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John J. Rigo Texas Commentator

This commentary was written in 2010.  In reviewing I felt it applied more today than it did in 2010. 

Even with November elections wiping out the Democratic majority in the house, we will not be able to revert the effects of the billions of dollars, we will have in future deficits.  My solution to this deficit is simple and should bring us to a zero deficit within five years.

My approach would target our Nation’s non-profits in the form of their religious churches.  I am a Christian and do believe in separation of Church and State.  In the last ten years in my observation of two major churches, the Presbyterian movement, as well as the Methodist religion has brought me to writing this commentary.  It is my deep belief that our Nation loses billions of dollars every month in additional revenues that our country could be collecting, if it were not for non-profit churches. 

When churches across this nation are examined closely, one can easily summarize that a majority of monies that is collected by church congregations are either for the care and feeding of the pastors and/or ministers that lead these churches.  The other great percentage of the funds go to pay for the different church structure across the nation, structures many times are only utilized one day a week. 

The other aspect of collected monies by non-profits is the “dying Money” that is given personally to Pastors and Ministers by church members who are on their “death beds.”  I have no doubt that this amount of money alone, represents billions of dollars monthly that escapes the “Tax Man.”

There is not a month goes by that we do not fail to hear of the Pastor of a large church living “The High Life” with expensive homes, and the best that money can buy.  Recently it came to the attention of a congregation that their minister had a corporate jet hidden from them, that their collections paid to fly this Pastor all over the world to famous exotic locations to party.

It is time that our tax codes be revamped in relationship to the “free ride” that religious churches across this country enjoy.  It is time also for many of these ex-siding men and used car sales personnel who decide to become ministers and pastors paid the same tax rate as all of us do in the salary, as well as the perks they receive each day. 

In so doing the future generations of children would become more financially secure in the huge tax deficit that is before them.  Religious freedom and choosing how and who we wish to worship with, should not have anything to do with these organizations paying their fair share of taxes. 

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