Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump openly discussed each other’s charitable foundations during the final U.S. Presidential debate.
Controversy has surrounded both the Clinton Foundation and the Trump foundation and it reached a tipping point during the final debate in Las Vegas, Nevada. Both candidates exchanged jabs at each others charitable organizations.
Trump called the Clinton Foundation a “criminal enterprise” and Hillary Clinton mocked Donald Trump’s Foundation for buying a giant portrait of himself with charity funds.
Hillary Clinton praised the group’s work with making HIV treatment available to millions of people around the world.
However, Donald Trump argued that the Clinton Foundation has received charitable donations from countries that do not support gay or women’s rights.
“It’s a criminal enterprise,” Donald Trump said. “You talk about women and women’s rights. These are people that push gays off buildings. These are people that kill women and treat women horribly and yet you take their money.”
Clinton responded by saying that her Clinton Foundation spends 90% of their donations on charitable programs. In addition, Clinton asserted that the Trump Foundation took charitable donations and “bought a six foot portrait of Donald. I mean, who does that? It just is astonishing,” she said.
Clinton added, that Trump cannot prove he has given money to charity because he has not released his tax returns. “There’s no way we can know if any of that is true,” she said.
The Trump Foundation has been ordered to stop raising money in New York because the organization was not properly registered. However, while Hillary Clinton served as the secretary of state, there were possible conflicts of interests with Clinton Foundation’s charitable donors.
It is important to note that before the United States was formed charitable giving was typically done by churches and the aristocrats in Europe. However, there were no rules or laws that insisted they do any giving, whatsoever. But as the United States instituted Federal taxes to support a growing military, charitable giving became a standard deduction on federal taxes that U.S. citizens file every year.
Charitable donations is a deduction that is is unique to the United States. Tax codes now layout in detail the different ways individuals can give and get a write-off. However, according to the IRS and tax laws, there are rules and regulations that private foundations should adhere to. These rules include limits on their holdings in private businesses, provisions that investments must not jeopardize their exemption status, and restrictions on self-dealing between private foundations and their contributors. Ultimately, the arguments between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump highlight the issues surrounding private foundations.