From the “I can’t believe we still have to explain this” file, David French explains the difference between charity and political graft disguised as charity:
Imagine development officers from two relief agencies visit your house — one is from a large Christian agency, the other from the government. The Christian development officer will tell you (truthfully) that more than 80 percent (often close to 90 percent) of your donation dollar will go directly to their core programs, that their programs are not only designed to empower people and lift them out of poverty, but they have a track record of doing so, and the organization itself is run ethically, is financially sound, and rarely, if ever, goes into debt to finance its expansion. In other words, when you spend $75 to get a poor kid a goat, that kid is getting a goat.
After hearing the pitch from the Christian agency, Mr. Government tells you a very different story. He can’t really tell you how much of your money will reach the end-user, and his anti-poverty program is not only riddled with fraud but hasn’t budged the poverty rate in spite of literally trillions of dollars of expenditures. In addition, his programs run ever-increasing, gigantic deficits, and they are so poorly designed and executed that they’ve have helped destroy families and indeed entire communities.
Who should get your money? Unfortunately, Mr. Government forces you to give to him, while the truly effective agencies must make do with what’s left.