Monday, August 18, 2008

Generosity of Americans part 2

In my continuing quest to uncover misnomers which pervade our culture I found this article on the net I want to share with you.

American Spectator

Liberal Scrooges by Peter Schweizer (published 6/6/2008)
For those of you who want to read more:
Peter Schweizer is a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the author of a new book:
Makers and Takers: Why Conservatives Work Harder, Feel Happier, Have Closer Families, Take Fewer Drugs, Give More Generously, Value Honesty More, Are Less Materialistic And Envious, Whine Less.........and Even Hug Their Children More Than Liberals (Doubleday).

Samuel Johnson once reported on a man who was privately stingy but publicly touted the merits of sharing. Dr. Johnson said sarcastically that the man was a "friend of goodness". What he meant was that flesh-and-blood goodness is very different from supporting "Goodness" in the abstract.

Many modern liberals like to openly discuss their altruism.  Garrison Keillor explains that "I am liberal and liberalism is the politics of kindness."  But it rarely seems to turn into acts of kindness, especially when it comes to making charitable donations.

Consider the case of Andrew Cuomo, current New York Attorney General and advocate for the homeless. He has, according to his website, " compassion toward the most vulnerable of us."  And this how the New York Times described the courtship of Kerry Kennedy (of guess which family): "Ms. Kennedy-Cuomo, 43 said she fell in love with Mr. Cuomo, 45 when he took her on tour of a homeless shelter on their first date and agreed to fast for the labor leader Cesar Chavez."

But advocacy should not be confused with actually giving to the less fortunate. Cuomo was a homeless advocate throughout the 1990's, but according to his own tax returns he made NO charitable contributions between 1996 and 1999.  In 2000 he donated a whopping $2,750.  In 2004 and 2005, Cuomo had more than $1.5 million in adjusted gross income but gave a paltry $2,000 to charity.
Cuomo made no charitable contributions in 2003, when his income was a bit less than $300,000.

CUOMO IS NOT alone in this Scroogery of course.  Barack Obama has a rather poor track record when it comes to charitable contributions.  He consistently gave 1% of his income to charity.  In his most charitable year, 2005 he earned $1.7 million (two and half times what George W. Bush earned) but gave about the same dollar amount as the President.

The last two Democratic Party nominees for President have come up short on the charity scale. Al Gore has been famously stingy when it comes to actually giving his own money to charities. In 1998 he was embarrassed when his tax returns revealed that he gave just $353 to charity.

Gore's office initially defended the action, claiming that the Gores had often given "food and clothing to the homeless."  But when no one showed up in cast-off clothes, Gore's spokesman Chris Lehane offered a typical "friend of Goodness" response saying that you could only "truly judge a person's commitment to helping others" you needed to see "what they have done with their lives."  In other words, POLITICS was charity work.

Senator John Kerry likewise has a poor record. In 1995 he gave zero to charity, but did spend $500,000 to buy a half stake in a seventeenth century painting.  In 1993, he gave $175 to the needy.  Later, of course, Kerry married the rich widow Theresa Heinz, and today is active in charitable causes using the Heinz foundation as his vehicle.

Senator Ted Kennedy has clearly relished his role over the years as a liberal Robin Hood.  He once told Al Hunt of the Wall Street Journal, "I come from an advantaged life, and I'll be goddamned if I'm get re-elected to the US Senate by taking food out of the mouths of needy children."  But this should not be confused with Senator Kennedy actually giving money to needy children.

Kennedy's tax returns are obviously a closely guarded secret. But when he chose to run for President in the 1970's, he released some of them.  With a net worth of more than $8 million in the early 1970's and an income of $461,444 from a series of family trusts, Senator Robin Hood gave barely 1% of his income to charity.  The sum is about as much as Kennedy claimed as a write-off on his 55 foot sailing sloop Curragh.

Robert Reich, once Bill Clinton's Secretary of Labor and now professor at Berkley, has been outspoken about how greedy conservatives are.  Conservatives believe in "reviving social Darwinism" and because of conservatives, "America has placed to high a value on selfishness."

But when he ran for governor of Massachusetts in 2002, he was forced to release his tax returns.  It's not a pretty picture.  Reich's 1040 reveals an income of more than $1 million, much of it giving speeches to corporations and universities for up to $40,000 a pop.  He contributed just $2,714 to charity or .2% of his income - note the decimal - and not all of that was cash.  Part of it was the value of a donation of a used drum set to an organization calle City of Peace.

Jesse Jackson has often claimed that he operates from a "liberal spirit of compassion and love" while conservatives are "heartless and uncaring toward the silent poor."  But according to his publicly released tax returns, he regularly donates less than 1% to charity.

Jackson and his family have also established a charitable foundation called the Jackson Foundation to support the underprivileged.  According to tax records, the foundation board is controlled by family members and they receive large  contributions from corporations like McDonalds, Anheuser-Busch, and GMAC.

When asked on the tax form to decribed "direct charitable activities, " the foundation responded: "none."  From the close to million dollars collected, they gave away only $46,000 to a couple of colleges.  The Jackson Foundation spent nearly twice that amount - $84,172 - on a "gala celebration" in honor of - you guessed it - Jesse Jackson.

NOR IS THIS liberal tightfistedness anything new.  The greatest liberal icon of the 20th Century is Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  He is regarded by many on the left as the personification of charity and compassion, but FDR actually has a silm record when it comes to giving to charity.

Roosevelt has an average income of $93,000 ($1.3 million in todays money) but gave away about 3% of his income to charity.  In 1935, during the height of the Great Depression, when people really could have used it, he donated just 2%.

The evidence of liberal hypocrisy is damning enough, but what really amazes is how poorly these liberal do in comparison to so-called "heartless conservatives."
President Ronald Reagan, for instance, was often called heartless and callous by liberals. 
Unlike Roosevelt or JFK , Regan was not a wealthy man when he became president.  He had no family trust or investment portfolio to fall back on.

And yet, according to his tax returns, Reagan donated more than FOUR TIMES more to charity - both in terms of actual money and on a percentage basis -  than Senator Ted Kennedy.
And he gave more to charity with less income than FDR did.  In 1985, for example, he gave away 6% of his income.

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have continued this Reagan record.  During the early 1990's, George W. Bush regularly gave away more than 10% of his income.  In 2005, Vice President Dick Cheney gave away 77% of his income to charity.  He was actually criticized by some liberal blogers for this, who claimed he was getting too much tax deduction.

The main point of liberal compassion appears to be making liberals feel good about their superior virtue.
Such are the rewards of being a "friend of goodness."

These misnomers have to be made more public.
I am soooooo tried of liberal whining and the people who I have the chance to question who are liberal are do nothings and give nothings or very little.

Why is it so hard to understand that EVERY person has to take responsibility for themselves and that CHARITY is a PERSONAL PRIVATE act and NOT A POLITICAL act.

LIBERALS should be responsible for themselves first and not shove responsibility off on the government like in other instances such as the increase in parental responsibility being shoved off on our teachers and the people WONDER why schools are poor and nobody wants to be a teacher anymore. (besides lousy pay which needs to be increased for sure)

SUPPORT:  Peter Schweizer and buy his book it seems to be well worth the read I am going to and will report later.

I have also been gathering info on Happy and Honesty as it pertains to Conservatives and Liberals which will be my next post.


Anonymous said...

Apparently you didn't see the REAL facts of Obama's charitable donations in the past fiscal year?!

kitman3 said...

Apparently you did not read the date of the post or the post itself quoting the tax year 2005