Give Me a Break

2008 was another year of selfishness for our most powerful leaders. I don't think a third-person account of this issue is strong enough anymore.  This topic has already been covered with that perspective.  This time, I'll speak to the guilty party directly.

Dear Mr. President,

All of America was made aware of your 2008 tax returns this week, and at least half of America is likely to be furious.  The figures are staggering.  You earned $2.7 million in 2008, for which I congratulate you.  I have no issue with your earnings.  As a devout capitalist, I commend your ability to earn as much money as you possibly can, and I only wish I were talented enough to acquire such personal wealth. 

My concern lies with your giving.  You have spoken for years in your previous positions, during your campaigns, and still as president about the need to help others and for the wealthy to contribute more to assist struggling Americans.  However, your method, and that of your Democrat colleagues, is to do so through increased taxation.  Conservatives disagree vigorously.

Conservatives believe more assistance can be provided through the private sector, and statistics show that private charitable donations far outweigh the dollars given to the needy by the government.  And when taxes go up, for any income demographic, donations go down.  Therefore, increasing taxes and government assistance programs actually hurts those that actually need it because the government pool of funds has always been smaller than private funding, even during high taxation period.  Individuals are more generous than our government.

But it is you, personally, that I have a problem with.

We have learned that you donated about 6.5% of your enormous income in 2008.  This is much appreciated and will go to many important causes, but as a self-proclaimed Christian who proclaims his sincere and passionate heart for helping those in need, this amount borders on embarrassing.  And this 6.5% is actually the most you've ever given.  We know you donated $240,370 to charity in 2007, which represented 5.7% of your $4 million income.  And from 2000 through 2004, when you and your wife earned around $300,000, your charitable giving was even lower-only about 1% of your income.

And your man-of-the-people officemate, Vice-President Joe Biden, continues to be even less kind. 

In 2008, Mr. Biden earned $269,256, but donated only $1,885 to charity.  That is an astounding 0.7% in giving for someone who earned nearly six times the household average last year.  But we shouldn't be surprised.  During the campaign, we learned that he donated an anemic $995, or 0.3% of his 2007 income of nearly $320,000.  And this was actually up from his gifts in previous years, which ranged from only $120 to $380.  So 2008 was a record year for Mr. Biden's pathetic generosity.

Democrats proclaim themselves the party that aims to assist those in need, but we all know that is entirely untrue.  Conservatives are the compassionate givers of this country, and we live it every year.

My household is the very definition of middle-class, earning only about 4% of your income in 2008.  However, Mr. President, we proudly donated nearly twice as much of our income as you did.  And 15 times as much as Mr. Biden.

If you really want "change" for the needy of our country, you must lead by example.  You are wealthier than any of us could ever imagine becoming, and you could be an amazing inspiration for a new wave of personal giving.  Your success and power are unparalleled, and your generosity could be, as well.

Stop the taxing nonsense and the government handouts, and allow Americans to take care of each other, just as we have since our republic began.  We have all been blessed in a myriad of ways, and the more we give of ourselves independently, the more we will be blessed collectively.  Please lead the way on this fundamental issue. 

And if a few of your Democrat friends could get on board with you, that would be great.