Posts Tagged ‘chintzy’

Obama-Biden Generous With Other Peoples’ Money; Chintzy With Their Own

September 16, 2008

Conservatives would still disagree with tax-hungry liberals even if they gave generously of their own money, but at least they would respect the consistency.

As it is, we have nothing but utter contempt for liberals who claim to be working so tirelessly in the name of “the poor” even as they demonstrate a contemptuous disregard for the poor in their own charitable giving.

Sadly, Barack Obama and Joe Biden continue in the liberal tradition of demanding that other people pay for their massive socialist wealth-transfer programs, while being incredibly stingy with their own money.

Barack Obama’s chintziness has been known for awhile.  But the rather shocking lack of generosity of Joe Biden is just now becoming known.

Prior to his run for President, Barack and Michelle Obama were in the top 2% of income earners, but actually gave less than the average American in charitable giving:

In 2002, the year before Obama launched his campaign for U.S. Senate, the Obamas reported income of $259,394, ranking them in the top 2 percent of U.S. households, according to Census Bureau statistics. That year the Obamas claimed $1,050 in deductions for gifts to charity, or 0.4 percent of their income. The average U.S. household totaled $1,872 in gifts to charity in 2002, according to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

The national average for charitable giving has long hovered at 2.2 percent of household income, according to the Glenview-based Giving USA Foundation, which tracks trends in philanthropy. Obama tax returns dating to 1997 show he fell well below that benchmark until 2005, the year he arrived in Washington.

Both Obama and his wife, Michelle, declined to respond to questions about their charitable donations.

Pathetic?  Of course it is, until you consider the records of Joe Biden.  An article by the National Review publishes Biden’s “giving” (if you can call it that), and the results are incredibly unflattering:

Looking at the ten-year total of Biden’s giving, one percent would have been $24,500. One half of one percent would have been $12,250. One quarter of one percent would have been $6,125. And one eighth of one percent would have been $3,062 — just below what Biden actually contributed.

“The average American household gives about two percent of adjusted gross income,” says Arthur Brooks, the Syracuse University scholar, soon to take over as head of the American Enterprise Institute, who has done extensive research on American giving. “On average, [Biden] is not giving more than one tenth as much as the average American household, and that is evidence that he doesn’t share charitable values with the average American.”

The plain fact of the matter is that conservatives – who are routinely demonized as “greedy” and “uncaring” – are actually FAR more generous than the liberals who demonize them.

You want to see the difference?  Dick Cheney, the ultimate symbol of greed to many liberals, gave away $6.87 million in charity from a total income of about $8.8 millionmore than 78% of their wealth to charity.

As for John McCain, during the same years that Barack Obama was only giving between .4 and 6.1% of his net income to charity, John McCain was giving about 28% of his net income to charity.

And it’s not just John McCain and Dick Cheney who are personally generous as conservatives, and it’s not just Barack Obama and Joe Biden who are chintzy as liberals.  Conservatives are overwhelmingly more generous than liberals with not only their money, but their time and even their blood:

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.

The single biggest predictor of someone’s altruism, Willett says, is religion. It increasingly correlates with conservative political affiliations because, as Brooks’ book says, “the percentage of self-described Democrats who say they have ‘no religion’ has more than quadrupled since the early 1970s.” America is largely divided between religious givers and secular nongivers, and the former are disproportionately conservative. One demonstration that religion is a strong determinant of charitable behavior is that the least charitable cohort is a relatively small one — secular conservatives.

I despise liberals because they are quintessentially defined by their abject hypocrisy on issue after issue.  But nowhere do I despise them more than on the issue of taxation and giving.  The simple fact of the matter is that the more people want to take other peoples’ money, the less generous they are with their own; and the more people object to having other peoples’ money seized without their consent, the more generous they are with their own money.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, liberals.

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