The old saying holds that you should "Never look a gift horse in the mouth". It means that you should be thankful for any act of charity that you might receive. However, today, Liberals have put an addendum onto that saying "When the government can force the owner to turn over more than half of his horses for us to give to other people". How else to explain the criticism of billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates and the billions of dollars they contributed to charitable causes last year? To those on the Left, a couple billion dollars from just a couple of people isn't nearly enough of a price to pay.
In his Salon.com article, author Sean McElwee calls the act of philanthropy "insidious" because it "perpetuates the myth that social problems can be solved by the rich and powerful". To McElwee and "Progressives" like him, the only way to attack any and all social ills (real and perceived) is through huge Government programs--funded by much higher tax rates than those currently in place here in the US. My favorite line in the story is "Social democracy allows us to love humanity with our taxes". This is the go-to angle for Liberals when talking about anything dealing with money--make it an emotional issue rather than an economic issue. Math is too regimented and fact-based to be used as an argument for economic policy. (And don't forget that they then get to decide how much you "love" your neighbor).
McElwee then attacks charitable organizations themselves, describing them as "too decentralized and inefficient" to provide proper aid to the poor. Plus, they operate outside the realm of Government control--meaning they can make the decision on their own who will and will not receive help (like drunk or high people being turned away from homeless shelters--even though they represent a threat to the safety of others there.) I'm sure that makes the folks over at the United Way and the Salvation Army feel real good about their efforts. Better to make centralized Government programs bigger because they are "much more efficient" and have "very little fraud". McElwee must have missed the recent audit reports on Medicaid enrollees in Illinois--where more than half were receiving benefits to which they were not entitled.
What is probably most interesting in the Salon article is that supporters of the "tax rather than donate" idea base their entire argument on the premise that the accumulation of wealth is inherently "evil". McElwee quotes an old (and liberal) college professor as saying "before you can give all this away you have to take it"--meaning the rich person somehow used nefarious means to "steal" the money from the lower classes. (In the case of Mark Zuckerberg, I guess that money was stolen by forcing billions of people to use his FREE website.) But is what way is that any different than what the Government would be doing? Are they not "taking" from the 51% that pay taxes to "give away" to the 49% that don't?