Charities, foundations and universities may have a special place in America's civic heart. But they're really just special interest pleaders like oil companies and ethanol producers, writes The New Republic's Alec MacGillis. And lawmakers should use the fiscal cliff talks as an opportunity to junk all their tax breaks.
"These groups have as much right as any other to fight for their self-interest," MacGillis writes of charities, foundations and universities. "But we shouldn't let their good reputations prevent us from seeing them for what they are: a lobby with high-paid and highly-effective lobbyists, and without a halo."
Universities make for a particularly unsympathetic target. "The higher ed sector relies on the wealthiest donors more than other social service organizations and religious charities for its $30 billion annual harvest of contributions," MacGillis notes.
That despite rising administrative costs on campus. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported this week on "three dozen college presidents making more than $1 million (led by none other than Bob Kerrey, who pulled down more than $3 million in his last year at The New School.)"
Via The New Republic.