A bah humbug on bell ringers

Immediately after having to deal with Black Friday (which apparently was on Thursday this year), the very next week the bell-ringing panhandlers start guilting people into giving away whatever money they didn’t already spend. Okay, before you read any further, you should know that this post is going to sound really cold; my apologies if you can’t handle it.

Now before I begin, I want you to consider a few facts:

  1. About half of Americans pay absolutely nothing in federal income taxes. [source]
  2. One in six Americans receive some form of government assistance. [source]
  3. 25% of my income went to federal taxes this year (note: I include Social Security and Medicare in that amount, since I will never see any of that money either). This does not include any state taxes. If I lived in a state other than Florida, the percentage would probably be much higher.
  4. Who carries cash anyway?

Conclusion: I already give plenty to charity.

Don’t get me wrong, I am glad I am in a position that I have to pay taxes, and I don’t envy those one-in-six people. I guess I don’t really have any point, but as an aside, I just have a real problem with charities.

Most people don’t seem to know or understand how big of a scam big charities are in this country anyway. You can visit guidestar.org and check out the tax returns of some of these well known charities.

For example, in 2008, the Terri Schiavo Foundation received $91,000 in contributions. $59,000 of which went to salaries. [source]
In 2009, Susan G. Komen received $128,000,000 in contributions. $22,000,000 of which went to salaries. [source]
In 2009, Mothers Against Drunk Driving received $34,000,000 in contributions. $21,000,000 went to salaries. [source]

Guess people have different definitions of charity than I do.

The point is, some charities are better than others, but for the most part, charities are just big business. I guess if it makes you feel better to pay into the huge salaries of CEOs, you can give to them (the CEO of Komen makes $450,000 per year, placing her very comfortably in the top 1% of income earners). Just please don’t expect me to, and don’t expect me to feel bad when I hold on to my own money to improve the lives of myself and my family.

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