President Barack Obama’s first term taught businesses a clear lesson: CEOs and businesses that support the president will be rewarded with taxpayer-funded corporate welfare and favorable regulations, and those who oppose him will be shut out or crushed.
On Friday, the Obama Administration sought to teach the nonprofit world the same lesson during a White House gathering of charitable officials, say Republicans, when charities were bullied into supporting higher taxes on the wealthy to avoid losing vital deductions for charitable contributions.
“Today, the White House chose to mislead and scare America’s charitable giving community, using them as pawns in an effort to achieve their tax hike proposal,” said Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the ranking Republican at Senate Finance in a joint statement issued Friday. “This is abhorrent, wrong and needs to stop.”
The GOP leaders made their statement after the Obama Administration held a Friday White House meeting with several charitable officials and held a call with other nonprofits. Rep. Camp and Sen. Hatch said charitable officials contacted them with concerns after the White House meeting. The implication was clear: either support Mr. Obama’s tax hike on the rich or donations to your charity may no longer be tax deductible.
The White House strategy of fear and intimidation appears to be working.
“Genuinely, we are very worried right now,” a charitable source told The Hill. “We are trying to navigate the politics of this and the policy of this in a way where we can come out without losing the deduction.”
Rep. Camp and Sen. Hatch condemned the White House’s “bullying” tactics and said they were reminiscent of the Obama Administration’s arm twisting during the Obamacare debate.
“What the White House did today is disturbingly reminiscent of how it conducted itself during congressional consideration of ObamaCare – telling groups that they better back the White House, or else,” said Camp and Hatch. “Bullying isn’t leading. These kind of intimidation tactics are unacceptable, and they need to stop now.”