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Liberal Claims to Altruism are Horsepucky

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

If there's one constant refrain to American politics, it's that liberals are more giving and conservatives are selfish and greedy. It's a theme the Democrats have honed to a fine point and exploited over and over again. We've heard again and again this year that Republicans who seek to preserve the Bush tax cuts are doing so as a payoff to the nameless, faceless "rich"; that Republicans who wanted to stop additional unfunded unemployment benefits from passing merely hated that specific poor single mother from the ghetto; that Republicans who worry about the budget deficit are shills for corporate America who couldn't care less about the future of the country.

More broadly, the Democratic position can be summed up as President Obama did this week during a lucrative fundraising tour for the 2010 general election: Republicans, he said, are "more concerned with the next election than the next generation." It is more than a tad ironic that Obama would say this at a rally in Milwaukee designed to pour cash into Democratic National Committee coffers -- wouldn't the millions presumably raised at that event be better directed at the brutalized poor Obama and his ilk moan about? Or even better, used to pay back the national debt that will cripple the next generation?

No. According to Obama, monetary donations should be funneled into Democratic Party bank accounts.

It's a point Obama hammered home while visiting Los Angeles this week to do a fundraiser at the home of John Wells, the producer of "ER," "Southland" and "The West Wing." At that $30,400 per couple dinner, Obama shamelessly told his patrons: "I hope you understand why we're here tonight. It's not to take a picture with the president. We're here to make sure those who took the tough votes are rewarded." Why not reward those Americans who are out of work and hurting, rather than the legislators who live on cushy salaries and have full medical and dental?

Because those Americans are pawns, that's why. Democrats cite to the poor to tug at the heartstrings of the limousine liberal class, but Democrats rarely encourage those limousine liberals to give their money directly to those in need. When's the last time you heard an active liberal politician tell a rich potential donor to send cash to the Red Cross or the Salvation Army without a major natural disaster to spur that politician along? Has it ever happened?

No, because that would show that the private sector charities can do a better job than the government. It would demonstrate that the poor could be given care by the private sector in an efficient way. In other words, it would put the lie to the Democratic notion that government is always the solution to social inequalities.

There's another reason, too, why Democrats would prefer we send our money to them as opposed to the poor who need it. Democrats, as we can see in virtually every bill, are more concerned with sending taxpayer cash to their political allies than they are in sending cash to those who need it. That's because for every dollar they send to their political allies, they receive a substantial portion back in the form of campaign donations. It's an easy trade: pretend to care about the poor, grab money from the taxpayers to pay off your buddies, let your buddies pay you back, rinse, wash and repeat.

It's no wonder that this week alone, we found out that a new housing program designed to help the unemployed will in fact go to the benefit of the banking system from which Obama received millions, and that heavy-spending unions were poised to receive billions of dollars more from government -- dollars that come from cutting food stamps. If Democrats were advocates for the poor, it would be nice if they would act like it rather than simply using the poor as a convenient political bloody flag.

Liberals say they want money out of politics. Fine. Let's do that by proposing that no politician take public money. All public money will be funneled instead into a charity to benefit the underprivileged. How far could $650 million -- the amount raised by President Obama during the 2008 election cycle -- have gone to alleviate the needs to those in need? How far could the total $5.3 billion spent by candidates during that election cycle have gone?

Until the liberal politicians put their money where their mouth is and actually start promoting programs that help the poor rather than raiding the rich for their own personal benefit, their class warfare should be dismissed out of hand. It's posturing, pure and simple, and it's ugly posturing at that.

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