Economy & Budget

Del Beccaro: The White House’s war on charity

Incredibly, in this season of giving, the White House is seeking to limit charitable deductions as part of the budget deal. Limiting charitable deductions for organizations, from the American Cancer Society to the Catholic Church, would jeopardize their good works if not the very existence of smaller charities. Don’t be confused as to why this White House is conducting a war on charities. This isn’t about the deficit. Plain and simple, big government doesn’t want the competition when it comes to people’s welfare.

We now live in the age of fiscal cliffs. America’s fiscal cliff was constructed by out of control spending. Our government spends 7 times what we spent in the 1960’s and our poverty rate is roughly the same. In the last decade alone, we have increased federal spending an astonishing 64 percent! Revenues, which have grown 37 percent, an amazing figure itself, just haven’t been able to keep up. In our history, they rarely can because politicians spend first and look for money later.

From such imbalances you get fiscal cliffs, annual trillion dollar deficits and stagnant economies. The proponents of big government see poor economic fortunes (even those created by their own policies) and push for even more government social welfare programs. In turn, that often leads to greater and lengthier dependency on government by those they claim they want to help.

To pay for their programs, promoters of big government want more tax dollars. Higher tax rates, however, choke off economic prosperity. All combined, you have a witches’ brew of falling standards of living and a vicious cycle of poverty and government programs.

Faced with such problems, you would think that Obama would do more than seek the help from experts in helping people. Experts that could do the work better, more direct and cheaper. But when it comes to dealing with poverty and those in need, you would be wrong in making that assumption with this White House.

Keep in mind that America is and has been the most charitable nation in history. Long before government programs, Americans donated the modern equivalent of trillions of dollars to help needy Americans and those around the world – including such capitalist titans as Carnegie and Rockefeller.

Today, according to the GAO, there is a growing trend of states that appreciate those private efforts. The GAO report states that more than half of the states will turn to charities to help with welfare programs. But not Obama. He wants to take action that will literally defund many of those charities.

Why on earth would he do so in such desperate times?

Obama truly is a big government liberal. He believes that government should be at the center of our lives. He believes government knows better and should set the rules for helping others. Look no farther than ObamaCare to gauge his philosophy on caring for people.

Simply stated, Obama doesn’t value private charities interfering with his vision of a centralized government. But it doesn’t stop there.

For years, there has been a dedicated effort to take God out of the American

Public Square. Never mind that there used to be church services in the US Capitol in the 1800s or that “In God We Trust” on our currency came decades after the First Amendment. The war on God in out Public Square continues.

For some, it is a sincere desire to separate church and state. Over the centuries, however, big government proponents have pushed to remove God from society because they don’t want the competition. They do so because the success of a centralized state is based on people’s belief that the state can deliver all things.

The notion of God is unhelpful to such grand planners selling the services of an omnipresent state. Indeed, religions are direct competition to the efforts of centralized planners. You see, there is no religious book in the world that states: “become a ward of the state and you shall achieve salvation.”

Quite to the contrary, the major western religions all preach self-reliance and charity towards others. Such direct charity is not only beneficial on a moral level, it is, of course, far more economically rational and a hallmark of freedom.

They represent voluntary choices. They are made at the local level and historically have been many more times efficient than government bureaucracies.

Obama’s war on charities, by contrast, is neither rational nor economical – let alone moral. It is the big government at its worst.

Thomas G. Del Beccaro

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