Democrats Redistribute Your Income, but Keep Theirs
The most prominent 2020 presidential candidates are downright miserly with charity.
The utter hypocrisy of the Left is truly breathtaking to behold in its brazenness. While lecturing us on the imperative to give up more of our hard-earned wages to meet the needs of the poor among us (regardless of whether that poverty is due to unfortunate circumstances or plain sloth), “progressive” Democrats jealously hoard their own wealth.
Democrats have an OPM (Other People’s Money) addiction. While demanding that average Americans submit more and more of their earnings to government confiscation, in their personal lives they are greedy hypocrites.
Take, for example, avowed socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, long a champion of stratospheric tax rates for “the rich.” Sanders, who didn’t hold a job until he turned 40, gained a cult following by vilifying the evil 1%, and promising to punish them if elected. Yet due in part to a lucrative book deal, he is now a one-percenter, with earnings topping $1 million in both 2016 and 2017. Sanders, far from being a member of the working class he claims to represent, owns three homes, including a lakefront home in Vermont, and a home in Washington, DC.
But living a wealthy lifestyle, Sanders is far less generous with his own money. In fact, despite being a multimillionaire, the miserly Sanders donated just 3.38% of his income to charity in 2018. Unbelievably, that represents a tripling of the measly 1% he donated to charity in 2016 and 2017.
Recently, in an interview with Martha McCallum during a Fox News town hall, when Sanders was asked if he would be willing to pay 52% on the money he’d earned, rather than the roughly 25% he pays now, he dodged the question and retorted that she could pay more too.
Sadly, the curmudgeonly Sanders is typical of Democrats. Compared to other announced 2020 Democrat presidential candidates, Sanders is actually one of the more “generous.” California Senator Kamala Harris (1.4%), New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (1.7%), and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar (1.9%) all gave even less to charity than Sanders, whereas Washington Governor Jay Inslee (4%) and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (5.5%) gave slightly more.
Former VP Joe Biden announced this week that he will announce his candidacy for president this week, and his record is no better. In the decade leading up to his selection as Barack Obama’s vice president, despite a Senate salary of almost $200,000/year, Biden gave a pathetic average of $369 per year to charity.
At this point, the duplicitous selfishness of Democrats is almost legendary.
But by far the stingiest of the Democrat candidates is former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke, who gave a microscopic 0.3% of his income to charity. That’s right … less than one-half of one percent from a man with an estimated net worth of $16 million.
O'Rourke was recently called out for his hypocrisy during an appearance at a University of Virginia town hall meeting. A questioner asked why her sister, a recent college graduate, gave far more money to charity than Beto, despite earning far less money.
In a response that rivals Obama’s preening arrogance for its sheer narcissism, O'Rourke responded, “I’ve served in public office since 2005. I do my best to contribute to the success of my community, my state and now, of my country. There are ways that I do this that are measurable. And there are ways that I do this that are immeasurable.” His “measurable” charity is tiny, so what “immeasurable” charity does he offer? Running for president.
That’s right, Beto O'Rourke, a forgettable congressman and failed Senate candidate, allows us to bask in the presence of his singular glory as he runs for president. As Wayne and Garth might say, “We’re not worthy!”
Maybe someone should enlighten Beto and explain to him that being a congressman is the exact opposite of charity. After all, for his “charitable” work in Congress he is paid $174,000 per year, plus an expense account, plus a gold standard health insurance policy. That’s not exactly the self-sacrifice of Mother Teresa.
In reality, none of us should know or care what others give to charity. By definition it is an individual, private act, and should be done out of the kindness of our hearts rather than political calculation.
But Democrat charity, or lack thereof, becomes our concern when these same Democrats demand we surrender more of our earnings for government “charity,” which is a contradiction in terms. Government doesn’t have a single penny that it doesn’t first take by force from those who earned it, and taxation is certainly not voluntary. Men with guns show up if we don’t pay, and government agents drain our bank accounts and throw us in jail if we refuse.
Luckily, Americans are the most personally generous people on Earth, giving more than twice as much as second-place Canada. In 2017 alone, Americans donated $300 billion to charity, not including untold millions of hours of volunteer time, blood donations, and disaster relief work.
Ironically, despite being attacked as heartless for their opposition to government “charity” and higher taxes, religious conservatives give far more to charity than their liberal counterparts, despite having larger families and less disposable income.
To be charitable is to be godly, but theft is evil — even if you hire a government middleman to do the stealing under the patina of legality.