Proposed: Tax Credits for Helping Someone

13Jan09

The question is whether President-elect Barack Obama should cut taxes on the wealthy.  Raising taxes on anyone during a recession is said to be bad policy.  That may be; but it does not necessarily follow that a simple tax reduction is the most prudent course.

One alternative would be to grant tax credits in exchange for helping someone take a small (or large) step upwards.  Let’s say a charity connects the rich person to a person living in poverty.  The rich person gets a tax credit for getting that poor person enrolled in a training program, another tax credit for getting him/her a place to live, and another for making sure s/he has enough to eat.  As the rich say, no handouts:  they can have their tax credits, but they need to earn them.

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