I have a question that I haven't been able to answer, despite a reasonable amount of time searching the web. The question is this: How much revenue does the government (Federal, State and local) lose because of religious tax exemptions? Because the earnings of churches are exempt, I suspect that no accurate number exists, but there must be some relatively reliable estimates. Does anyone have any idea where I can answer this question?
I found a link to an apparently no-longer-functioning site that gave the amount as over a trillion dollars a year, but as the site seems to no longer exist, I can't verify that number in any way.
Here is why I am interested: If I were in charge, this is the very first place I would look to diminish government's budgetary problems. A trillion or so a year, spread out over Federal, State and local governments would go a long way toward balancing the budget, and between the behavior of Catholic priests and Muslim clerics, and the vicious insanity of evangelicals these days, I can't see what we are getting in return for our largesse, other than crime, corruption, hatred and greed.