Liberals are very generous when it comes to giving away someone else’s money to those causes they think are proper, but when it comes to giving their money, liberals are far less generous than the conservatives they accuse of being heartless people with little compassion for those less fortunate.
Data from numerous studies show this is true, yet the false notion and stereotype that conservatives are harsh and do not care about others stubbornly persist. Surveys also show that opposition to wealth redistribution is not evidence that one does not care about others.
On the liberal side of the aisle are the noted contributions of Democratic Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, with a combined income of $319, 853, giving an average of $369 a year to charity during the decade prior to his election, as released in tax records by the Obama campaign. The Bidens reported giving $995 in charitable contributions in 2007, the highest amount in the past decade. The low was $120 in 1999!
As Vice President, Al Gore came under fire when his 1997 tax return showed only $353 in donations to charity. In 1995, Senator John Kerry gave nothing and Bill Clinton claimed $6 for the infamous donation of three pairs of underwear and a torn suit for $75 to the Salvation Army on his 1986 tax return.
George W. Bush gave away more than 10 percent of his income each year he was president, as he did before becoming president.
Few would disagree that free enterprise is grounded in one’s self-interest. But self-interest is not the same thing as selfishness in the sense of unbounded consumption or disregard for the less fortunate. In fact, the millions of Americans who advocate for private entrepreneurship and limited government—whether they are rich or poor—may be stingy when it comes to giving away other people’s money through state redistribution, but they are surprisingly generous when it comes to giving away their own money privately.
The data tells the story,
The most recent year that a large, nonpartisan survey asked people about both redistributive beliefs and charitable giving was 1996. That year, the General Social Survey (GSS) found that those who were against higher levels of government redistribution privately gave four times as much money, on average, as people who were in favor of redistribution.
The only evidence we have that liberals love the poor is that they consistently back policies that create more poverty, and obviously live by the motto that charity begins at home - when it’s their money.