It seems that America is moving away from personal charity toward a system of having the government handle it. When we turn individual acts of charity into government programs, it becomes fake charity. It’s much more meaningful when we give food or money directly to a needy person rather than having a set amount deducted from our paychecks for a vague program where the giver never sees the person who receives.
The government shouldn’t decide who is deserving of help; that should be a personal decision.
When government forces you to provide specified "community service" as a condition of a student loan, that's work-for-hire, not community service.
Our government leaders should set the example. Here's how our recent leaders stack up in personal charitable donations:
- President Obama donated $240,000 to charity last year (5.7% of his income).
- Vice-President Biden gave a measly $369 per year (0.2% of his income) over the past 10 years.
- Vice President Al Gore gave only $353 in 1997.
- Vice President Dick Cheney donated $209,832 (1% of his income).
- Candidate John McCain gave $202,000 (25% of his income) in 2006 and 2007.
- President George W. Bush gave $75,560 (12%) in 2005 and about half that much in 1991-3.
- Candidate John Kerry's gave $0 in 1995, $2,039 in 1994, $175 in 1993, $820 in 1992, and $0 in 1991.
Our leaders seem eager to be charitable with tax payers' money, but rather stingy with their own money.
President Obama wants to discourage personal charitable giving by reducing tax deductions for personal charitable donations. That doesn't make sense.