Saturday, April 03, 2004

American Spirit of Charity

Politicians, particularly liberal politicians, often talk about how paying higher taxes to support government programs is our duty to society. Sometimes the assertion is made that the rich, particularly the liberal rich, have a duty to pay more taxes than the "little guy".

Well, evidently, the "rich" don't agree.

Reality Smack!

You know, back before there even was an income tax, poor people did get taken care of, and foreign aid got distributed. Who did it, if not the government? Why, the American people did it all by themselves. They raised the money from charitable donations.

Americans are some of the most charitable people in the world. We give to all sorts of causes, foreign and domestic. When Americans give out of their own pockets, they identify with the people they are giving to, and promote solidarity with them. This is a good thing. It brings insulated people into the world of AIDS sufferers, teenage mothers, etc. The causes are usually un-politicized and tend to draw bipartisan support. The giving of charity used to be a part of the American culture, and one of its backbone values.

But when the government gives aid to individuals, groups, and countries, however, the aid becomes a political football. People who may not have donated to the cause will now be made to donate to it. This is contrary to the spirit of charity, and it makes our payments not charity, but a purchase of loyalty or dependency.