With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas in front of us, this is the time of year when many are thinking about charitable giving. Mark Cuban tweeted that instead of donating to candidates in the Senate runoff races in Georgia, “please reconsider and donate that money to your local food bank and organizations that can help those without food or shelter.”
Who could be upset by that? According to Derek Hunter, it turns out “a lot of people.” One of the critics was singer and left-wing activist John Legend. He argued that flipping the Senate was crucial. “We need massive stimulus and aid to individual and small businesses. Government needs to do this. Charity isn’t sufficient.”
Legend is welcome to his opinion, but not his own facts. When I want to learn more about charitable giving or government policy, Hollywood celebrities aren’t exactly the first people I think of consulting.
In previous commentaries, I have quoted from Don Eberly, who documented how generous Americans have been in his book, Rise of Global Civil Society. During most of the recent disasters around the world, private voluntary organizations had greater capacity to raise funds than government.
Arthur Brooks in his book, Who Really Cares, documents the significant divide between liberals and conservatives and between secular people and religious people when it comes to charity. One group talks about compassion and helping the poor and downtrodden. The other group actually gives their time and money.
Unfortunately, leftists like John Legend believe government is charity. But government isn’t charity. Government often uses our taxes inefficiently and is currently $27 trillion in debt. Mark Cuban deserves our praise, not criticism, for focusing on our proper priorities.