On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that charitable giving dropped 1.7 percent last year, adjusted for inflation, even as the economy surged.
The likely culprit? The GOP tax law, according to a report from Giving USA.
Although corporate donations rose 2.9 percent and foundation gifts rose 4.7 percent in the previous year, charitable donations from individuals — which is where the bulk of actual charity takes place — dropped 3.4 percent, the first time this has happened since the financial crisis.
The GOP tax law significantly changed how the standard deduction works, making it much harder for middle-class families to take advantage of itemized deductions — something that even before the tax law, were disproportionately taken out by the top 1 percent of earners.
Even Republicans acknowledged the tax law was likely to prevent some households from using charitable deductions, but suggested that the economic boost from the tax law was likely to boost charitable giving overall. This was not the case, and new reports indicate the changes have had way less impact on economic growth than the GOP promised.