Taxes & Forced Charity

“I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.”

For any of you who enjoy Glenn Beck, you’re familiar with this as one of his 9 principles through the 9-12 Project. While you may not always agree with everything Glenn says (I don’t agree with him all the time, either), let’s start with this principle and examine it.

Those of us who own businesses, or for that matter are employed period, we have a paycheck that we can decide what to do with every week, 2 weeks, or whatever the frequency may be. I grew up in a country where we were encouraged to donate to charities and give back to the community, and if someone really needed help they went to their church or a charitable organization to get the assistance they needed, not the government. What happened to that philosophy?

Of course, I’m not a person who thinks I should just hog my paycheck. However, the government should only tax from my paycheck what it needs to perform its basic duties. We must review the bureaucratic layers and cut-cut-cut before we tax-tax-tax. That doesn’t have to mean that we end up without any services locally, unless for some reason that’s what the people want. What it means is that we force government to do exactly what businesses and families have to do – live within their means.

Since not everyone agrees with all of the charities out there, why should the government tell me where my tax dollars are charitably spent? Who says that’s ok? If I work hard for my paycheck, I want to make those decisions, and the government that tries to tell me I can’t is the government that thinks they’re smarter than I am. So far in human history, that philosophy hasn’t worked.

If government forces charity (through higher taxes), they can also use your money to support causes in which you don’t believe. For example, if you are pro-life and the current government (like Obama) is pro-choice, they can use your tax dollars to support abortion clinics and other related causes in which you do not believe. Is this “for the greater good” or is it simply forcing charity?

In my case, as a candidate for Powell City Council, I must tie this in to the fact that the City of Powell is considering and studying raising the city income tax from 3/4% to 2%. Do the math — that is nearly tripling the income tax! Yes, I understand that development has slowed and yes, I understand that the city needs money to function, but tripling the income tax? One of the aspects that I will studying over the next few months is the city’s budget. I realize that many of my questions may not be able to be answered until I am actually on Council, but I look forward to reviewing the various department budgets and finding ways to save money within the City of Powell. We’re taxed enough. And, for people like myself who live and work within the City of Powell, we would not receive the credit and would pay more in taxes. For the man or woman who is starting a small business in their Powell home and looks forward to moving into an office building, do we want them to use a City of Powell office building or look to go “over the border” just so they have the income tax credit? We have a low tax rate here in Powell, and let’s consider that perhaps that is why our community’s growth has been so explosive when others have not been. Companies and people want to go where the taxes are low.

People may say that this is selfish and that people with these philosophies just don’t want to give to others. On the contrary! People like me want to be able to choose where to give their money and will give more if they can make that choice for themselves. Forced charity doesn’t work.

~Sara Marie Brenner


  1. Excellent blog. Thanks for all you are doing, and good luck with the election.

  2. I agree with the points you make in your post, above, and if I were a resident of the City of Powell, you would have my vote!Too bad I can't vote for you for national office! "The problem with socialism is you eventually run out of other people's money" – Barry Goldwater

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