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Abstract: The growth of doubt about the value of government programs designed to help the poor leads a new generation of US conservatives to seek to frame an alternative approach. Proposed legislation would use the tax code to provide a powerful incentive for citizens to direct funds toward "poverty fighting" nonprofit organizations.
Learning Objective: The case focused on the so-called Coats-Kasich bill, frames the 1996 debate over the charitable tax credit proposed in the context of the history of the US tax code's treatment of charitable giving and the analysis of economists as to the effects of tax incentives on that giving. It raises, as well, a values-based debate as to whether charities are the proper vehicle for aiding the poor and whether, by receiving public funds, such nonprofits would retain their independence.