The compromise on extending Bush-era tax cuts has been approved, but three Ivy League professors are trying to keep the debate alive with a website encouraging the rich to donate their tax savings to charity. GiveItBackForJobs.com features a calculator that lets high-earners tally how much more they would have paid if Congress had let the tax cuts expire and suggests links to redirect those funds to "wise and just programs that our government would promote if it had not been hijacked" by Republicans. Worthy cause or cheap partisan gimmick?
What a smug stunt: This has to be the "nitwittiest idea of the year," says James Taranto in The Wall Street Journal. "These profs — Yale political scientist Jacob Hacker and law scholars Robert Hockett of Cornell and Daniel Markovits of Yale — are obviously left-wing progressive Democrats." They're out to bash Republicans, not to get people to pay more taxes. Otherwise they would be telling them to write checks to the government, not make donations to charity, which they can deduct from their income to actually reduce their tax bills.
"Ivy League epiphany"
This just helps a taxpayer put his money where his mouth is: Cool idea, "cool website," says fellow Yale law professor Ian Ayres in The New York Times. There are plenty of people out there who can afford to give their tax cuts back and think it's the right thing to do. This just gives them a "useful tool" to figure out how much money to give, and where to send it to "promote fairness, economic growth, and a vibrant middle class."
"Giving back the tax cuts"
This is the kind of thing conservatives do all the time: The irony here, says Nathan Harden in National Review, is that "these liberal professors are mad about tax cuts, and are therefore trying to do good through means 'outside the government.'" The "conceit" behind GiveItBackForJobs.com is that liberals are more generous because they don't mind paying higher taxes for the public good. But taxes are forced; charity comes from the heart, and the reality is that, on average, conservative families "make less, and give more."
"Give back your tax cut"