As the election focus turns again to the next race to the Presidency, Liberal conversation again makes the desperate turn to old standbys. And though the cries of a Republican “War of Women” have been abandoned after the significantly thorough Democrat defeat at the ballot box in the last election, Liberals continue to profess a greater concern for Americans than their Republican counterparts. But are their claims valid?
In a recent analysis of IRS tax records, the Chronicle of Philanthropy recently ranked US states and their cities by the amounts of money their residents gave per capita to charity. The results dispute the claims on the liberal side off the fence: People in Republican majority states and cities were more generous with their money given to charity.
The study, dubbed “How America Gives” compared data from 2006 until 2012, and found that the top 10 most charitable states overwhelmingly voted for Romney, while the bottom 10 states on that list voted for Barack Obama.
As EthicsDaily.com reports, “Red states – Republican-voting states – are more generous than blue states – Democratic-voting states.”
Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, “Who Really Cares,” put it in more striking tones. As a self-proclaimed Independent, he was surprised by his findings. “When I started doing research on charity,” Mr. Brooks wrote, “I expected to find that political liberals — who, I believed, genuinely cared more about others than conservatives did — would turn out to be the most privately charitable people. So when my early findings led me to the opposite conclusion, I assumed I had made some sort of technical error. I re-ran analyses. I got new data. Nothing worked. In the end, I had no option but to change my views.”
In his Washington Post article “Bleeding Hearts but Tight Fists”, George F. Will writes, “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.”
Despite these studies and books though, I wanted to see if I could find some specific examples of Republican charity. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, for instance gave 16% of his income to charity in 2011, as opposed to Barack and Michelle Obama, who gave less than 1% of their income in 2008.
Conservative celebrities such as Donald Trump, Clint Eastwood, and Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) all have also made significant charitable contributions throughout their careers. But what about a little closer to home? In 2010, Florida’s Governor, Rick Scott gave 6.8% of his income to various charities.
But even on a more local level, Richard DeNapoli, practicing attorney and the former chairman of the Broward Republican Executive Committee, chose to give a portion of his income to Florida-based charities as a way of taking care of the community in a way that is not dependent upon the government.
“I work hard for the money that I make, and because of the way that I was raised, I believe that helping those in our community is best served by individually giving” DeNapoli stated. “ We don’t want the federal government to build a culture of dependency. In choosing where to give, I can not only make sure that my contribution makes a difference, but it helps to encourage people, reminding them that America is founded on giving those in need a hand up, not a hand out.”
DeNapoli’s viewpoint is one that is demonstrably shared by many Republicans. When a study was conducted by Rice University, the research team crafted slightly different descriptions of a single charity, Rebuilding Together, which creates affordable homes for low income families. They found that Republicans were three times more likely to part with their money when Rebuilding Together was described as “supporting working American families following traditions and supporting their communities.”, but Democrats were twice as likely to kick in when the organization was described as “ensuring the protection of a home to every individual.” The Republican Party has historically been the political party emphasizing self-reliance, individual responsibility, and individual freedom. The Democrat party has traditionally supported government-based giving, and government redistribution of individual incomes disguised as “fairness” or “social services”.
The bottom line seems to be that while Americans as a whole are a very generous people, Republicans and Conservatives are overall more charitable and giving than the Democrats and Liberals. This may be due to the idea that Liberals see their votes to increase spending on federal social programs, or the creation of larger government-based social programs as a form of charity. After all, these programs and agencies spend billions of taxpayer dollars a year on giving money to those the government determines are “in need”. The problem with that philosophy though is that it is not the government’s money to spend. It’s the American taxpayer’s money. Republicans recognize that fact and recognize the solution, that the contributions would be better spent, and that local communities and that society as a whole would be better off it that money were to be left in the hands of the those who will contribute it wisely. Liberal Democrats viewpoint seems to be that spending OPM (other people’s money) on “social services” makes the Democrat party the more charitable. Individual responsibility vs. Government handouts. It’s a struggle between the parties and ideologies since the first great depression, but it seems that the Republican point of view has the best interests of the country at heart. At least, that’s the way I see it… Hopefully you do too.