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On government & social problems

One of the reasons Michael Barone has long been one of my favorite columnists is his long study of American history and deep understanding of our political and social traditions.  In his blog post, Obama’s Threat to Charities and Universities: His Budget and Taxes, he quotes Tocqueville to show how far back goes the American tradition of voluntarism.

Barone fears that by reducing the value of the charitable deduction, Obama’s budget threatens volunary associations:

This is an attempt to channel money away from voluntary associations and direct it to the state. Some of that money, in turn, would be directed to public employee unions, and much if not most of that would be directed to the Democratic Party. It would be interesting to know what White House counselor and former President of Harvard University Lawrence Summers thinks of this.

It seems the president wants to centralize power in Washington and siphon some of the fruits of that control to various interest groups which support the Democratic Party. This is part and parcel of the liberal (in the current understanding of the term) vision of government as the solution to all too many of our problems.

That vision, however, is at odds with the American tradition. As Barone so wisely note, “One of the strengths of American society is that we do not rely solely on the government to address social problems.

If it’s by Barone, it goes without saying: read the whole thing.



  1. Robbing from the poor to give to Leona Helmsley liberals and their cronies.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — February 27, 2009 @ 4:50 pm - February 27, 2009

  2. So you don’t object to the government forcing Gay people to go to a Baptist church to receive HIV/AIDS funding or government aid?

    Or an effective situation where Gay social workers cannot work because all the Federal Money went to anti-Gay religious organizations who don’t hire queers?

    Or Federal Government payola to right wing anti-Gay groups for ‘abstinence education’ that by definition (as Gays cannot get married) excludes any HIV/AIDS education for any sexually active Gay man?

    Remember, if you take government funds, you are NOT A CHARITY but a taxpayer supported agency. Even if you call yourself a church.

    Comment by Tom in Lazybrook — February 27, 2009 @ 5:35 pm - February 27, 2009

  3. Donald Trump complained that in the Obama tax plan, charitable contribution will no longer be deductable. If htat is so, then it is another attempt to implement socialism. By eliminating deductions for charity, many will be forced to reduce services or possibly cease to exist, thus making people dependent on the nany state rather than a volunterr organization. ACORN won´t need contributions. They have a half a billion dollar pot to draw from.

    Comment by Roberto — February 28, 2009 @ 2:04 pm - February 28, 2009

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