Thursday, February 20, 2003

Faith, Hope, and Charity

I enjoyed this article from the Acton Institute on the virtues of private charity over government welfare. I particularly liked the following rebuttal of the notion that private charity is discriminatory: “Deliberately confusing discretion with discrimination is a subtle form of demagoguery, attempting to change the subject from serving the poor to political posturing.”

There are good reasons to be suspicious of Bush’s “faith-based initiative” plan to distribute government funds through private charities. Among them is the very real possibility that state funding will gradually erode those aspects of the private charities that make them most effective, including their willingness to demand good behavior from their poor clients as a condition for further assistance. But note that direct state funding is *not* the aspect of Bush’s faith-based initiative defended in this article. The proposal here is to allow greater tax deductions for contributions to charity and to allow tax-free charitable gifts to be made from personal IRA’s.

No comments: