Like many other Americans, Earle I. Mack was worried about what would happen had Congress decided to follow through with proposals to limit charitable deductions in 2013. Doing so, he feared, would lead to a decline in charitable giving that would negatively impact programs and services all over the country.
Mack sees the world as a place for doing good, which is why he’s donated to, started, and worked with charities for many years. One prime example was after the 2010 earthquake that struck Haiti. Mack chartered two planes and arranged for a team of doctors and medical supplies to fly down to help.
“I just felt a passion that all these people dying and they haven’t got any medical help. They’re just lying there bleeding to death, getting sick, getting infected,” he said, explaining what drove him to go above and beyond expectations. “I don’t know… I can’t tell you anything more than that. I just did it; I just woke up one day and did it.”
Earle I Mack is part of the one percent of Americans who make the most money. He is a multi-millionaire and like many others in his financial situation, he believes in the power of giving. It’s the wealthiest of citizens who donate the most to charities every year.
If the government were to put a cap on deductions, Mack says some donors would lose incentive and be less compelled to give. “If giving is hurt, all these programs [would be hurt],” he says, “…from the arts from hospitals to universities to emergency rooms. [They] are on the verge of collapse.”
The huge amount of charitable contributions made by Americans each year helps keep hospitals open, provides school scholarships, and allows for expansion of programs.
According to John Lipincott, even a miniscule reduction in giving would be monumentally bad. “A one percent decline in giving to American higher education would result in a loss of $300,000,000 a year to colleges and universities,” he said. “That’s 300,000 student scholarships that would be lost.”
Mack advised the government to avoid putting charitable contributions deductions on the cutting block or risk losing valuable nonprofit organizations. His giving will continue to be unaffected, he said, but he knows others that won’t feel quite as generous.