Note: I do not speak for the trees, nor the U.S. Government, its affiliates, or my employer; the standard disclaimers always apply.
Last month, or last week - depending on how slowly 2017 is going for you, the Republican Party passed the new Tax Bill. Several progressives, and fiscal hawks, have pointed out that the bill adds a disastrous $1.45 trillion to the deficit over the next ten years; even some republicans have come out against the bill as being "too beneficial" to corporations. Some individuals are pissed that this fiscal irresponsibility may be used as justification to "cut spending" on programs like Medicare and Social Security and disproportionately harm minorities, women, and education initiatives.
Given that I simultaneously benefit from this tax bill and am outraged at the nearly certain coming battle to systematically defund and harm these programs and initiatives, I've worked with my tax consultant to determine the refund I'll receive and identified several programs worth donating that refund to. Below is a slideshow of these organizations, with their URLs, their Administration and Fundraising Rate (AFR) - lower is better, and a brief description of the way they use your money.
Use the arrows to move to the next slide; click on the image to go to the charity's webpage
Aside from some local food banks and soup kitchens (which have an AFR of 0 to 3 percent), these are the charities and political groups that I'm donating to. They have some very clear trends: Pro-Minority, Pro-Education, Pro-Climate Sustainability, Pro-Technology, and Pro-Cash Infusion. They are, essentially, everything that this iteration of the Republican Party has railed against and will move to defund if they win the 2018 midterm elections under the auspice of "fiscal responsibility" to pay for their $1.45 trillion handout.
In that vein, SwingLeft is included in this list of charities (though it is a Political Action Committee) because regaining control of the house is a fantastic way to avoid the issue all together. SwingLeft is included in lieu of other PACs (e.g Organizing For Action, Millennial Democrats) because their newsletters contain information other than pure fundraising efforts, but do have concrete political goals unlike more abstract PACs like Indivisible.
With the exception of GiveDirectly and SwingLeft, all of these organizations are participants in the Combined Federal Campaign, if you are a federal employee or member of the United States military. If you are not a participant of the CFC, many of these organizations participate in Amazon Smile, and some have fairly intuitive ways to establish a monthly donation and/or signup for a regularly published newsletter.
Of special note, for the next few days, GiveDirectly has benefactors who are tripling your donation, and a donor is doubling your donation to Ben McAdams, a Democrat competitor to the extremely vulnerable Mia Love in the UT-4 Congressional District.
In addition to my personal donations to these organizations, and hoping to challenge you to donate your tax cut to them as well, I'll be including calls for donations whenever applicable to this blog. Some of you have already responded and donated to elect Senator Doug Jones based on one of these fundraising calls in my post, Paradox of Progress.
I hope you'll join me in this journey, and not let our votes - and our country - be purchased for a few hundred (or thousand) dollars in temporary tax cuts.