Saturday, March 29, 2008

Liberal's "Care" a Lot!

"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.

The data is interesting but I must say that the liberals that I know and call friends are just as likely to be found volunteering or otherwise giving time and money to the causes that move them.

As such, I don't consider them fair game.

Liberal politicians however, are.

They are very good at giving money. Other people's money.

Obama Releases 2000-2006 Tax Returns

What is surprising, given the recent controversy over Obama's membership in the Trinity United Church of Christ, is how little the Obamas apparently gave to charity -- well short of the biblical 10% tithe for all seven years. In two of the years, the Obamas gave far less than 1% of their income to charity; in three of the years, they gave around 1% of their income to charity. Only in the last two years have they given substantially more as their income skyrocketed -- 4.7% in 2005 and 6.1% in 2006.

(Of course, it is possible that the Obamas may have made gifts to other worthy causes that were not deductible for federal income tax purposes.)

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 W. 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.

I think it is clear that neither conservatives nor liberals care less than the other for those people in our society that legitimately need a hand.

The difference may lie in that conservatives tend to feel compelled to give directly. Liberals see the cause as yet another role for the government to taking money from those that already give more as it is.

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