CNN's Belief Blog invited Glenn Beck to share his views about small government and the responsibility of every citizen to give back to their communities. Additionally, the radio and television host delved into Tax Day and the bits of information that income tax releases reveal about politicians and their generosity.
In the piece, entitled, "As We Shrink Government, Let's Grow Charitable Giving," Beck writes:
I have never felt particularly charitable on April 15.
Instead, I typically feel like the victim of the most sophisticated burglary in world history. Yet it is on Tax Day that we learn a lot about the giving nature of our political leaders, at least those who release their tax records. Those documents provide a lens into politicians’ financial priorities and benevolence.
While the American people certainly don’t have a “right” to see the tax returns of any private individual, the public has grown to expect that those running for the highest office in the land will voluntarily allow us to view their filings.
Beck discusses the "voyeuristic pleasure" that the public and media, alike, enjoy when candidates release their tax returns. Additionally, he brings up the sometimes stark differences that exist between what a presidential candidate donates before seeking office and after. He continues:
According to his tax records, President Obama gave about 14% to charity last year, a laudable amount by any measure. However, that’s about 12 times the rate he gave before he arrived in the Senate in 2004 and over 35 times the rate at which he gave in 2002 (when he managed to donate only 0.4% of his quarter million dollar income).
This raises questions about how much of the president’s recent charitable contributions can be chalked up to political calculation.
Additionally, Beck delves back into Santorum's admitted need "to do better" when it comes to giving to charity. But it isn't just presidential hopefuls who the radio host challenges to give more:
At the end of the day, the lesson - that it’s important to pitch in and give to help those in need - doesn’t just apply to presidential candidates; it applies to all of us, but particularly to conservatives. [...]
Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus command us to elect a government that will take our money under threat of imprisonment so that bureaucrats can figure out the best way to help people in need.
But as so many on the left have pointed out, Scriptures do direct us to help the poor. Yet God puts the responsibility on us, not on the government.
Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians says that "Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
Read the entire article here.