An article in Forbes highlights several ways that government has “gone wild.” I thought most interesting was this description of the purposeful crowding out of private charity in favor of government:
Americans are the most generous people on the face of the earth, when measured in dollars donated to charities. At the same time, private charity does a great deal of good and often does it more effectively than government. But now the government wants to limit deductions for charitable contributions.
Some conservatives have argued that this might be a good trade-off if marginal tax rates were lowered. They argue that the benefits of higher GDP (resulting from lower tax rates) would outweigh the losses from slimmer donations (as a share of income). That is an economic argument that reasonable people can disagree about.
But this time around, the government wants to limit the charitable deductions and raise tax rates to make way for more spending. What government is really saying is that it doesn’t like the competition from private charities. It wants more people to depend on government.