Monday, August 20, 2012

Shame On You, Paul Ryan!

Shame on you, Paul Ryan. You want to curb government expenditures, which will inevitably include social services to the most needy. To make up for it, private donors (including soft-hearted people like me) will have to give more to private charities to pick up the slack. So certainly you must support private philanthropy and give away sizable amounts of your own income, right? You profess Christian values, so certainly you at least tithe, right? Oh. No? You only donated 4% of your income to charity? After making $323,416 in 2011?

At least Romney gives more. But he's a Mormon, and rumor has it that the Mormon church checks your tax returns to make sure you're not shortchanging the church. Well, let's give him some credit, 16.4% is more than the 10% tithe that churches recommend. But when your income is in the millions, perhaps you can afford a few percentages higher than us lowly non-millionaires.

President Obama gave an impressive 14% of his income to charity in 2010. Way to go! But if you look at his giving before his tax returns became public for campaign purposes, his rate was between .4% and 4.6% across the years of 2002 to 2005. Hmmm, he wants bigger government to give more money to more people, but didn't believe in giving much of his own away until he know people were watching.

And how did you do, Joe Biden? Well, 1.6% in 2011 is better than nothing. Um, but you're in the public spotlight. And you still give less than the others.


You all make way more money than the rest of us do, but you don't seem so generous with it. All of you propose policies that will take money from someone - either you're taking money from the middle class to fund social services, or you're taking money from the social services to give more to the middle class. So everyone feels like they're in danger of having to fork over their money to you. And you don't even do a good job of sharing your own?

Didn't you figure it out a few years back that you had the desire to be in public office? Surely you guessed that people would expect to see your income tax reports? And that they'd notice how tight-fisted you are?

Shame on you. And why should I trust any of you to spend my money wisely and compassionately if you don't do the same with your own?

PS. I'm ruminating on the matter as I pack lunches, and the phrase "brood of vipers" keeps coming to mind...
If you are reading this and considering running for office, know of someone running for office, or just feeling like you need to start more charitable giving, consider giving to Ruth House. They take in homeless teenage girls, make them get an education and job training, and send them out into the world able to support their young families. Certainly this is a cause that gets bipartisan approval? Go out and give.

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