If many conservatives are liberals who have been mugged by reality, Brooks, a registered independent, is, as a reviewer of his book said, a social scientist who has been mugged by data. They include these findings:
-- Although liberal families' incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).
-- Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.
-- Residents of the states that voted for John Kerry in 2004 gave smaller percentages of their incomes to charity than did residents of states that voted for George Bush.
-- Bush carried 24 of the 25 states where charitable giving was above average.
-- In the 10 reddest states, in which Bush got more than 60 percent majorities, the average percentage of personal income donated to charity was 3.5. Residents of the bluest states, which gave Bush less than 40 percent, donated just 1.9 percent.
-- People who reject the idea that "government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality" give an average of four times more than people who accept that proposition.
Brooks demonstrates a correlation between charitable behavior and "the values that lie beneath" liberal and conservative labels. Two influences on charitable behavior are religion and attitudes about the proper role of government.
The single biggest predictor of someone's altruism, Willett says, is religion. It increasingly correlates with conservative political affiliations because, as Brooks' book says, "the percentage of self-described Democrats who say they have 'no religion' has more than quadrupled since the early 1970s." America is largely divided between religious givers and secular nongivers, and the former are disproportionately conservative. One demonstration that religion is a strong determinant of charitable behavior is that the least charitable cohort is a relatively small one -- secular conservatives.
Reviewing Brooks' book in the Texas Review of Law & Politics, Justice Willett notes that Austin -- it voted 56 percent for Kerry while he was getting just 38 percent statewide -- is ranked by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as 48th out of America's 50 largest cities in per capita charitable giving. Brooks' data about disparities between liberals' and conservatives' charitable giving fit these facts: Democrats represent a majority of the wealthiest congressional districts, and half of America's richest households live in states where both senators are Democrats.
While conservatives tend to regard giving as a personal rather than governmental responsibility, some liberals consider private charity a retrograde phenomenon -- a poor palliative for an inadequate welfare state, and a distraction from achieving adequacy by force, by increasing taxes. Ralph Nader, running for president in 2000, said: "A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity." Brooks, however, warns: "If support for a policy that does not exist ... substitutes for private charity, the needy are left worse off than before. It is one of the bitterest ironies of liberal politics today that political opinions are apparently taking the place of help for others."
In 2000, brows were furrowed in perplexity because Vice President Al Gore's charitable contributions, as a percentage of his income, were below the national average: He gave 0.2 percent of his family income, one-seventh of the average for donating households. But Gore "gave at the office." By using public office to give other peoples' money to government programs, he was being charitable, as liberals increasingly, and conveniently, understand that word. And if you think Al Gore is a hypocrite self-centered narcissist take a look at how little Barack Hussein Obama and Joey Biden gave over the last 10 yrs. Liberalism is a religion that takes from society. While conservatives tend to have a religion and they give freely. If the liberals gave like the conservative gave most of the countries problem would be solved. But they want what they want and they want you to pay for it for them. It has been proven time and time again how fake the liberals compassion is and now is the time to start taking these narcissist to task for acting like they are better then conservatives. Liberals are the serpants of the political world and they will say anything to get what they want.
Bidens has been amazingly tight-fisted when it comes to their charitable giving. Despite income ranging from $210,432 - $321,379 over the ten-year period, the Bidens have given only $120 - $995 per year to charity, which amounts to 0.06% - 0.31% of their income:
It is jarring that a couple earning over $200,000 per year would give as little as $2 per week to charity. This giving compares very unfavorably to John McCain, whose tax returns show that he gave 27.3% - 28.6% of his income to charity in 2006-2007. During the same period, the Obamas' tax returns show that they gave 5.8% - 6.1% of their income to charity.
Perhaps the Obama-Biden campaign needs a new slogan: "Change You Can Believe In (As Long As Someone Else Pays For It)"
Update: Independent Sector reports that 89% of American households contribute to charity, with an average contribution of $1,620 -- 3.1% of income.
IRS statistics reveal that the average taxpayer with AGI over $200,000 makes over $20,000 of charitable contributions:
- $15,000-$30,000 AGI: $1,916 average charitable deduction
- $30,000-$50,000 AGI: $2,158 average charitable deduction
- $50,000-$100,000 AGI: $2,703 average charitable deduction
- $100,000-$200,000 AGI: $4,057 average charitable deduction
- $200,000 or more of AGI: $20,434 average charitable deduction