Sunday, March 8, 2009

Things that matter

I continue to be impressed with our new President's ability to give a speech. It is awe inspiring to listen to his perfect cadence and impeccable vocabulary. What is not awe inspiring are his policies. If someone really cares about solving problems and improving life for everyone why in the world would they ever cut tax benefits for charitable giving...ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Private charities time and time again are proven more effective than federal government at solving problems. NGOs have way more impact at a fraction of the cost...mostly b/c they have to fight and scrap for every dollar. They depend on volunteers. People are there b/c they want to be feeding the homeless or providing health care for children, not b/c they are government employees in Health and Human Services on assignment...don't get me wrong, most folks in Health and Human Services are there b/c they care, but not b/c it is their mission in life. The typical NGO is comprised of folks with a very specific passion for their focus. Bottom-line is that they get the job done better than big government.

Then why cut their funding? Why take good money from the local level and move it to a national level? It is about power. Whoever controls how the money is spent decides direction and priority. NGOs are about solving specific problems and government has problems with that b/c they do not get to control the money. What strikes me as odd about this control grab is the lack of rationale and justification behind it. Most of the time when government looks to take control it uses fear and sugar. Fear like wire tapping b/c the terrorist are coming or sign my bill before you're in a soup line. Sugar like vote for me and I'll get more projects for our district. It is amazing how much control we will turn over for fear and sugar...back to my original thought:

It should not surprise me that the new president does not believe in charity. The chart below is a perfect example...despite being in the top 5% of wage earners in his years prior to his 7 figure books deals the president gave half the national average. Does he really care? Why didn't he put his money where his mouth is? Or is it just easier to care with other people's money? I could let this go until he hurt what I think is a real solution to real problems. People helping people. The role of government is to encourage this b/c it is best for the nation as a whole. Allowing people to place money in the hands of NGOs and not government is a good thing.

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