We should make churches pay taxes. So say two recent articles. Matthew Yglesias of Slate says that tax breaks force citizens to, in effect, fund religions they disagree with. Also, tax breaks don’t improve church productivity, since upgrading the building and other things churches spend money on won’t necessarily save more souls. Also, eliminating the non-profit tax break would allow churches to proclaim their moral convictions more forthrightly and to endorse political candidates, which he thinks is perfectly appropriate.
Then Dylan Matthews of the Washington Post, expressing agreement with Yglesias, counts just how much tax breaks for churches cost the government and, following the assumption that all money belongs to the government so that not taking someone else’s money is an government expense and a giveaway, he concludes that “You give religions more than $82.5 billion per year.”
After the jump: The links and excerpts giving their arguments. Can you answer them? Or are they right? [Read more…]