As a fiscal conservative, I believe in limited government. It irks me, then, whenever folks do things that exacerbate the increase in the size and scope of government.
One of the ways this occurs is when companies or organizations lobby the government for more money. When this happens, politicians begin to work to allocate more, and more, and more money. And if money runs out, they try to increase the size of the budget.
Even when the organization is advocating for a noble cause, fiscal reality eventually strikes. And when people talk of cutting funding, they are attacked for hating poor people. It can be an ugly cycle. Pulling the ‘it’s for the kids’ card is great marketing since it tugs at the heartstrings, but poor critical thinking on policy.
With that in mind, when it comes to our private donations, I would like to suggest that there are two principles that should inform which organizations we donate money to long-term.
1. Aid is a stopgap.
Don’t take it from me, take it from a rock-star:
The best long-term solution to poverty is commerce, not continuous aid. Bono has done tremendous work raising money for foreign aid, and over the past few years has come around to recognize that though foreign aid has its place, it is not the solution to poverty. Capitalism, commerce, entrepreneurship, and free trade are the cures to poverty.
2. Some relief organizations are yet another factor in the increase in the size of the federal government.
Be sure to check the financial accountability pages for various relief organizations. One well-known organization rakes in $179 million dollars a year from Uncle Sam. That’s $179 million tax dollars. If you have conservative leanings like me, we should try our best to support organizations that share our belief in the free market—rather than those that manipulate the system and contribute to an ever-increasing social welfare state (and the increased taxes and debt that come with it).