Friday, September 19, 2008

Money Where Your Mouth Is...

Further evidence that Democrats love being generous with everyone else's money aside form their own:

John McCain consistently donates between 18-24% of his income to charity

Barack Obama donates 5% of income to charity.

And the Whammy- Joe Biden gives under 1% of his income to charity.

I'm not debating amounts here, I'm debating percentages.

Also Utah, quite possibly the Redest state in the nation is the most charitable. Indeed the predominately conservative mid-west and the south out give the coasts. Funny how those narrow minded red-necked republicans clinging to their guns and their religion are more charitable than the wealthier and more liberal coasts-screaming for wealth redistribution.

Why aren't politicians favoring the re-distribution of wealth the first to live it? Same goes for those highly liberal coasts. I mean, if it's such a sound policy why aren't they doing so voluntarily?

(Palin was only omitted because I couldn't find anything in a 5 minute google search.)

25 comments:

adam said...

Haha, if my wife were a bazillionaire I would donate all of my income to charity.

Silvs said...

Yeah, can you believe how those socially minded liberals often give less of their own money to charitable causes?

Actually, a really cool book on this topic is a book by Arthur Brooks called Who Really Cares? It's a book about who is doing all the charitable giving in this country. What's really interesting is that he's liberal politically and expected to find the opposite of what the findings actually were.

Britt said...

This is very interesting info....thanks for doing the research. I keep repeating....."do not get on your high horse about this, do not get on your high horse about this". So thanks for speaking loudy for the both of us on this issue.

Ben and Kimberly McEvoy said...

Maybe you could call Anderson Cooper and let him in on this.

those darn Mormons and crazy red necks giving and helping others! I wonder what the stats are on religious groups, 7th day, Jews, evangelist etc. who is really like Christ and feeding the poor!?!?!?

I saw glenn beck interviewing Ted Nugent http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0808/29/gb.01.html

he is as red neck as it gets, he seemed very american to me!!
funny read check it out.

Allie said...

Utah giving the most has nothing (at least directly) to being a red state.

It's because we are tithed.

Allie said...

(I'm not questioning how much SOME democrats give, and I'm not going to judge how much giving is satisfactory to make one a charitable person- I'm just tired of politics in Utah. As a dem and a mormon I feel like the non-mormon people in utah (at least the ones who post on the trib comments) lump me in with the eagle forum repubs, and most repubs lump me in with super liberal national dems. Being lumped with either side raises my hackles- and I know it's a personal problem- thanks for letting me rant.)

Salt H2O said...

Allie-
We are not 'tithed' we chose to tithe, a principle that is not exclusive to the LDS church. All people of all faiths have the same opportunity to donate to their churches and community, it's just statistically proven that Utah choses to do it a great deal more than the rest of the nation.

It's also interesting that those that the coastal cities look down on for being so backward give more than those costal cities.

Everyone thinks that republicans are greedy and so eager to hold on to their money when in reality it is the republicans that give the most to charity.

For your own sanity, may I suggest not reading the trib comments (and any other message board), it will make you happier. (I say this from personal experience, recently I pointed out that the Republican party is the party of religous bigotry and someone had the nerve to call me narrow minded and anti-mormon- that's when I realized that most on the message boards aren't that bright)

Feel free to rant here whenever you want. :) I like to hear it.

Sneakers said...

Whenever I read statistics like this, I always have to wonder about how they got the numbers. The Utah things is a great example because of the tithing issue. Do we know what criteria was used to consider a contribution charitable? Is it in terms of the tax code, or the actual use of the gifted assets? Though my tithes are "charitable contributions" according to the IRS, I don't consider them that way.

One interesting correlation in the Forbes article is that the charitable percentage seems inversely proportional to the rate of taxation.

ray said...

Haha, if my wife were a bazillionaire I would donate all of my income to charity.

The funny thing about people that say stuff like this is, by their own logic, they should give more as they make more. But that is rarely the case. They get bigger houses, buy more cars, or take more trips, but they still say, "If I had more, I'd give more..."

Being charitable has nothing to do with how much you make. Charitable people give, selfish people don't.

davers said...

Great Post! If good actions speak louder than words then Obama is a whisper compared to McCain.

f*bomb. said...

I suppose if you consider "charity" to equal monitary value and not time, energy and personal efforts to improve the social climate, this might be a fair opinion.

Now about that "throwing money at a problem and expecting results" attitude Republicans seem to like to tout...

Whatever makes you feel more self-rightous...

Steve said...

Salty, I think you'd have to put an astericks next to Utah b/c of tithes. They may be "voluntary", but no other church or denomination I have even been to puts such a huge emphasis on them and makes you feel guilty if you don't. Most churches, IF they even ask for money, just 'pass the hat' during the end of the sermon.

And speaking as an economist, you can't just count tax deductible amounts to be accurate. You'd have to affix time and other donations in kind. I'm not saying us coast folks would then come out on top (who cares!) but if someone making $100 an hour donates an hour versus someone making $5.35 or unemployed donates an hour, that has a direct economic influence that normally would go unaccounted for in a tax deduction survey. It's similar to the time value of money theory.

Salt H2O said...

F*Bomb-
Obama nor Biden have preached the re-distribution of time, it's the re-distribution of wealth. Interesting that the candidates that say the rich have too much, who also fall into the 'rich category' give the least.

throwing money at a problem and expecting results" what republican's are you talking about???

This has nothing to do with 'feeling self richeous' (I'm wondering if you even remember who I am) But that's a nice deflection of the argument that Obama nor Biden give as much of their income to charity as McCain- it's old fashioned do as I say but not as I do.

Salt H2O said...

Steve-
Last I checked every Bible had Malachi 3:10 in it. It's kind of straight forward. But this post is not about why people give to charity- be it guilt, altruism or they think they're going to be blessed. To question Utah's rank due to faith you'd have to in turn quesiton every other states rank as to the why or why not they choose to give. If you want to question the LDS church as a charitable organization that's an easy conversation to have, but
that's not what this is about.

What this is about is the redistribution of wealth. Those that preach it do not live it. It is not the Republicans that are greedy and money hungry- it's the contrary.

But who says actions speak louder than words? Not in politics.

Steve said...

Ha, good point about the actions and words, which was your whole point altogether!

But I think it might also come down to a difference in philosophy. Bear with me here! Ok, let's say someone like, uhm, me is in a lot of favor of govt doing lots of stuff to help those in need. So I am ok with my high taxes, etc. I see THAT as my giving to society. However, my friend who is staunchly anti-big-govt (which makes me wonder how they can support McCain after his new giant oversight agency proposal!!!) feels that taxes are just a theft and gives money b/c they feel that is the only way to actually help the people they want. Who is right?

Again, that would come back to what you believe; the former that govt is using their ~30% for good, thus ok with not giving much more or the latter, that the 30% is wasted and that an add'l 20% is needed to feel good or whatever the reason is that people give.

For instance, I for one, would be ok with a 50% tax rate IF all of the things I feel important would be funded and perhaps making the need to give to charity not as "needed"; but obviously, not everyone feels this way.

Mr. Roberts said...

Speaking for myself, giving (substitute 'charity' here) of time or money should be done on the terms of the giver; hence, if I am forced (ie, taxes) from my time or money, then giving (charity) is dead.
This is the problem with such an aggressive tax system.
Steve has no problem w/ the government having 30% of his money to spend how they want. Great. But my opinion is since the government can't run their own cafeteria successfully, I'd like to give have discretion as to where my money goes: my local schools, local parks, local food banks, local heating initiatives, etc…
I must disagree w/ Steve that a flat taxation rate would cause charitable donations to not be ‘needed’; this is because, IMO, choice is what determines the measure of a man. A country of people compelled to give to the poor will be overrun by the same, while a country of people that chooses to give to the poor will not be exempt from their existence; however that country which chooses to give will never be overwhelmed because their consciences are active and intact and they are not the compelled servants of an all-powerful overseer.
“The Forgotten Man” by WilliamGraham Sumner is an excellent read on the matter.
http://mises.org/story/2485

Cameron said...

Again, that would come back to what you believe; the former that govt is using their ~30% for good, thus ok with not giving much more or the latter, that the 30% is wasted and that an add'l 20% is needed to feel good or whatever the reason is that people give.

For instance, I for one, would be ok with a 50% tax rate IF all of the things I feel important would be funded and perhaps making the need to give to charity not as "needed"; but obviously, not everyone feels this way.


Couple things here. If tithing can't be counted as "charitable" because it's almost mandatory, then neither can taxes, since it is mandatory.

And if pro-tax folks would be willing to give even more of their money in the form of taxes, but only if the things they feel are important are funded, then why aren't they already funding the "needed" things?

Steve said...

Mr Roberts, you make some strong points. None that I can't disagree with. Also, these are similar to Marx's ideas about how the proles would rise up if not given what they felt they deserve. And a lot of your local taxes, especially property and school taxes, go to the exact thing you are talking about. We all could have better public schools, but local politicians don't want to be the ones to come out and say "you all have to pay $200 more a month" and get voted out of office. High tax revenues won't solve all the problems, I don't believe in utopias. But speaking from the inside, there ARE good things govt does, both locally, nationally, and federally that would never be accomplished due to scale and/or interest from the public sector. BTW, you can go to www.omb.gov to see the report card for EVERY govt program.

Cameron - I was just suggesting that people that don't complain about high taxes feel like their money IS going to things they want and if higher taxes went to the programs I agreed with, then I wouldn't feel the need to or hopefully the need is lessened for my individual giving. I agree that tithes are and should be considered charity, but it is more a cultural thing and is more an internal thing, since, per my limited understanding, the tithes go to the church to be used as they deem fit, much like taxes, for church specific programs. I think you can designate add'l tithes or donations to specific funds, like the Missionary and/or Bibles, etc., feel free to correct me there. What if we did something similar with taxes? Say the first 50% of what you pay in goes to a general fund and then the other 50% you could designate to homelessness, low income housing, national healthcare, NASA, parks, federal highway fund, etc.?!?!? I don't think it would or could work in practice due to the federal budget process, which is a driver with all of this, but it'd make people feel like they are not only making a difference, but that their money is going to things they care about.

Cameron said...

But that's just it Steve, everyone already has the chance to give money to specific things they care about. But half the country doesn't.

Tim&Kirst said...

The real question is...would or will they donate their entire presidential salary like Romney would have? I'm still a little bitter about Mitt being gone. :(

Steve said...

haha, I find this argument getting pretty ironic. Here we have a lot of conservatives trying to tell Democrats to give more money away to charity. I'm not saying the charity part is wrong, just that conservatives are trying to tell people how to spend their money and to share!

Tim - Mitt could b/c he is a gazillionaire, give or take a million. If someone like Biden won, he'd need the money for the train rides home! haha. But I never understand why the President gets any money. Everything he has during those four years is paid for, except for family and personal obligations.

Salt H2O said...

Steve-
Exactly! It's the conservatives that actually give more while the Dems just tell other people to give more. The IRONY!

The reason this conversation is ridiculous is because the man that gives less than 1% of his income to charity is telling wealthy Americans that they need to be patriotic and pay more taxes. Biden dude, you jump first and we'll follow.

ray said...

One of my favorite jokes, I know it's old and you've probably all heard it, but it just fits so well here...

A republican and a democrat are walking down the street arguing about who cares about homeless people more. When they come upon a vagrant, the republican decides to demonstrate his virtue. He takes $20 out of his pocket, gives it to the bum and points him to the nearest employment office. The democrat doesn't want to be outdone, so when they come upon another vagrant, he takes $20 out of the republicans pocket, gives it to the bum and points him to the nearest welfare office.

Steve said...

Salty - BTW, I can't believe you Blogroll Vote2008. Drew and Taylor are two the biggest mouth breathers I have ever met. They make Ann Coulter and Michael Moore look like Pulitzer Prize winners!

Cameron said...

Via Greg Mankiw, who got it from someone else, comes the news that the Palins earned half as much as the Bidens, but gave 6 times as much to charity.