Friday, September 19, 2008

Biden, “patriotic” taxes, and charitable giving

Liberal Senator Joe Biden says if we were really patriotic, we’d all want to pay more taxes. That way, people like himself, Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Charlie Rangel would have more of our money to spend.

The Democratic Vice-presidential candidate didn’t real say the part about him and his fellow Dems wanting more of our money to spend, but that’s what it amounts to.

Biden’s “patriotic” remark reminded a JinC Regular to send along a link to a March 2008 George Will column which begins - - -

Residents of Austin, Texas, home of the state's government and flagship university, have very refined social consciences, if they do say so themselves, and they do say so, speaking via bumper stickers.

Don R. Willett, a justice of the state Supreme Court, has commuted behind bumpers proclaiming "Better a Bleeding Heart Than None at All," "Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Beauty," "The Moral High Ground Is Built on Compassion," "Arms Are For Hugging," "Will Work (When the Jobs Come Back From India)," "Jesus Is a Liberal," "God Wants Spiritual Fruits, Not Religious Nuts," "The Road to Hell Is Paved With Republicans," "Republicans Are People Too -- Mean, Selfish, Greedy People" and so on.

But Willett thinks Austin subverts a stereotype: "The belief that liberals care more about the poor may scratch a partisan or ideological itch, but the facts are hostile witnesses."

Sixteen months ago, Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University, published "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism." The surprise is that liberals are markedly less charitable than conservatives.

If many conservatives are liberals who have been mugged by reality, Brooks, a registered independent, is, as a reviewer of his book said, a social scientist who has been mugged by data.

They include these findings:

-- Although liberal families' incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).

-- Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.

-- Residents of the states that voted for John Kerry in 2004 gave smaller percentages of their incomes to charity than did residents of states that voted for George Bush.

-- Bush carried 24 of the 25 states where charitable giving was above average.

-- In the 10 reddest states, in which Bush got more than 60 percent majorities, the average percentage of personal income donated to charity was 3.5. Residents of the bluest states, which gave Bush less than 40 percent, donated just 1.9 percent.

-- People who reject the idea that "government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality" give an average of four times more than people who accept that proposition.

Brooks demonstrates a correlation between charitable behavior and "the values that lie beneath" liberal and conservative labels. Two influences on charitable behavior are religion and attitudes about the proper role of government. …

In 2000, brows were furrowed in perplexity because Vice President Al Gore's charitable contributions, as a percentage of his income, were below the national average: He gave 0.2 percent of his family income, one-seventh of the average for donating households.

But Gore "gave at the office." By using public office to give other peoples' money to government programs, he was being charitable, as liberals increasingly, and conveniently, understand that word.

Will’s entire column’s here.


Using the Gore standard, the most “charitable” people in the world are members of Congress led by liberal Democrats.

That being the case, can we consider the earmark Sen. Barack Obama obtained for his wife Michelle’s employer, the U. of Chicago Health System, about the time it gave her a promotion and a hefty six-figure pay increase a case of "charity" beginning at home?

Message to Sen. Biden: If you want to talk people’s money and their patriotism, salute entrepreneurs who create jobs.

Salute commercial builders and developers whose work increases communities tax bases and provides places where people can work, earn a living and pay a reasonable amount of taxes for honest and needed government services.

And demand the sleazy Charlie Rangel step down from his chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee, Congress’ committee charged with writing tax legislation and bills affecting Social Security, Medicare, and other entitlement programs.

Hat tip: BN


Anonymous said...

e Bidens' tax return shows he gave $195 to charity in 2007

Anonymous said...


Thanks for mentioning the Brooks book. Drives the libs crazy because their belief in their moral superiority gets crushed in the empirical world.

1:30 might be too tough on Biden. I heard he and the Missus averaged $369 over the past few years. Perhaps he needed some touch up work on the plugs or on those magnificent choppers during 2007.

By the way, this friend of women doesn't pay his female staffers nearly as much as his male staffers -- about 65%. He makes Obama (paying women 82% of what he pays male staffers) seem generous by comparison. (McCain's figure is 102-104% by the way.)