“Progressive” Christians love to quote Jesus about the “least of these,” even they are not only pro-legalized abortion but pro-taxpayer funded abortion. Their hypocrisy doesn’t end there. They consider it charity when they ask the government to take your money to “give” to others.
I Was Hungry and You … Called your Congressman made some excellent points about the flaws of Progressive philosophies.
The government does crowd out giving, and takes the discernment out of it. If your neighbor breaks his leg, people will help until he is well. But once he is well they’ll stop helping. If he decides he likes everyone doing things for him, people will not help. But the government doesn’t do that. They’ll keep funding him.
Even worse, the government policies discourage marriage and cause more poverty than they cure.
If Progressives want to debate the right level for a safety net that would be fine. But they actually think it is in line with Jesus’ teachings to ask Caesar to take from neighbor A by force to “give” to neighbor B. They consider themselves generous for doing that! Regardless of the effectiveness of their public policy positions, whatever they are doing cannot be called charity on their part.
There is evidence, however, that the growth of government programs crowds out private charitable giving. Thus pruning back some of the 70 or so federal assistance programs would yield more private giving. As taxes increase to cover spending, tax credits for charitable giving decrease, and government money flows to non-profit organizations, private giving shrinks. A Cato Institute report states:
Charitable giving declined dramatically during the 1970s, as the Great Society programs of the 1960s were expanding. The decline in giving leveled out in the 1980s as welfare spending began to level out and the public was deluged with news stories about supposed cutbacks in federal programs. Then, after the passage of welfare reform in 1996, there was a large spike in private giving.