Charity

The other day the news came out about Obama’s tax returns and the amounts he had given to charity between 2000-2004 (heavily increased in 2007)

Today George Will notes that charity giving and religion seem to walk hand in hand. With conservatives being more religious, their charity giving is also greater. 3.5% of income vs 1.9% of income. I wouldn’t find this interesting except for the reasons given.

It seems liberals believe that the govt should be the helper for those in need and so they don’t bother. What this means of course is they believe the government should coerce charitable giving. In the meantime, those in need rely on those who actually give vs fantasy give.

While conservatives tend to regard giving as a personal rather than governmental responsibility, some liberals consider private charity a retrograde phenomenon — a poor palliative for an inadequate welfare state and a distraction from achieving adequacy by force, by increasing taxes. Ralph Nader, running for president in 2000, said: “A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity.” Brooks, however, warns: “If support for a policy that does not exist . . . substitutes for private charity, the needy are left worse off than before. It is one of the bitterest ironies of liberal politics today that political opinions are apparently taking the place of help for others.”

In 2000, brows were furrowed in perplexity because Vice President Al Gore’s charitable contributions, as a percentage of his income, were below the national average: He gave 0.2 percent of his family income, one-seventh of the average for donating households. But Gore “gave at the office.” By using public office to give other people’s money to government programs, he was being charitable, as liberals increasingly, and conveniently, understand that word.