Time Essay: Threat to an American Tradition

John W. Gardner, the founding chairman of Common Cause and formerly Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, sees danger in certain proposals that have come forth lately from various tax reformers to eliminate or reduce the charitable contributions that Americans can deduct from taxable income. He stated his case recently at a United Way conference in a speech on which this essay is based:

"These Americans are a peculiar people. If, in a local community, a citizen becomes aware of a human need which is not being met, he thereupon discusses the situation with...

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