Real Charity

August 25, 2012

It’s a common narrative in many elections, and this year is no exception. Democrats care about the poor; Republicans do not. Progressives are concerned about those who have less; conservatives only care about the rich. It’s been stated so many times, many have come to believe it.

Then come periodic studies on actual charitable giving – you know, the kind where people actually give their own money instead of relying on the government. Turns out the oppositie may be true.

The latest is a recent report from The Chronicle of Philanthropy showing that those in many “red states” give more as a percentage of their income than in many “blue states.” For example, the eight highest states in their ranking (those that gave the most as a share of income) went for John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. The seven lowest ranking states went for President Obama. See this chart for the details.

This is nothing new. Back in 2004, I wrote a column noting a similar study with similar results. Back then, all of the top 25 states that gave the most in relation to their average incomes all went to George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election, and 19 of the bottom 25 went for John Kerry.

Despite the rhetoric from progressives about “giving back” and the need for spreading the wealth around, it appears they don’t practice it as often in their private lives. That includes some in the current administration.

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Cheap on Charity?

April 20, 2010

With the release of both President Obama’s and Vice President Biden’s 2009 tax returns last week comes some revealing information. Though the Obama’s reported that less than 6 percent of their $5.5 million income went to charity, the most interesting tidbit is that the Bidens gave less than 2 percent of their $333,000 income to charity. Even the standard church tithe — considered a charitable donation — is supposed to be 10 percent.

Far be it from me to criticize anyone for the amount of their charitable donations. Under normal circumstances, a person’s private giving wouldn’t be a point of criticism; it is, after all, a matter of personal conscience. However, these low levels of charitable donations, particularly on the part of the Bidens, stand out because of  earlier statements from Obama and Biden asserting that we need to “spread the wealth around” and that paying more taxes was the “patriotic” thing to do.

Here’s Obama:

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