Charities of Freedom

William P. Barr’s speech at Notre Dame on October 11, 2019 begins a critical discussion.

People of faith, whether or not participants in an organized religion, need to be respected at all levels of government if we are to avoid a national tyranny where government determines and coerces what it believes to be acceptable moral beliefs and behavior. Stated another way, our freedom depends on government getting out of the business of telling us how to think and what to believe.

One approach to getting off the government morality train is to make all government social programs subject to specific taxpayer support. Two thirds of the Federal budget is spent supporting charity approved by party politics, not by the voters (food stamps, medicaid, Social Security and Medicare, and many other programs such as subsidized housing and loans). We can stop the government morality train by restructuring the scope of Federal government support for social programs as follows:

  • Establish a requirement that every taxpayer contribute 67% of their taxable income to 501(c)(3) charities in place of all current Federal social program funding.
  • Convert all Federal social programs to independent 501(c)(3) charities with independent Boards of Directors.
  • Each taxpayer specifies those 501(c)(3) charities they want their taxable income to support.
  • The IRS distributes the funds according to taxpayer designations.
  • Phase this in over 10 years by accumulating 6.7% of taxable income per year going to designated 501(c)(3) charities.

While many details need to be worked out, consequences of such an approach will contribute significantly to maintaining high quality charitable programs while restoring our personal freedom.

  • Each social program will be funded by individually designated contributions, ending political battles about program funding (abortion for example).
  • The Federal government will shrink while tax revenues remain constant presuming no changes in rates.
  • Annual changes in charitable funding will be tied directly to national income.
  • Each social program will have to prove its worth to the taxpayers in a competitive environment, improving both quality and efficiency.
  • Current overlapping social programs will naturally consolidate, improving both quality and efficiency.
  • Spending power will transfer from a national bureaucracy to the individual taxpayer.
  • Questions about the morality of particular beliefs and behaviors are resolved by individuals voting with their own money.

Regards, Pete Weldon

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