Saturday, February 5, 2011

Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast

For those of you who have neither the time or inclination to sit through twenty two plus minutes of the President's meanderings, consider his words at fifteen minutes into the video:

Of course there are some needs that require more resources than faith groups have at their disposal. There’s only so much a church can do to help all the families in need — all those who need help making a mortgage payment, or avoiding foreclosure, or making sure their child can go to college. There’s only so much that a nonprofit can do to help a community rebuild in the wake of disaster. There’s only so much the private sector will do to help folks who are desperately sick get the care that they need.
And that’s why I continue to believe that in a caring and in a just society, government must have a role to play; that our values, our love and our charity must find expression not just in our families, not just in our places of work and our places of worship, but also in our government and in our politics.

"There’s only so much a church can do", "There’s only so much that a nonprofit can do", "There’s only so much the private sector will do". First of all, notice the difference in his rhetoric: There's only so much that churches and nonprofits can do, but only so much the "private sector" will do (those greedy bastards!). And when you're talking about private sector versus the government, aren't churches and nonprofits part of the "private sector"?

Second, if you are going to laud the efforts of churches and nonprofits, shouldn't you at least somehow refrain from reducing the amount of donations given to them?

Several billion dollars could be lost in charitable gifts because of the tax proposal, say philanthropy scholars. The White House says that the plan won’t hurt charities, in part because it doesn’t take effect until 2011, when Obama officials expect the economic recovery to have begun.

Aside from the Carnac the Magnificent prediction about 2011, Mr. President: If there are some needs that require more resources than faith groups have at their disposal, why would you decrease tax breaks on charitable giving, knowing that will decrease those resources?

Obama's words are exactly the opposite of his actions, not even to mention the disastrous effects that the notorious "Cash for Clunkers" wrought upon charitable organizations, reducing the number of cars donated while simultaneously pushing up the price of used cars for the working poor!

Charities typically and historically give a much higher percentage of their donations to the poor than do government agencies tasked with the same goal.
In tough economic times, wouldn't it make sense to give the resources to those who are most efficient, rather than siphon so much off the top to sustain bloated government bureaucracies?

Pray about it, Mr. Obama.

Full text here.

Cross posted at LCR.

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