: Bill Gates, again  [message #32449 is a reply to message #32448] Wed, 31 May 2006 16:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deeej is currently offline  Deeej

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Ken,

>Hey now David, are you intimating that since Bill appears to be giving approx 50% of his earnings each year to charity, that I am not doing my share since I havent been doing the same thing?

I'm sorry -- I got sidetracked. My reply was not to the broad thrust of your post at all, and I can see that it would be rather confusing if you tried to read it that way.

I was simply remarking on the fact that Bill Gates does give a lot of money to charity, and an awful lot if you work it out by percentages. And as the richest man in the world, I think he has a certain moral obligation to do so (though he doesn't have to, and I would defend his lack of obligation so to do).

Where someone has trouble making ends meet, I would never consider saying anything like "You should be giving X amount of your money to charity." The most important thing is that that person should be able to live comfortably enough. In Bill's case, of course, his income is so huge that he could live comfortably on a ten thousandth of it -- the "rules" are different for him.

I hope that makes things clearer, and sorry if I offended you!

David
Re: I only wish what you said was true!  [message #32463 is a reply to message #32438] Wed, 31 May 2006 21:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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Yes, you would. Poor nations are subsidised by developed nations out of fear of precisely the terrorist reprisals the developed want to avoid.

For decades the US gave aid quietly to the Soviet Union to ensure that it was not attacked. It may not have gone directly! How could it? But it went.

EU "food mountains" went to the USSR too. Same reason.

They reasons are not altuistic. They are complex self interest.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Bill Gates, again  [message #32465 is a reply to message #32449] Wed, 31 May 2006 23:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
electroken is currently offline  electroken

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No offense really. I just wanted to point out what you are saying now in different way; that the survey uses a statistic that can be twisted around and give the wrong impression about the US.

I surely agree that Bill has no more obligation to give his money than the rest of us, but it is surely easier for him to make a great contribution while not suffering in the least for doing it.



Ken
Re: Lets all blame the US  [message #32466 is a reply to message #32417] Wed, 31 May 2006 23:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brian1407a is currently offline  Brian1407a

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I think thats the point. From a humanitarian view he shoild give back so for what hes gotten. That is what a nice person would do. He is not obligated and nobody should say anything bad about him if he doesnt. However he does and in great abundance.



I believe in Karma....what you give is what you get returned........

Affirmation........Savage Garden
icon12.gif Just don't drink the water!  [message #32467 is a reply to message #32417] Wed, 31 May 2006 23:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Saben wrote: The more Americans that travel abroad, the better, in my opinion.



Joy Peace and Tranquility

Joyceility
By extension  [message #32468 is a reply to message #32466] Thu, 01 June 2006 00:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pimple is currently offline  pimple

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Shouldn't everyone who lives in this Great Country WILLINGLY pay their taxes, if for no other reason than a tribute for the privilege of living here?

Regards
Simon



Joy Peace and Tranquility

Joyceility
Re: By extension  [message #32470 is a reply to message #32468] Thu, 01 June 2006 00:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brian1407a is currently offline  Brian1407a

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What has taxes got to do with Charitable giving?



I believe in Karma....what you give is what you get returned........

Affirmation........Savage Garden
In this context, I'm afraid that I do!  [message #32473 is a reply to message #32425] Thu, 01 June 2006 01:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
cossie is currently offline  cossie

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Contracts should surely be allocated on a normal commercial basis - who can offer the best product at the most competitive cost?

The whole idea of foreign aid is to do what is best for the recipient, not what is best for the donor.

Tying a struggling economy to - say - a US power generation system, when a cheaper and equally, or more effective system is available elsewhere is hardly ethical. And it would be no answer to suggest that but for the US the recipient wouldn't have a generating system at all; that's about as ethical as threatening to take your ball home if the other kids won't play by your rules.



For a' that an' a' that,
It's comin' yet for a' that,
That man tae man, the worrld o'er
Shall brithers be, for a' that.
Re: In this context, I'm afraid that I do!  [message #32474 is a reply to message #32473] Thu, 01 June 2006 02:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
NW is currently offline  NW

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Completely agree with you, cossie.

But what is in some ways worse is tying (governmental)humanitarian aid to methods of working that are *proved* to be less than optimally effective, because the donor government is afraid to upset lobby groups at home. I am especially thinking of the HIV/AIDs prevention funding that is only made available to groups advocating abstinence, rather than those promoting the proven-more-effective dual-track of condom use where needed in addition to abstinence/reduction in number of partners.



"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
Taxes and Charitable Giving ....  [message #32475 is a reply to message #32470] Thu, 01 June 2006 02:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
cossie is currently offline  cossie

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... do have a connection, at least in the UK. If the situation in the US is different, no doubt someone will enlighten us.

For a very long period, the UK had a taxation concept known as 'retainable charges'. The theory was that if someone made charitable donations under a legal obligation known as a Deed of Covenant (an agreement to donate so much a year for a minimum of four years), then the amount donated became the income of the charity and ceased to be the income of the donor. The donor was required to 'retain' basic rate tax from his donation, and to pay over that tax to the Inland Revenue. Of course, if the donor was liable at basic rate (as were most of the poulation) he had already paid basic rate tax on that piece of his income, so he had nothing futher to pay.

So, if I agreed to pay, say, £100 a year in cash to a charity, and the basic tax rate was, say, 30%, I was actually paying a total of £142.86, from which I was 'retaining' tax at 30% of £42.86, and paying over the balance of £100.00. The charity, being exempt from tax, claimed back the tax I had 'retained', so it got £142.86, and it cost me only £100.00. But if I was a top-rate taxpayer, liable at - say - 60%, I did even better. Because my income had gone down by £142.86, my personal tax bill went down by £85.72 (60% of £142.86). The charity still got a total of £142.86, but as I only had to hand over 'retained' tax of £42.86, the donation only cost me £57.14 (£142.86 less £85.72).

In essence, the system remains, though in a simplified form. So if I donate £100 cash, my gross donation is £128.21 (£128.21 less tax at 22% is £100.00). The charity can claim 28% of my donation from the Inland Revenue. But again, if I am liable at the UK top rate of tax (now 40%), my tax bill goes down by £51.28 (£128.21 at 40%), and since I only have to hand over £28.21, the true cost of my donation drops to £76.23. So, in effect, the State augments my donation by around 68%.

So, in the UK at least, the value of a charitable donation by a top-rate taxpayer is increase by a state subsidy - and that subsidy is provided by the rest of the taxpaying public.

Fair? I don't really think so. Why should the rich enjoy preferential terms? In reality, it is easier for them to donate without 'feeling the pinch'.

That said, it was traditional in medieval times to donate a 'tithe' (one-tenth) of one's income to the Church. Though I'm no longer a believer, I (and my family) have tried for thirty years or more to donate one-tenth of our income to charity. That income was never huge, and I don't know whether I'll be able to continue when I retire - but I'll try!



For a' that an' a' that,
It's comin' yet for a' that,
That man tae man, the worrld o'er
Shall brithers be, for a' that.
Completely agree with you, NW! ....  [message #32476 is a reply to message #32474] Thu, 01 June 2006 02:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
cossie is currently offline  cossie

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.... is this relationship becoming incestuous?



For a' that an' a' that,
It's comin' yet for a' that,
That man tae man, the worrld o'er
Shall brithers be, for a' that.
Re: Taxes and Charitable Giving ....  [message #32477 is a reply to message #32475] Thu, 01 June 2006 03:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
electroken is currently offline  electroken

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Registered: May 2004
Messages: 271




That seems a bit complicated. Here in the US you are allowed to take charitable decuctions off your income before figuring the tax, but it somewhat complicated by your level of income and whether or not you would be better off taking the standard deduction. The Standard deduction is an amount you are allowed to take off your gross income for all kinds of deductions if you dont wish to itemize them. You can deduct mortgage interest but not intreest on other loans. You can deduct what you give to charity but it has to be substantiated if it is over a certain amount regardless of your income. There are not too many things you can deduct so if your income is not too high and you didnt give much or have many deductions, you sometimes just take the standard. Health related expenses are deductable but are reduced by a percentage of income so in most cases it is not a good amount. I usually just itemize but now use a tax program to help me know if it is better to take the standard amount. There are also situations where you must itemize by law.

So, I guess our method is complicated too.



Ken
Re: I only wish what you said was true!  [message #32505 is a reply to message #32438] Fri, 02 June 2006 08:41 Go to previous message
saben is currently offline  saben

On fire!

Registered: May 2003
Messages: 1537



US citizens are far more deserving of US tax payer's dollars than the citizens of third world countries?

Personally, despite living in Australia, under Australia law and having a government that prioritising the interests of their own electorate above all else I have to say that I don't think the Australia poor deserves the money of Australian tax payers any more than the citizens of any other nation. Priveledge of place of birth is pretty poor grounds for entitlement, honestly.



Look at this tree. I cannot make it blossom when it suits me nor make it bear fruit before its time [...] No matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach.
Master Oogway
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