Study: GOP States Give More to Charity

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 and is filed under Blog, News, Taxes

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We’ve already seen studies like this for years, but here’s another one.   Politico reports of a new comprehensive survey conducted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy that shows Republican states give more charity than Democrat-leaning states:

The eight states whose residents gave the highest share of their income — Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Idaho, Arkansas and Georgia — all backed McCain in 2008. Utah leads charitable giving, with 10.6 percent of income given.

And the least generous states — Wisconsin, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire — were Obama supporters in the last presidential race. New Hampshire residents gave the least share of their income, the Chronicle stated, with 2.5 percent.

And what’s the reason for the disparity?  Politics and religion, of course:

“The reasons for the discrepancies among states, cities, neighborhoods are rooted in part in each area’s political philosophy about the role of government versus charity,” the study’s authors noted.

But it’s not just about politics — “religion has a big influence on giving patterns.”

“Regions of the country that are deeply religious are more generous than those that are not. Two of the top nine states—Utah and Idaho—have high numbers of Mormon residents, who have a tradition of tithing at least 10 percent of their income to the church,” the study states. “The remaining states in the top nine are all in the Bible Belt.”

I would also point out that most of the ‘stingy states’ are quite rich while the most generous ones are some of the poorest states in the country.
Obama and the Democrats always inveigh against those who refuse to pay 50% of their income in taxes, yet it is their supporters who fail to give significant sums to charity.  Like most religious conservatives, I give 10% of my modest income to charity.  For Obama and his allies, they just want to use the power of government to redistribute other people’s wealth in a way that will disincentivize investment and success.
This is yet another example of why the civil society can assuage the vices of poverty better than government bureaucrats ever will.