Since last fall, the federal Conservative government has been withdrawing taxpayer funding from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that use their grants to take sides against Israel in the Middle East conflict. Now comes word that last week, Ottawa told the United Nations it would no longer fund the world body’s Palestinian refugee agency. From now on, Canadian aid to Palestinians will be directed to specific projects. We will no longer give lump-sum aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA), since most of that money simply goes straight into the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) general treasury, where it might be used for humanitarian projects or might be used to arm and train terrorists.
This is a bold move for Ottawa, which is the first Western government to cut off funding for UNWRA.
Although UNWRA has long been a biased player in the Arab-Israeli conflict, it is seldom criticized for its incitement of anti-Israeli hatred and violence by Palestinians. It has funded textbooks that deny the right of Israel to exist and paid teachers who call on Palestinian children to push the Jewish state into the sea. It harbours radical Islamists and anti-Semites on its payroll and was even caught in 2004 using its own ambulances to ferry terrorists away from Israeli sites they had just attacked.
[…]Ottawa also announced it would defund Alternatives, a Montreal NGO that two summers ago organized an education camp in Quebec, welcoming “500 motivated militants” from Lebanon, Iraq, “Palestine” and Venezuela.
International Development Minister Bev Oda withdrew $7-million in tax dollars, too, from KAIROS, an “ecumenical partnership” that had adopted a vehemently anti-Israel policy and been at the forefront of boycotts against the importation of Israeli goods and visits by Israeli professors.
Now there is some real leadership on foreign policy, from prime minister Stephen Harper.
Consider how these Liberal heroes want to take your money to “give” to others but can’t manage any real and significant giving themselves. If Joe Biden, for example, can’t afford to give more than 0.2% over his roughly quarter-million dollar income (that is point-two percent, not two percent — only $369 per year), then how could he possibly afford to pay increased taxes? Oh yeah, there will be loopholes for him and those who vote for the tax increase bills.
His 0.2% giving and the percentages below are even worse than they look because they are based on Adjusted Gross Income, which is typically much less than gross income.
[…]A truly inconvenient truth: Al & Tipper Gore donated $353 of their 1997 income of $197,729, or 0.18%. That is a fraction of 1%. I wonder if he’s making real donations now that he’s getting rich off the AGW fraud?
Neil’s post has a lot more examples of leftists who preach one thing, but do the exact opposite in their own personal lives. I think that leftists are largely secular hedonists (regardless of their professed religious faith) and they therefore cannot rationally justify making sacrifices for others who may have a greater need than themselves – charity just doesn’t make them feel as good as keeping the money themselves. When they think that no one is watching, they do what’s consistent with their real beliefs: every man for himself and survival of the fittest.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn’t change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.
Under the bill, headed for a D.C. Council vote next month, religious organizations would not be required to perform or make space available for same-sex weddings. But they would have to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against gay men and lesbians.
Fearful that they could be forced, among other things, to extend employee benefits to same-sex married couples, church officials said they would have no choice but to abandon their contracts with the city.
“If the city requires this, we can’t do it,” Susan Gibbs, spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said Wednesday. “The city is saying in order to provide social services, you need to be secular. For us, that’s really a problem.”
This happens all the time with other charities like Catholic adoption agencies and hospitals. The left wants to force the people who actually do good to change their worldview to atheism. But self-sacrificial acts of charity are not rationally grounded by the atheist worldview. Atheists are NOT just like religious people when it comes to morality. The only standards of morality that are grounded by atheism are personal preferences and cultural fashions. Morality isn’t real, on their view. There is no objective ground for moral values and duties.
The problem with the atheistic worldview is that their purpose in life is hedonism. And there is no reason for them to care about the consequences of their actions on other people’s rights since rights are illusory on atheism. They want to pursue happiness, avoid moral obligations, and have others pay for the social consequences of their actions. They don’t care about how their selfishness hurts vulnerable children, born and unborn. And they are willing to use government to force religious people to subsidize and celebrate their selfish immorality.
The great moral accomplishment of atheists in the last 100 years has been to murder 100 million people. And this is not counting the millions of deaths caused by abortion, and environmentalist bans on DDT. It also doesn’t count the millions of broken homes caused by the sexual revolution, or the social costs of raising children without fathers who go on to commit crimes. Perhaps they should just mind their own business instead of interfering with the charity done by those whose worldview actually grounds morality rationally.
When they support Komen, Americans may not be aware that Komen’s own figures show it gave $711,485 from April 1, 2005 to March 31, 2006 to Planned Parenthood abortion businesses and at least $726,445 for 2006-2007. (Source) Susan G. Komen for the Cure spokeswoman Rebecca Gibson previously confirmed that at least 19 of the 122 Komen affiliates made grants to Planned Parenthood.
The amount of the grants from Komen affiliates to Planned Parenthood appears to be on the rise and 25 Komen affiliates now have a partnership with the abortion business.
Komen officials have dismissed the grants saying they are for breast cancer screenings, but pro-life advocates say the money is fungible and that it frees up funds Planned Parenthood could use for breast screenings but instead uses on abortions.
Be careful where you donate money. If you’re looking for somewhere good to donate, try Reasonable Faith or the Ruth Institute. They’re both outward-focused efforts – one on apologetics and the other on marriage and family.
Everyone who reads Thomas Sowell knows that the most important question to ask when talking about any economic proposal is “And Then What Happens?” That was the point of his one-two punch of introductory books on economics, “Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy” and “Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One”. Don’t examine the intentions of the proposal. Examine the incentives it creates.
But this idea goes back even earlier to Henry Hazlitt, who wrote about it in “Economics in One Lesson”. (The link goes to a statement of the “one lesson”)
…the whole of economics can be reduced to a single lesson, and that lesson can be reduced to a single sentence:
The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.
Well, what are the long-term effects of Obama’s federal budget, for all groups?
Congressman John Boehner has a breakdown of some of the budget numbers on his blog.
The President’s budget calls for $1.4 trillion in new taxes that will affect every American. There’s a $646 billion “cap and trade” energy tax; a $636 billion tax on income and small businesses; new taxes on investors by raising capital gains and dividend rates; a resurrection of the death tax; and a reduction in charitable deductions which will result in $4 billion less in donations each year to charities across America.
But it’s worse than that. A while back, I wrote about how Obama wanted to discriminate against religious schools by denying them renovation funds. In the budget, he continues his anti-religious trend by de-funding private charities. This is the part that Christians who voted for Obama need to pay attention to, because this matters to us.
The proposed reduction in charitable deductions is especially troubling, since it would hurt charities at a time when American families are struggling and in need of assistance.
But remember, when government expands, the state becomes more secular. The capabilities and influence of private religious groups decreases as the state de-funds them and takes over their duties. Instead of people depending on their neighbors’ charity, they now depend on the state. Instead of letting workers decide where to give charity, workers are forced to fund secular government programs.
According to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, total itemized contributions from the highest income households would have dropped 4.8% — or $3.87 billion — in 2006 if the Obama policy had been in place. That year, Americans gave $186.6 billion to charity, more than 40% from those in the highest tax bracket. A back of the envelope calculation by the Tax Policy Center, a left-of-center think tank, estimates the Obama plan will reduce annual giving by 2%, or some $9 billion.
Before Obama’s budget, you might have given charity to a Crisis Pregnancy Center. Now that money could be spent by the government on coerced abortions abroad. Before Obama’s budget, you might have given charity to support William Lane Craig’s web site Reasonable Faith. Now that money could be spent destroying human embryos. Elections matter.
The following is a summary of the Administration’s plans to increase taxes by $1.4 trillion over the next ten years.
Taxing Small Businesses: In 2010, the President’s budget will increase taxes on all taxpayers that earn more than $250,000. The majority of the burden for this $637 billion tax increase will be borne by small businesses that pay taxes as individuals. Small businesses create 60 to 80 percent of all new jobs in America. These new taxes will stifle job creation and economic growth in the midst of a recession.
Taxing Energy Consumers: The budget also proposes to raise taxes by $646 billion on consumers of oil, coal, and natural gas through a complicated “cap and tax” program that will increase the cost of energy for every American. These carbon-based fuels provide about 85% of all energy output in the U.S. This new tax will increase the cost of energy by up to $3,128 per household annually, taking more money out of the pockets of hard working families struggling to pay their bills each month.
Taxing Investors Part I: Under the President’s budget, taxes on capital gains and dividends would increase from 15 to 20 percent, increasing taxes on investors by $338 billion over ten years. These taxes would directly affect investors and shareholders, including many 401k holders and pension funds, most impacted by the declining stock market and would further discourage investments during a time when new investments are essential to jumpstarting our economy.
Taxing Charitable Giving: The budget also caps the value of itemized deductions at 28% for those with an income over $250,000 (married) and $200,000 (single), which will reduce charitable giving by $9 billion a year. The current economic crisis has severely damaged charitable organization’s ability to provide for people who are most affected by the recession, and the budget would leave these charities with at least a $9 billion deficit.
Taxing Death: The budget reinstates the death tax scheduled to be fully repealed in 2010. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the death tax has “broad economic effects” and one study has found that the death tax is responsible for lowering overall employment by 1.5 million jobs.
Taxing Investors Part II: The budget would more than double taxes on carried interest, increasing taxes up from the capital gains rate (15%) to the income tax rate (35%). Carried interest is interest gained on profits from investments and is generally used to pay investment fund managers based on the fund’s performance for investors. This tax hike is yet another attack on profit, private equities, and investments in the middle of a recession.
High taxes and big spending is not good for business, and therefore not good for job growth. I predict double-digit unemployment (around 12%) by year’s end as a result of this socialist budget.
Already, Gateway Pundit is reporting that Caterpillar has laid off 2,454 employees, with more layoffs on the way. Hot Air has video on the layoffs here: Obama saying that his bailout will reduce layoffs, and the CEO saying that the bailout will not prevent layoffs.