How often do I hear young folks say, glancing at themselves admiringly in the mirror, "I am going to work for a non-profit."
The idea of a non-profit suggests charity, helping others, making personal sacrifices. But, what is the real truth.
There are many, many non-profit employees with incomes that would make Wall Streeters blush. Multi-million dollar compensation packages, unsupervised by anyone, are rife in the non-profit world. Who is sacrificing so that these folks can live the life of luxury in the non-profit world?
Guess who! Taxpayers....albeit, unwittingly.
Non-profits avoid taxation. You can argue they don't produce anything of value that anyone would willing pay money for. Thus, they are not subject to tax. But, that is not likely to be an argument that non-profit folks would like to endorse.
"Non-profits" live off of contributions from individuals, other tax exempt organizations and governments at all levels. At the end of the day, this means that the average American family is devoting a good part of their income to subsidize these "non-profits." The average American trying to take care of their family, provide for their own retirement, educating their children is footing the bill.
Who works in these non-profits? Think of the Clinton Foundation as a good example. Key Clinton political operatives live large off of the Clinton Foundation, which really means that they live large off unwitting taxpayers.
So, who profits from "non-profits?" The relatively affluent, once again riding on the backs of the poor and the middle class, while engaging in absurdly narcissistic rhetoric about personal sacrifice.
There is no market test, no accountability for most "non-profit" activity.
The charitable deduction should be eliminated in all cases where a multi-million dollar compensation package is the ultimate recipient. This argument would apply to, among others, all charitable deductions for higher education as a starting point.