The Selfish' 'Charity' of Liberals
Liberals often attack conservatives for not being charitable and caring. But studies show that conservatives give more of their own money to charities and that people who go to church give more than people who don’t. By the traditional definition, it’s liberals who are lacking in charity.
The disconnect can be explained by this quote from a liberal on FaceBook:
There is precious little difference between me giving charity directly, and the government taxing me a little more and using that.
Apparently liberals don’t realize that increasing tax rates impact everyone, not just them. The reality is that Congress does not just tax this or that liberal but everyone, and hence the fundamental difference between the two cases is that in one case a person is being charitable by voluntarily giving what is theirs to the poor and in the other case the person is forcing other people to give what is theirs.
Liberal “reasoning” seems to be that raising taxes on other people is charity. But what did Jesus say?
Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." Matt 19:21
Jesus did not say “make others give what they have to the poor and you’ll be charitable” nor did Jesus say “make others give what they have to the poor and keep what you’ve got in order to be charitable”
This is common sense -- making others give up what is theirs to do what you want done is not charity. In fact, it’s the epitome of selfishness; taking from others against their will to further your own goals. Liberals are apparently people who believe that they can be philanthropic with other people’s money.
Imagine if a liberal were to come across a beggar on a street corner and demand, under threat of imprisonment, that passersby give the money in their wallets to the beggar. Yet saying that raising other people’s taxes is charity is identical; in both cases other people are forced, under threat of imprisonment to give away their money.
In a liberal’s mind, forcing others to give is "charity" but in the real world, charity is giving what is your own to those in need.
The problem is even worse in that many liberals are part of the nearly 47% of Americans who don’t pay Federal Income Tax. As such voting to raise other people’s taxes puts them in the “I’ll keep mine, force you to give up yours, and feel charitable” camp.
Rich liberals, on the other hand, will probably do everything they can to avoid paying a penny more in taxes than they have to. If they really wanted to use their money to help the poor they’d give their money to private charities.
For every three tax dollars, two end up in the paycheck of government employee’s or contractors and 1 helps a poor person. On the other hand give private charities $3 and 2+ dollars will end up in the hands of the poor. That’s a 100%+ improvement in help for the poor.
Clearly, no one who really wants to help the poor would suggest that a good way to do so is to launder their money through the voracious maw of the Federal bureaucracy.
Another key problem with liberal “reasoning” is that perhaps liberals are not the best judge of how to truly help the poor. Liberals are big advocates of huge government welfare programs but Pope Francis has a different take on the matter:
Helping the poor financially must always be a provisional solution in the face of pressing needs. The broader objective should always be to allow them a dignified life through work.
According to Pope Francis then, liberal support of generational welfare, where generation after generation are on the dole, is bad while conservatives belief in a welfare safety net to stave off starvation and programs to improve the economy and create new jobs and opportunities for the poor is good.
Liberals also simply assume that they are the best judges of who needs help. In a country where 63.7% of the “poor” have satellite or cable TV and 78.3% have air conditioning is it reasonable to say that a discussion on just what sort of lifestyle hard-working Americans have to support for the “poor” -- people who are capable of working in this context -- is unnecessary? Especially in light of the fact that the poverty level income in the U.S. is higher than the median wage in Greece and Hungary and nearly the same as the median wage in Italy, Japan, Spain, and the UK.
Does this mean that welfare is bad? No, but it does show that seeing if we can better balance the rights of middle class families to keep what they earn against the lifestyles of people who could work but who are on welfare -- drug users, people who drop out of school to have out-of-wedlock babies etc. -- would not be an uncharitable conversation.
Many people on welfare are handicapped or otherwise incapable of working, but the fact that the food stamp rolls in Maine dropped from 9,478 to 2,530 when able-bodied recipients without dependent children were required to work part time for 20 hours a week, enroll in a vocational program, or volunteer 24 hours a month indicate that perhaps there are some welfare recipients who should not live on the hard-earned wealth of others
The liberal attitude towards the others they wish to tax is clear in this quote from the same person earlier quoted:
paying more taxes for the poor] may not be something everyone volunteers to do, but that's the price you pay if you want to live in community with other people. Living with other people necessarily involves making some sacrifices.
Apart from the fact that liberals rarely seem to want the “poor” or gays to make sacrifices -- like not being able to have the baker of their choice for their so called “wedding” -- this statement makes it clear that in this liberal’s mind the fact that he can decide what is the right level of “charity” is a given.
The hubris of liberals is visible in that they think that only their approach to the poor is viable and that all others must simply do what they want.
It’s time for conservatives to call out liberals on their hardhearted lack of personal charity rather than feel bad about not endorsing failed welfare programs.
You can read more of tom’s rants at his blog, Conversations about the obvious and feel free to follow him on Twitter