It bothers me sometimes, when very well-meaning people go out of their way to do the right thing, to be kind to others and then to have that act of charity turned around into some sort of criticism.
I think we, as Americans, are beginning to get a little too spoiled, way too sensitive and often critical.
Unless you take a trip to another country and actually spend some time there, it’s unlikely you will appreciate how good we have it in our own country.
President Donald Trump recently donated about $78,000 — his entire presidential salary thus far — as he promised during his campaign.
I may have missed it, but I don’t remember any other president promising or following through with such an effort.
His daughter and son-in-law have reportedly made similar promises.
I understand that our current presidential family is wealthy, but so were many other presidents in our past.
The money they earn from speaking engagements alone is astronomical.
I don’t want to compare other presidential families who have allegedly traded their wealth for fame to get into office and then turned around and traded their fame for more wealth during and after office.
That’s too political. My request for fairness has nothing to do with politics. I don’t agree with everything that has happened or was promised.
But it bothers me that a simple act of kindness is viewed with hostility.
I remember reading a recent Associated Press story about Trump donating his salary to the Department of the Interior and then in the second line of the story the author said something like “but it’s just a drop in the bucket with the cuts he is proposing to that department’s budget.”
What kind of fair and impartial reporting is that?
Maybe he should have donated it in secret, not let his right hand know what his left had was doing, but then someone would likely claim that he didn’t follow through with his campaign promise.
If we all donated a little more of our “stuff” to our favorite causes, then there wouldn’t be as great a need for governmental funding.
If you think some cause needs more funding, then donate your time and money to them and encourage everyone you know to do the same. Tout their efforts, their causes and their need so that others can join you.
A letter to the editor won’t cost you a dime.
Please don’t set up another federal tax to force everyone in America to give to your favorite group and then organize a staff infrastructure of extra people on the payroll in Washington, D.C. just to manage our money and to give it to others.
Lets cut out the middle man.
Buying wholesale cuts the price of the items we purchase. We all know that. So lets just donate wholesale too. That way those in need will get more bang for the buck.
Of course there are going to be exceptions.
Probably too numerous for me to name. Food and building inspectors, and educators will likely need to be employees of the government. Those involved in national defense like the military and security like police, fire and rescue might be another category. I’m sure there are others.
But unless it’s for some very basic needs that can’t be supported by faith-based volunteers, I think we can reduce the amount we pay in federal taxes to many of these agencies.
Or, if we don’t reduce the amount we pay, maybe we can just reduce the amount the federal government spends and then start paying off the national debt.
Of course, it might cost us a little more for admission to public parks or maybe some toll roads — but so be it.
If some very needy people are bumped off the roles, then lets turn to churches and other faith-based groups to pick up the slack.
I can stomach giving a little more in the collection plate or local charity knowing someone else with a similar faith story and working as an unpaid volunteer is helping us direct those funds to where they are needed. We don’t need them focusing on one tragic story on television and saying the entire system can’t be overhauled by cutting taxes just because it affects that one person.
Let’s focus on a way to reach out with charity to that one person or family and move on to fixing the system.
And for our nation’s parks, I’d rather pay at the “point of sale” than have someone else just take the money away and assume they know how to spend my money better than I do, while they hire a staff of consultants to do a survey and make a living off our hard-earned money.
And while we’re at it, could we please take a moment to honor our spiritual men and women who donate their lives and sacrifice their time in the name of a higher calling, not the least of which is to minister to those less fortunate in times of difficulty.
During this Easter season, it’s particularly important to keep in mind that they are giving their lives so that others might succeed, not only in this life, but also the next.
Reach Eric Steinkopff at [email protected] or 580-482-1221, ext 2072.