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Letters to the Editor – Weekly Issue of December 6, 2010

Readers write in about Washington and the housing crisis, taxes vs. philanthropy, charity management, and (white) wealth and power in America.

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Inflated housing prices

Patrick Killelea's Nov. 22 commentary that "Washington is making the housing crisis even worse" is absolutely correct. Although the average house has increased in area and in other characteristics over the last six decades, the census states that "median home values adjusted for inflation nearly quadrupled over the 60-year period since the first housing census in 1940." This demonstrates clearly Mr. Killelea's position on housing price inflation.

Unfortunately, it seems politicians will continue to cater to the fools who have bid up housing prices over the years.

Taxes and giving

In your thoughtful Nov. 22 editorial, "The wealth of givers," you say the lame-duck Congress may "eliminate the temporary tax cuts for families earning more than $250,000." However, even if Congress lets the temporary tax cuts that apply to incomes over $250,000 expire, as I hope it does, those families will continue to get a tax break on their first $250,000.

To be fully accurate, no one's tax cuts will be entirely eliminated. Portions of their income will receive tax breaks. And it's also worth keeping in mind that the tax rates apply to taxable income after deductions and adjustments.

 

How to really vet a charity

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