8 How To Make $71 Billion A Year: Tax the Churches
The real freeloaders in America are Churches, and US Corporations. It's time for them to pay their fair share. Most churches in America are social clubs for haters, and give very little help to the poor. They support Rich Pastors making Million Dollar Salaries, living in Million Dollar Houses, and driving expensive cars.
While the desire to tax churches is not new, it seems as far from reality as possible at this moment. As has www.samharris.org/site/full_text/10-myths-and-10-truths-abou, no atheist could possibly hope to win an election in today’s political climate—a freethinking man like en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_G._Ingersoll would have no influence with the majority of our electorate. Our cultural dependency on the necessity of faith is affecting our society: According to a www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=fi&amp;page=cragun_32_4, not taxing churches is taking an estimated $71 billion from our economy every year, and this fact remains largely unquestioned.
The general argument over why churches do not pay taxes goes like this: If there is a separation of church and state, then the state (or fed) has no right to www.latimes.com/la-oew-lynn-stanley23-2008sep23,0,4272340.st. In exchange, churches cannot use their clout to influence politics. While this would seem to make for cozy bedfellows, it’s impossible to believe that none of the 335,000 congregations in the United States are using their resources for political purposes, especially when just last week the Kansas governor called for a 'http://www.yogabrains.org/politics/another-blowback-to-separation-of-church-and-state/' in his state.
Churches not paying property and federal income taxes (along with a host of others, including reduced rates on for-profit properties and parsonage subsidies) is filed into that part of our brain marked ‘always been.’ Never mind the conundrum that the most religious are often the most patriotic—what could be less patriotic than not paying your fair share for the good of the country, especially when church structures and those who work for them use the same public utilities as the rest of us?
As noted in the Tampa study, churches fall into the category of ‘charitable’ entities. This is often a stretch. The researchers calculated the Mormon church, for example, spends roughly .7% of its annual income on charity. Their study of 271 congregations found an average of 71% of revenues going to ‘operating expenses,’ while help to the poor is somewhere within the remaining 29%. Compare this to the American Red Cross, which uses 92.1% of revenues for physical assistance and just 7.9% on operating expenses. The authors also note that
Wal-Mart, for instance, gives about $1.75 billion in food aid to charities each year, or twenty-eight times all of the money allotted for charity by the United Methodist Church and almost double what the LDS Church has given in the last twenty-five years.