Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Government Charities

Most supporters of big government advocate increasing revenue by force, in the form of higher taxes. This is euphemistically called "asking" people to pay more, in the same way a mugger "asks" you for your wallet. But what if we actually asked people to voluntarily contribute more to government programs? Let's take Medicaid for example. Everyone has seen ads for charities that ask people to pledge a monthly contribution to help a child in a third-world country. Why not have a Medicaid Support Fund where people can pledge their support or give lump-sum contributions?

I see ads for the United Way everywhere, and that organization takes in quite a bit of money. There's no reason we couldn't have a similar ad campaign for the Medicaid Support Fund. In fact, the entire campaign could be donated by some liberal advertising firm that would offer its expertise as a public service. All aspects of the fund would be managed by private entities willing to support the project -- because if it were done by the government it would almost certainly spend more money that it took in. This type of fund would encourage prominent liberal hypocrites like Warren Buffet, who pretend they aren't taxed enough while simultaneously shielding their money, to live up to their big government ideals and contribute more. It's almost a certainty that such government charities would also attract significant corporate contributions, if for no other reason than public relations.

There could even been government charity programs that appeal to those on the right, such as the Missile Defense Fund, or the Help Kill a Terrorist Fund, where donations would go directly to help defer the costs of our drone assassination program.

We actually have some of these types of charities now, such as the Navy League, but their advertising is minimal compared to better known organizations. When is the last time you saw an ad for the Navy League?


  1. The first problem that comes to mind, is that after a string of good years with high donations a bad donation year will result in a budget shortfall. In such a case there would be massive pressure to make up the difference with tax revenue

  2. You couldn't budget contributions because you wouldn't know how much you were going to take in. The programs in question would continue to be funded with tax money as they are now, unless we are talking about new programs that would only take place if they met donation goals.

    But yeah, you are probably right. If it happened as you describe, people would get used to higher funding levels and call for tax increase if donations dropped.