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By NWV News writer Jim Kouri
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
March 7, 2011

The Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress are fast-tracking a number of programs designed to increase the size of what's commonly known as the Welfare State, according to a chairman of the Forsyth County, NC GOP.

Conservatives and libertarians believe that all the talk of reducing the trillions of dollar in debt and the promised deficit reduction coming out of the White House is a diversion to secretly move money from some programs to others in order to grab more votes and more power.

These government programs – paid for by U.S. taxpayers -- are having a devastating impact on American charitable giving, according to Nathan Tabor, a North Carolina GOP chairman, author, and entrepreneur.

“While the wealthy have been vilified, the census data shows that households earning $200,000-plus, that are only 2.6 percent of all households who submit tax returns, gives nearly 50% of all individual charitable contributions,” said Tabor.

One of the drawbacks of the Obama Administration's and the liberal-left's tax law revision is the decrease in the amount charity-givers may deduct from their annual federal income tax. Ideologues such as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and others believe that the government should use the "cover" of charity as a means of redistributing wealth, say many conservative and libertarian financial and economic experts.

“In other words, President Obama's version of "charity" is more akin to Karl Marx than it is to Jesus Christ. Obama and his ilk are charitable, to be sure; but they're charitable with other people's money,” claims political strategist and consultant Mike Baker.

In the days before Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal and Lyndon Baines Johnson's Great Society, it was the Christian church that provided food, clothing and shelter for the poor and destitute members of society.

For example, during The Great Depression and thereafter, the majority of "soup kitchens" and "shelters" were run by local churches. The homeless were provided a warm meal, a place to rest and a chance to hear the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. Christians in those days understood that in order to address the needs of the soul, it's best to first address the needs of the body.

While President Obama couldn’t wait to get his hands on this nation's health care, many Americans had forgotten that it was the Christian church and Jewish temples that built most of the hospitals and clinics. Religious groups provided medical treatment to people who were given the bums rush out of hospitals because they were too poor to pay for treatment.

For example, in New York City, hospitals still bear the names given by religious groups who created them -- Saint Vincent's Hospital, Calvary Hospital, Christ Hospital and many others. While the city government manages 10 non-profit hospitals, the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies manages 15 health care institutions with national reputations for being premier medical centers..

But today, it appears that Christian leaders and church members have passed on the role of charity givers to the government – a government that prohibits even the mention of Jesus Christ within the public realm.

While President Obama and his minions will never tell citizens that they should stop giving to faith-based organizations, their actions appear to be intentionally or unintentionally stifling such charitable giving. Many politicians in Washington believe they are better able to distribute charity than people whom they view as simpleminded Bible-thumpers, said Pastor Tom McNally of an Assembly of God Church in New Jersey.

According to a survey conducted on behalf of Dunham & Company by Wilson Research Strategies, Americans reported that they are beginning to spend more of their disposable income on entertainment and other household expenses, while reducing their charitable giving, according to the annual Dunham & Company New Year’s Philanthropy Survey conducted by Wilson Research Strategies.

Compared to the 2009 study, Dunham & Company's 2010 New Year's Philanthropy Survey shows that while a surprising 56 percent jump in the number of households indicating they have not reduced their household budget as a result of the economy, 37 percent of the respondents said they continue to reduce their charitable donations and nearly 1 in 4 reported in the survey that they have completely stopped charitable giving. The WRS survey reveals that statistically the 2010 rates are the same as the previous year's rates.

However, Rick Durham, the president and CEO of Durham & Company, a firm that helps Christian ministries with marketing, fundraising and media relations, said there are some exceptions.

“When you dig into the data, you find that more of those who frequent religious services indicate that in spite of the economy, they are continuing or increasing their support of charity in 2010 compared to 2009,” he said in a press statement. “Fewer of these households have reduced or stopped their giving. This is especially impressive as there is actually a 10 percent increase in the number of non-religious households who say they have stopped their giving as we enter 2010.”

Dunham & Company's survey also indicates that households earning $35,000 or less are much more likely to have reduced or stopped charitable giving (33 percent more than the national average), whereas households earning $100,000 or more are less likely to have reduced or stopped their charitable giving (38 percent less than the national average).

However, about one in six frequent church goers say they do intend to give more, which is 33 percent greater than those who do not attend church.

While the survey reveals a disturbing reduction in charitable giving, respondents are not enthusiastic about having the federal government come in to pick up the slack.

For example, when asked about their support for federal funding of health care necessitating increased taxes, a whopping 63 percent of those surveyed rejected such a policy.

“The data related to giving basically remains unchanged from 2009,” Dunham said. “Most charities should expect contributions to remain relatively flat this year, which is not good news for the many non-profits that are struggling. But religious charities should fare better than most as there are a greater number of these households indicating they are supporting charities as we begin this year compared to last year.”

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Mr. Dunham points to one bright spot, however, for all charities. The findings do indicate that there should be a resurgence in giving by households making $75,000 or more a year. Among those making $75,000 but less than $100,000, this year’s survey showed an 80 percent jump in those who intend to increase their support of charity in 2010 (18 percent in 2010 compared to 10 percent in 2009) and for households making $100,000 or more there was a 31% jump compared to one year ago (21 percent in 2010 compared to 16 percent in 2009).

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While the survey reveals a disturbing reduction in charitable giving, respondents are not enthusiastic about having the federal government come in to pick up the slack.