Someone posted this in a blog:
“Rush was really good today in his talk about how liberalism seduces so much of the church with so called charity, which is income redistribution, and other ideals. This is one of the most insidious mixings of church and state there is. Social equality becomes confused with Christian belief.”
To which I replied:
“Yeah, those sinister evil liberals, helping the poor and healing the sick like jesus – just to trick christians into liking them!
You claim to follow the philosophy of a homeless man, but listen to a man with multiple mansions instead.
American christianity is insane.”
To which he replied:
“Since when is redistribution charity. I am all for giving money to the poor and helping those less fortunate but governmenb taking hard earned cash and giving it to the poor is all too often more robbery than charity. The end does not justify the means. Christ will not likely bless something which comes out of an evil system.”
To which I replied:
“When jesus was asked if they should pay taxes, he said render unto cesar what it cesar’s and unto god what is god’s. He also had nothing but contempt for the rich.
American culture worships wealth and greed and sneers at the notion of taking care of the poor or helping those less fortunate. It couldn’t be less christian.
And I would be all for having charity do everything if it actually worked. If you took every penny given to every charity in the US every year and put it toward just one cause – providing healthcare to seniors – it would leave 1 in 4 seniors covered by medicare without healthcare and screw every starving american, kid with cancer, rape victim, abused spouse etc, etc out of any assistance.
A penny of sales tax does more good than the largest charity in the world. And even what charities do is largely from the government. I found out recently that “catholic charities” one of the largest and most respected charities in the US – 2.9 percent of their funds come from catholic churches, 35% come from investments and other non-church donations, and 62% of their funds come from the federal government.
Not to mention that people aren’t going to give until it hurts when they’re terrified they or their loved ones might get sick and need a $40,000 surgery some day. They’re going to sit on their money “in case”. If they know they will be able to get help or cover their medical costs they will be more charitable.”
To which he said:
“People give all the time out of charity. The church gives and organizations give some out of love and some out of selfish reasons but to say that no one gives unless forced is simply not true. As for paying Taxes to Ceaser this has nothing to do with giving the government what it needs. The government essentially has three functions, defence, upholding the law,and facilitating individual freedom. It does not need to have the economically retarding taxes to do this. Finally it is the rich who employ people and most of them have earned there wealth.”
To which I said:
“When did I say no one ever gives to charity? I said the opposite.
And the word “welfare” comes from the constitution, it’s in both the preamble and the text as one of the fundamental functions of government. Abraham Lincoln defined the role of government thus:
“The legitimate object
of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to
have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for
themselves in their separate, and individual capacities. In all that the
people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not
to interfere. The desirable things which the individuals of a people can
not do, or can not well do, for themselves, fall into two classes:
those which have relation to wrongs, and those which have not. Each of
these branch off into an infinite variety of subdivisions. The first that
in relation to wrongs embraces all crimes, misdemeanors, and
nonperformance of contracts. The other embraces all which, in its
nature, and without wrong, requires combined action, as public roads and
highways, public schools, charities, pauperism, orphanage, estates of
the deceased, and the machinery of government itself. From this it
appears that if all men were just, there still would be some, though not
so much, need for government.”
The notion that the government should just build bombs maintain prisons and that any other use of tax dollars is treason or theft is a notion invented recently by the republican party.
And as far as taxes retarding the economy, many countries have significantly higher tax rates and pretty much all of them to my knowledge maintain a similar gross domestic product. If a corporation spends a dollar it stimulates the economy but if the government spends a dollar it doesn’t? Again, new (and bizarre) republican economic ideology.”
To which he said:
“What people can do for themselves. you say? our standard of living is such that even the poor here live better than in other countries. Charity of individuals and private institutions should be the primary means of supporting the poor. Occassionally the government may have a role, but it should withdraw itself to a large extent because of ineficiency, waste, and entitlement mentality it feeds. This is true whatever the motives of those in office whether benevolent or malevolent and wishing to maintain power.”
To which I said:
“”What people can do for themselves. you say? our standard of living is such that even the poor here live better than in other countries.”
And that is in no small part due to government intervention. Get rid of the government safety net for the poor and that standard of living will plummet.
“Charity of individuals and private institutions should be the primary means of supporting the poor.”
In a perfect world maybe – not the one we live in.
“Occassionally the government may have a role, but it should withdraw itself to a large extent because of ineficiency, waste, and entitlement mentality it feeds. This is true whatever the motives of those in office whether benevolent or malevolent and wishing to maintain power.”
There is inefficiency and waste in government to be sure, but the adminsitrative cost of the food stamp program for instance is 3 and a half percent of it’s budget, far below that of most charities. Catholic charities for instance has administrative costs around 10%. I don’t see how you can really argue with the figures though – google stats on the total amount donated to charity in a year and compare that to the cost of the government safety net. Charitable donations don’t even begin to cut it. So yeah maybe in a perfect world charities would run everything, but that is a fantasy world.”
To which he said:
“3% I will have to look into such claims especially since the government loves working figures such as its “seasonal adjustments” a whole other topic. However Waste and abuse tend to be atttracted by government beauracracy because often times those running the program have jobs dependant on the handouts. This blurs the line far more than in private charities. I definitely agree we do not live in a perfect world but that does not mean we should not try to love up to the laws instilled in creation through our conscience.
People being forced to give will not be near as productive as those who do so willingly. Indeed the base nature of man is the very reason we must not force him into charity for if he discovers that others in his view, whether true or not, are simply living off of his labor through the governments benevolence why should he strive for excellence. In its extreme forms this is why socialism when it turns to communism is such a verifiable failure.”
To which I said:
“3% I will have to look into such claims especially since the government loves working figures such as its “seasonal adjustments” a whole other topic.”
Their total budget minus the amount given out in benefits = 3 1/2%.
“However Waste and abuse tend to be atttracted by government beauracracy because often times those running the program have jobs dependant on the handouts. This blurs the line far more than in private charities.”
There is waste, fraud and abuse in every sector of everything, public and private. People complain about social security fraud as if no one every defrauds private insurance companies or complain about welfare fraud driving up the cost of a program as if no one ever shoplifts or steals office supplies or commits fraud in or against private companies and drives your costs at the checkout counter up. People bitch about having to buy “obamacare” when the reason for the reforms is that our wonderful healthcare system costs double that of every other industrialized country on the planet (including those that have universal coverage for every citizen) and was still rising rapidly. It was an attempt to save money and lives and reign in the national debt and was twisted into an attempt to kill grandma and destroy the economy.
And while there is waste in government we should make government better, not get rid of it. Republicans say the public school system doesn’t work because government can’t do anything – but the public school system works really well in all the countries that are doing better than us. So how much of it is government not being able to do something and how much of it is self-fulfilling prophecy? And politicians trying to look good instead of doing their job. They lower the passing grades so on paper more students pass and it looks like they’ve improved things (when they’re really screwing us) and private schools do no better by selectively only letting the best and brightest, kids from good neighborhoods etc attend their school while the public schools have to take kids with learning and mental disabilities, psych problems, criminal records etc. So while on paper private schools have more graduates and better test scores it’s not exactly because they’re necessarily doing a better job or deal with remotely similar challenges.
“I definitely agree we do not live in a perfect world but that does not mean we should not try to love up to the laws instilled in creation through our conscience.”
You think republican economic philosophy was instilled in creation? Capitalism, socialism, communism etc are modern constructs, the bible doesn’t talk about them. And if we want to read them into the bible there are many passages where the apostles “socialize” their property etc.
“People being forced to give will not be near as productive as those who do so willingly.”
I’ve already established that the opposite is true. Look up the figures if you don’t believe me, every dollar given to charity in the US doesn’t even amount to the annal medicare budget, ignoring everything else the government does charity-wise. Your statement that taxes do less good than willful giving is simply not the case. The waste in the worst welfare program is probably a few percent, but it would have to be like 80 or 90% waste across the board for your statement to be accurate.
“Indeed the base nature of man is the very reason we must not force him into charity for if he discovers that others in his view, whether true or not, are simply living off of his labor through the governments benevolence why should he strive for excellence.”
Because as the bible says, man does not live on bread alone. The welfare system helps people survive, not thrive. I assume our hypothetical man would like to see a movie or drive a car or have a romantic relationship at some point. People settle for poverty when they’re beaten down by the world and give up – not because it’s a sweet gig.
“In its extreme forms this is why socialism when it turns to communism is such a verifiable failure.”
There is an ocean of difference between the US variety of socialism and communism. The first step toward a communist state (according to marx) is the abolition of all private property. Having public property is not communism, it’s socialism. Communism is an absolute form of socialism, but socialism is not necessarily communism. 8 out of 10 of the amendments in the bill of rights refer to socialized government institutions the founders intended us to have. ALL governments are socialist, not nearly all are communist.
To quote the movie “clue”, communism is just a red herring.”
I may update this if he responds, but I thought it post-worthy.